Brenda Matebe, a single working mother who has relocated to Springbok with her two young children, has highlighted the struggle some parents are facing educating their children, something that is a Constitutional right in South Africa.
Brenda Matebe says that the issue both herself and other black parents are facing is that schools are failing to accommodate their children language-wise.
Matebe says that all 74 public schools in the region are Afrikaans medium, despite most children not knowing the language at all. The students are then expected to not only learn the language, but to pass subjects with first language level Afrikaans across the board.
Matebe is adamant that this is placing even more stress on the children, who are already facing a massive challenge:
"Our children feel very stupid and they ask themselves why they are the only ones that don’t get anything right in class. The children self-esteem goes down, they start to get the feeling of hate and the parent must be stuck with a child that gets to be out of control. Driven by the fact that the school they attend does not care about how this child survives in class. Some children are told that they do not belong here and they do not fit in the school."
This stress, in turn, filters down to parents, who are left helpless as not one of the schools offer up English classes:
"We as parents are depressed and financially drained because of the Afrikaans schools. Some parents that have moved their children from the private school to the Afrikaans schools, take their children to tutors that cost R2000-00 for 2 weeks, extra lessons for Afrikaans. Other parents do not have that kind of money."
The distressed mother claims that her children were rejected three times by a Springbok Primary School, simply because of the colour of their skin and the fact that they speak English. Matebe says that attempts to bring the state's attention to the issue have been fruitless:
"Why is this behaviour applauded and encouraged by our Government. The same Government that is supposed to protect and guide the children, they are destroying our children killing us parents as well. It is not easy for me to write these emails, it is not easy to always have the door slammed in my face and it is exhausting to fight for something that should be given to these children free of charge."
Matebe's struggle to give her children a quality education, in a language they understand, is something that resonates with the injustices of the past.
The only question left to ask is: Why is the government, put in place by a ruling party who fought for freedom, imposing these issues on South Africans?
"A black child matters. Racism must stop. This is South Africa, Namaqualand does not have its own Constitution it is Regulated by our Country’s Constitution. Education needs to be free, education doesn’t know colour and education is a Constitutional Right of every single child that is born in South Africa."
Requests for comment on this urgent matter were not answered by the Department of Education.
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