National 15.8.2016 06:25 am

Vuwani pupils will ‘be ready for exams’

A burnt-out school in Ha-Mashau village, Limpopo. Picture: Steven Tau

A burnt-out school in Ha-Mashau village, Limpopo. Picture: Steven Tau

The education department is playing catch-up after 24 schools were burnt in protests.

The Limpopo education department is confident Vuwani pupils will be ready to sit for their year-end exams, despite their schooling being disrupted by volatile protests in the area for more than three months.

“The catch-up programme will see pupils and teachers remaining in classrooms beyond 3pm every weekday. We also intend to make use of the weekends,” departmental spokesperson Naledzani Rasila said.

“We’ll use the September holidays to help our pupils recover lost learning time.”

Pupils had also been unable to sit their mid-year exams due to the disruptions caused by the “total shutdown of services” by protestors.

Residents went on a rampage after their demands for the Municipal Demarcation Board to reverse its decision to merge Vuwani with Malamulele and other surrounding villages to form a new municipality had not succeeded in court.

“As part of the catch-up programme, Grade 1 to 11 pupils will be assessed on a weekly and monthly basis in preparation for the trial exams scheduled for September,” Rasila said. “The Grade 12 pupils, who were sent to different camps, have already written their mid-year exams.”

He said there had been an overwhelming commitment from both teachers and pupils.

“We all know the conditions are difficult for learning and teaching, particularly in villages where schools were burnt, but everyone is prepared to work harder.”

Many people were shocked following the torching of 23 schools in May, while another was razed last week. Last year, more than 15 000 pupils from Kuruman were forced to repeat grades after being barred from school for about three months in 2014 by protestors who were demanding that a road in the John Taolo Gaetsewe Municipality be tarred.

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