23 September 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

Still no school for Molelema learners…months on  

by: Obakeng Maje     date: 04 May 2018

Fear of school disruption and violence has robbed learners of Baga-Maidi community of yet another day of education because of residents’ demand for a tar road. Most of school children in Manthe and surrounding villages in Taung failed to go to school because they feel unsafe.
 
This despite community leaders who have been leading the protests saying on Wednesday that parents who want to send their children to school are free to do so. Parents also raised concern about their children’s safety and preferred that police guard the school premises.   
 
One of the parents in Tlapeng village who refused to be identified for the fear of victimization said: “We want the police to accompany our children to go to school to ensure that they are safe. We cannot risk and send our young ones to school without any guarantees. What will happen if they are attacked?
 
A Grade 11 pupil from Walter Letsie High School said he was sad because he knew that learners were losing a lot of time. 
“I believe that those who demand tar roads must let us attend school. Their grievances are valid, but two wrongs do not make right. I do not want to repeat my class and I hope the department of education comes up with a solution before it’s too late”. 
 
One of community leaders, Mothibi Makoro, agreed that the situation is unfair on school children. 
 
“We had a meeting with those who are affected and the parents of those children agreed that there will be no school until our demands are met. However, we agreed that those who want to go back to school should do so without being prohibited. Some of these school children also agreed with the decision and say they understand the demands are valid,” he said. 
  
Spokesperson for Education and Sport Development, Freddy Sepeng said the protests affected many pupils, especially Grade 12s.  
“We urge those who are behind those protests to refrain from prohibiting pupils from going to school. These protests will affect those children in future. The department understands that communities are angry and their demands are valid, however, it is absurd and irresponsible to prohibit children from attending school.
 
“We will come up with remedial actions and assist those who are affected. Our teachers will organise extra classes, especially during June school adjournment to recover time lost during unrests,” he said. 
 
On Thursday Pudimoe Police Station cluster spokesperson, Sergeant Tebogo Thebe, said: “We have agreed with the department and Baga-Maidi community that children will be allowed to go to school. We have reached an agreement with schools that they will call us if they experience any challenges. However, we have not received any complaint thus far and we will continue to monitor the situation.”