Schools expected to be fully operational after nearly a month-long shutdown

FEBRUARY 15, 2016

Learning is expected to enter into full gear on Monday in Port Elizabeth's troubled Northern Areas following a decision last week Wednesday by parents to allow their children back to around 52 schools in the area that they had shut down in a protest to teacher shortages among other education-related challenges.

Schools opened in ernest on Thursday morning but were expected to fully become operational on Monday.

Principals were also understood to be working on catch up programmes for their students after the learners lost almost a month of study time due to the schools shut down. 

At the same meeting, however, parents decided to continue with their demands and gave the Eastern Cape Department of Education until the 18th of March - the end of the first term, to come up with solutions. 

Meanwhile, Eastern Cape Education MEC, Mandla Makupula, met with some parents who have since last week Monday occupied a hall at the ECDOE's Port Elizabeth branch in Sidwell.

The meeting comes after the parents received a letter from the department demanding that they vacate the premises.

“Kindly be advised that you are currently prohibiting the use and functionality of the hall for which it is primarily intended,” reads the letter, which was signed by HJ Grobler, the Acting District Director at the ECDOE’s Port Elizabeth District office.

“You are herewith notified to vacate the said hall with immediate effect, failing which an urgent eviction order will be obtained to have you removed from the hall and the Port Elizabeth District office premises.”

The letter was posted on Facebook by Marlon Daniels, the Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Chairman of the Nationalist Coloured Party.

Still, in his post about meeting with the MEC, Daniels insists; "We will continue to occupy the District office until the DOE ensures that we have 1 teacher in every class.

"Surely this is our right to have a teacher in every class... currently we have kids in classrooms without a can this be acceptable? I encourage ALL OF YOU to join us in this Noble cause for the sake of all OUR children..."

Daniels last week also claimed that African National Congress (ANC) Member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, Christian Martins, had joined the parents for the sleep in. Martins raised eyebrows in January when he apparently laid charges against the ECDOE, which is headed by his ANC colleague, Mandla Makupula, in connection with the school closures.

Images: Marlon Daniels via Facebook