Irate parents who had gathered at the circuit office of the Department of Education in Polokwane threatened earlier today (Tuesday) to go to local schools and take out learners admitted at the beginning of the year because their own children were still awaiting admission to schools more than two weeks after the start of the academic year.
This was preceded by a blockade of Biccard Street between the Department of Education’s head office and the circuit office where rocks, chairs and dustbins were left in the street and debris set alight.
“All should suffer, not only us. An injury to one is an injury to all,” a parent said.
The parents, part of a bigger group disgruntled parents whose children have not yet been placed at schools, were once again disappointed by the department. The parents of Grade 1 to 3 learners were allegedly promised that they would be taken to schools by officials of the department today (Tuesday) to enrol their children at schools in Polokwane. Parents had to report at the circuit office at 09:00.
The parents have been coming to the circuit offices of the department, some awaiting placement of their children for three weeks already. Many have been referred to schools already only to be told when they get there that the schools do not have space anymore.
The parents, allegedly having waited in vain for hours for a single official from the department to arrive to accompany them to schools this morning, then blockaded Biccard Street.
Police, traffic officials and members of the Community Safety Department of the Polokwane Municipality were on the scene quickly and the crowd dispersed and some fled. Others went back to the circuit offices to wait once again in the hope that somebody will come to tell them what is going to happen now.
“We were here yesterday but the department’s representatives asked us to give them more time to finalise arrangements,” one parent told Polokwane Observer.
The department’s Head of Communications. Naledzani Rasila could not be reached for comment.
Story and photo: NELIE ERASMUS
Featured photo: Police, traffic officials and members of the Community Safety Department of the Polokwane Municipality clear the road of burning debris, rocks, dustbins and chairs used by angry parents to block the road.