A classroom at an illegal school in Olievenhoutbosch. Picture: James Mahlokwane
A classroom at an illegal school in Olievenhoutbosch. Picture: James Mahlokwane

WATCH: Olievenhoutbosch residents shutdown more unregistered schools

By James Mahlokwane Time of article published Feb 25, 2020

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Pretoria - Angry Olievenhoutbosch residents took to the streets to shutdown more unregistered schools offering primary school education in RDP houses and backrooms.

Led by the ANC, SACP and the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), they said the community has been hit by a huge wave of illegal schools built and run by foreign nationals.

They said foreign nations have been buying and renting yards with RDP houses and building backrooms to use as classrooms and getting away with this trend that's ruining the future of pupils and wasting their time.

After gathering for the second time they went to schools like Yadah Primary, Ebernozah English Private School and Bethel Mthethwa College to stop academic proceedings.

Other schools did not have names nor signage to show that they existed. 

Children being taught at an illegal school in Olievenhoutbosch. Video: James Mahlokwane

However, backrooms built behind the RDP houses were used as classrooms.

Community leaders instructed the teachers and owners to stop teaching and rather call parents to fetch their children because the education they were receiving in these schools was not accredited.

They were also infuriated by the sight of academic texts books found in these schools that actually belonged to local government schools like Bathabile Primary School and Seshego Secondary School.

They said it was insane that adults interested only in making money were squeezing over 50 innocent pupils in a single small room. 

In fact, in some rooms, the pupils belonged to different grades.

The people who ran the schools, when confronted, all said they were still in the process of applying for accreditation from the Gauteng Department of Education. 

This, however, upset the community who said they had no right to start operating schools in the first place. 

They asked why would they start teaching and collecting school fees before they have been given the thumbs-up by the office of the MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi.

Children line up at an illegal school in Olievenhoutbosch. Picture: James Mahlokwane

The community became very emotional after finding over 60 pupils put together inside one RDP house that's used as a school. 

The doors in the house were falling apart and the walls dirty. 

The windows and doors were not even opened when the community went to the house.

The community said it was about time the government takes away RDP houses from people who've rented them out to be used as illegal schools.

In this case, the owner could not be found but the community was told he lives somewhere in Soshanguve and only comes to collect rent money.

The community said Olievenhoutbosch has been hit by a serious crises and the Department of Education needs to now and fast before the situation deteriorates further. 

Spokesperson for the Department of Education, Steve Mabona, said the department condemned this act and was going to remove the pupils from the illegal schools.

Pretoria News

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