- A school in the Eastern Cape has been without an Afrikaans teacher since May last year and parents are outraged
- The Department of Education has said that it is aware of the situation and is trying to find a solution
- The angry parents are threatening to shut down the school unless an Afrikaans teacher is found
Sandisulwazi Secondary School in Paterson, Eastern Cape is facing a crisis as 80 angry parents and community members attempted to close the school down.
The source of the controversy is language, the school has 303 pupils, 65 of them are Afrikaans-speaking. The school has eight teachers, seven of them speak Xhosa and the eighth speaks English.
Briefly.co.za learned that the parents are demanding that their children are taught Afrikaans as a subject or they will shut the school down according to news24.com.
Police arrived on Monday to manage the situation and the principal locked the gates to keep the protesters from entering the school.
Despite the threats, the protest remained peaceful and the demonstrators did little more than sing and wave placards.
Isaac van Louw, a member of the School Governing Board (SGB), said: "There is no Afrikaans teacher since last May. We have held talks with the Department of Education on six occasions. Sadly, the talks have yielded nothing. It’s only promises and promises."
The parents are threatening to close the school in order to create a level playing field for all the children.
An Afrikaans pupil who wrote their matric in 2017 failed and this has been attributed to the fact that the school has no Afrikaans teacher.
An alternative for the parents is to send their children to schools in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage bu the boarding fees make this impossible for some families.
One of the demands from the parents besides an Afrikaans teacher is that the former principal be reinstated.
Grade 12 pupil Aloma Gouza said: "We are only four Afrikaans-speaking [pupils] in my grade. We sit in an empty classroom when it is time for Afrikaans lesson. Our education system demands that [pupils] have to pass their mother tongue language in order to proceed. I don't see this happening."
The department is aware of the situation and has revealed that they are in talks with retired Afrikaans teachers to assist the school.
The are unable to say when a teacher will be found and have asked the parents not to close the school.
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