National 5.8.2016 11:48 am

Vuwani pupils to return to school

One of the burnt schools, Vhafamadi Secondary School, in Ha-Mashau village. Picture: Steven Tau

One of the burnt schools, Vhafamadi Secondary School, in Ha-Mashau village. Picture: Steven Tau

Extended teaching time and extra days will be required to help pupils catch up on their studies, the education department said.

After months of disruptions to schooling in Vuwani, Limpopo, which led to pupils missing school for months, the department of basic education said on Friday it expected schooling to return to normal in the area within a week.

In May angry residents of the community vandalised and burnt more than 20 schools in protest over a decision by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) to merge Vuwani with Malamulele and other surrounding villages.

The department’s spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said extended teaching time and days would be required to assist the pupils to catch up on their studies. On Thursday some pupils reportedly returned back to their classrooms after missing school for more than three months.

This week there were doubts that local government elections would take place in Vuwani, after a number of residents vowed not to allow Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials to operate in the area. Some residents nevertheless cast their votes on Wednesday, although many others from various villages decided to boycott the municipal polls.

Local community leader Nsovo Sambo told The Citizen that residents always knew government would come “crawling back”, especially leading up to the local government elections. He said that if many residents had voted, the ANC, which had enjoyed support in Vuwani for several years, would have been “history” by now.

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