Will Northern Areas schools be closed again on Monday?

JANUARY 14, 2016

It is not clear if a meeting called by Marlon Daniels, the Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Chairman of the newly formed Nationalist Coloured Party, on Thursday night to discuss the closure of schools in Port Elizabeth's troubled Northern Areas from Monday in protest against teacher shortages will go as planned.

"We have come to a point where we have to close all schools in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth," Daniels said in Facebook post on Tuesday. 

"This due to the [Eastern Cape] Department of Education neglecting to heed to the demands of the Northern Areas Education Forum...to ensure a better education for our learners.

"A general meeting is scheduled for this coming Thursday, 14 January 2016, at Sanctor High School @6pm. We are of the view that we have to close all schools as from next Monday, 18 January 2016,...for an INDEFINITE period...or at least until the Department of Education meet all our demands."

The post has since been shared over 440 times and has attracted mixed reactions as some do not see closing down schools as the solution to the problem.

Related: DA CONDEMNS CLOSURE OF NORTHERN AREAS SCHOOLS BY PARENTS

Apparently, the Northern Areas Education Forum (NAEF), which represents around 56 schools in the area and was behind the violent school closures in July last year, has also distanced itself from Daniels’s call. Daniels was a member of the NAEF but was not in its task team.

Still, the NAEF is reportedly planning to have a meeting with School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and parents on Thursday to discuss the on-going problem of teacher shortages at schools in the area.

The Forum's chairperson, Ronnie Matthys, told AlgoaFM News, that a meeting between the Forum and SGB's took place on Tuesday night to find a way forward.

Matthys told the radio station that although the plan has not been finalised, schools in the area could be closed to put pressure on the Education Department.

He said a decision was taken in December by parents that if their demands were not met, they would prevent their children from attending the new term.

Related: 

DISCONTENT BREWING IN PORT ELIZABETH'S NORTHERN AREAS OVER 'FAILED PROMISES'

NORTHERN AREAS PARENTS THREATEN TO PREVENT CHILDREN FROM WRITING 2015 MATRIC EXAMS

“EDUCATION DEPARTMENT HAS FAILED NORTHERN AREA COMMUNITIES” - TROLLIP

 SACP CLAIMS DA IS EXPLOITING NORTHERN AREAS PROTESTS FOR 'CHEAP POLITICKING'

Image: Public order police in Gelvandale during the school closures in the Northern Areas in July 2015.