National 4.8.2016 06:10 pm

Vuwani tries to move on

One of the affected Vuwani schools, Vhudzani Secondary. Picture: ANA

One of the affected Vuwani schools, Vhudzani Secondary. Picture: ANA

The education department is hoping that children’s education will no longer be sacrificed at the alter of political protest.

An uneasy calm has returned to Limpopo’s embattled Vuwani but police say they will remain in the area until they are satisfied the situation has returned to normal.

Police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said police deployed in the area would only be reduced once they were satisfied with circumstances in the area.

“We will access the situation on [a] daily basis,” said Otto.

“If we see that the situation dictates that we reduce the personnel, we will do so [but] we will not be withdrawing until we are sure that area is stable.”

This, after a three-month shutdown that hit local businesses and saw classes suspended.

Vuwani community leaders announced that the business and school shutdown was suspended shortly after polling stations for the local government elections closed on Wednesday.

Then on Thursday, some pupils returned to classes after having spent months out of school as residents protested against the Municipal Demarcation Board’s decision to include their areas under a new municipality.

The provincial basic education spokesperson Elaijah Mhlanga told the African News Agency that the department would meet with its officials in the area to determine a catch-up programme for pupils.

Mhlanga said some areas could not start with schooling as infrastructure was too badly damaged and required additional furniture and repairs to resume with lessons. He said that the department had visited certain schools on Thursday where infrastructure damage was significant.

SA Democratic Teachers’ Union provincial chairman Ronny Morwatsehla said the organisation hoped that parents’ and government issues would no longer affect their children’s education.

“We would argue [for] the people of Vuwani to focus on the education of their children,” said Morwatsehla, adding that an urgent focus was also needed on the closure or collapse of catch-up education programmes on camps have been collapsed.

“The focus should be on the education of the children,” he said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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