Negotiations On NCape Educ Continue
Negotiations to solve the Northern Cape's education crisis are continuing, provincial education spokesman Sidney Stander said on Thursday.
"The situation seems to be the same as last week, but several processes have started since the [Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's] visit this week," he said.
A total of 41 schools in the province had closed because of high levels of intimidation and protests not education-related, in mainly the John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipal area.
The schools were closed to stabilise the situation in the Kuruman and Postmasburg regions.
Residents there have been protesting about a lack of tarred roads and other municipal services.
Stander said various groups, such as church leaders and officials, had met principals, school governing bodies and parents in the different regions this week to solve the problems.
"We will see next week if these meetings helped to return children to schools," he said.
The National And Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA (Naptosa) in the Northern Cape said it was deeply worried after talks with pupils, parents and teachers in the John Taolo Gaetsewe area this week.
"We gathered more information on the experiences of learners and parents during the last few months," said Naptosa Northern Cape chairman MacAnthony Digopo.
He said the effects of the service delivery protests on education in the province would be felt for years.
"Unfortunately, many of the learners would feel the results for a longer time."
Pupils were not only losing out on an education, but social evils were also rife in the areas.
"Teachers and parents are especially worried about the increased instances of crime and drug use among the learners not attending school," said Digopo.
Naptosa CEO Louwrens Strydom said the union hoped Motshekga's visit would help resolve the situation.
"Naptosa do hope that there would be a return to schools after the visit, but only time will tell if the visit was not too little too late."
Strydom said Naptosa would support catch-up programs, but the quality of teaching should not be compromised.