- An eight-year-old boy, Wandile Shelembe, was denied education for two years
- Shelembe's birth certificate was destroyed in a house fire on 26 July, 2018
- Because he no longer had a birth certificate, three schools in the region denied him access
For two years, Wandile Shelembe had to play in the yard or keep himself busy throughout the day while his sister attended school.
Shelembe, who resides with his family in Ntuzuma north of Durban, was denied access to three different schools in the area because he did not have a birth certificate.
Briefly.co.za learned the document was destroyed along with everything else the family owned in a devastating house fire in 2018.
His sister is in Grade 7 this year and she could get access to school using an immunisation card.
Londiwe Mnguni, Wandile’s mother, said she tried everything in her power to make sure her son got the education he is entitled to but all her efforts proved futile.
“He used to cry his lungs out every time he saw his sister go to school,” Mnguni said.
The soon-to-be nine-year-old has finally been admitted to Grade 1 after GroundUp learned about his story and contacted the Department of Education.
GroundUp contacted the last year but they heard nothing back. They attempted again last week and the department finally responded.
Spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi revealed Wandile has been admitted to Faith Mlaba Primary School while they sort out his birth certificate.
“I am so excited that my child is finally going to school. He missed out on a lot, but I am sure he will catch up. I was worried about his future. I want him to get education and be the best that he can be,” said Mnguni.
Briefly.co.za previously reported on another story of a pupil struggling to get the education she deserves.
A bright learner, Triphin Mudzvengi, received seven distinctions in the 2019 matric exams and she dreams of becoming a civil engineer.
However, the star pupil is still sitting at home because she can't go to university. Her parents are poor and could not raise her tuition fees to study at Wits University.
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