Uncaring Education Department kicks out Tsitsikamma Primary School learners

Uncaring Education Department kicks out Tsitsikamma Primary School learners

Hundreds of learners from the Tsitsikamma Primary School face the very real possibility of losing their school after the Department of Education unilaterally decided to convert it into a Secondary School.

Are these children simply to be dumped on the street without a plan in place to accommodate them because of the department’s failings? This will disrupt their foundational phase of learning, and severely impact their ability to read and write with meaning.

During an oversight visit to the school last month, the DA was informed that the primary school headmaster, parents, and communities were not informed of the decision. For many, the first time they heard about the plans was when they dropped their children off at the school in January, only to find a group of grade 10 learners outside, waiting to register at the “new high school”.

Parents have also expressed their concerns regarding political interference, accusing the mayor of hijacking the issue.

District Department officials are adamant that the plans will go ahead and have even appointed a principal for the new high school, although the school has not been registered yet. Posts for educators are also being advertised on social media.

The community of Tsitsikamma have been expressing the need for a high school since the early 1990s, as the only available and accessible high schools are in Plettenberg Bay and Humansdorp.

Subsequently, two schools were built, but they were never capacitated to accommodate high school learners by the department, and these have subsequently been converted into primary schools. Neither of these schools, however, have been targeted by the Department to convert into secondary schools.

The SGB and parents of learners from Tsitsikamma Primary School have now taken the Department to court for flouting processes to convert the school into a high school.

The Department has decided to steamroll this decision and now wants to decide for Tsitsikamma Primary School, the parents, and the larger community.

There is a simple solution to this problem. The DA is calling for a new secondary school to be built. We encourage people to sign our petition.

We will continue to fight for the right to have all voices heard and ensure that the Department of Education follow due processes and eliminate any political interference in the education of our children.