Police called after parents enter Pretoria's Hoërskool Akasia demanding children be admitted
Pretoria - Police were called in to Hoërskool Akasia in the north of Pretoria yesterday after parents whose children were not accepted at the school walked in unannounced to demand admission for more learners.
There was, however, no violence but the police kept an eye on the situation as parents and their children gathered inside the school hall.
On Tuesday night, parents met outside Akasia town hall to map out how they would go to different schools to register their children.
Many shunned an opportunity to make applications using the online admission system after the Gauteng Department of Education announced that it would be open until January 24 for late registration.
They told the Pretoria News that they lost trust in the system because it failed them numerous times.
Their representatives, who included local EFF leaders, engaged in talks with the principal Koos Venter over the possibility of accommodating more learners at Grade 8, 9 and 10.
Local EFF leader Thabo Mothole said: "The leadership of the EFF has been locked in a meeting with the police and the principal to look into the number of learners that can be accommodated at the school."
He said it emerged during the meeting that more learners could still be admitted at the school as it only took 35 learners per class.
"We are going to push that it accommodates at least 45 learners per class," he said.
He said the EFF would engage in walk-in registrations even at other local schools.
Following the meeting parents inside the hall were asked to provide proof of residence and record their names on a document to be provided to district offices of education.
Mothole said the principal told them that he didn't have problems with making space for more learners, but he still needed to consult with his superiors from the district.
"We are happy about the progress. Secondly when we are done here we are going to a primary school.
"We are going to ensure that at least by today learners are placed," he said.
A member of school governing body Mmaselema Mookamedi said parents who came to the school resided in the area and were aggrieved because their children were not placed there.
"Children have not been accepted and we have been asking ourselves who exactly has the district taken into account when they do these things," he said.
Mookamedi said he was also affected by the situation because his other child was refused admission at the school.
"Myself, as a member of the school governing body, I am affected because my child has not been accepted at the school.
"I am not saying because I am a member of a governing body I must be given preference over other parents. I am a parent like any other parent."
He has a daughter who is doing Grade 11 at the school and had hoped for his other child to attend at the same school.
He said there were rumours some people obtained local physical addresses fraudulently from the City of Tshwane in order to gain advantage to be admitted at the school.
He said the principal disclosed that the school has accepted close to 245 Grade 8 learners.
"EFF leaders asked for the number to be stretched to 45 per class and the principal said he doesn't have the prerogative on the admission and that he is still going to consult with the district," Mookamedi said.
A parent Thomas Sesoko expressed unhappiness that both of his daughters could not find space at the school.
"We have been living here for 10 years but we are still struggling to find space for our kids.
"Kids from Ga-Rankuwa and Soshanguve find a space whereas I cannot find a space.
"We went to the district and they said there is no space but finally there is common sense now.
"The principal has agreed to make a space in Grade 9 and 10," he said.