‘Reckless decision’ to gr. 8’s at primary schools


Solidarity is deeply concerned about the effects on learners if the Gauteng Department of Education continues with its decision to ban gr. To transfer 8 learners from an overcrowded high school in Kempton Park to primary schools in the area.

“To take such a decision now is simply reckless,” says Johan Botha, deputy general secretary at Solidarity.

“This speaks volumes of incompetent leadership and management in the department, which puts the well-being of learners and employees in jeopardy.”

According to Solidarity, some English-speaking learners from Birchleigh High School will now be admitted to Afrikaans parallel medium primary schools. Elementary schools were notified late Tuesday evening that mobile classrooms would be dropped off at the schools for these high school students.

Botha now says that these primary schools, which have already completed their planning for, among other things, their security measures, must compensate for the department’s flawed planning.

Melanie Buys, head of development at Solidarity’s School Support Center (SOS), is also concerned about the use of mobile classrooms because it violates building regulations.

“Moreover, it is not in the best interest of the current and new learners,” she says.

According to Buys, the current situation can only be attributed to “rotten planning”.

“The department has known about these problems for months, and now, just three days before school starts, it is suddenly a crisis.”

Buys points out that it is practically impossible for primary schools to use gr. to fit 8 learners into existing school timetables. According to her, the decision to impose this “solution” on schools without taking into account the availability of teachers, resources and facilities is unacceptable.

“Solidarity’s teacher network will intervene and support schools that are harmed by this,” Botha undertook.

“We also want to encourage schools to take action against the department’s disregard for safety measures for learners and teachers.”