About 5 000 learners from different schools in Cape Town marched to Parliament to hand over a memorandum for safe schools and communities in the province.The march was organised by Equal Education (EE). Since last week EE organised series of marches and pickets by learners to their nearest police station leading to the big march on Friday.
Several organisations including Social Justice Coalition(SJC), National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) and parents joined the march in support of the learners’ concerns.
NAPTOSA called on the police to make clear public statements on where they stand regarding action to drastically improve safety on school premises and they also called upon the Department of Basic Education to ensure funding is available for security systems at schools.
SJC Deputy general secretary, Mandisa Dyantyi called for fair distribution of resources to schools.
” Township schools are ill-equipped. We don’t want to have another Marikana situation. We don’t want to see again a total of 11 people loosing their lives in one weekend,” said Dyantyi.
Leletu Ntlanganiso from Elswood Secondary School in gang-ridden Elsies River said that they have to duck bullets everyday.
“We are afraid of going back home. How do you expect us to escape those bullets everyday. This should stop”, she said.
Margret Ngcukana a parent from Makhaza who had also joined the march felt the Western Cape government should seriously make schools safe.” When you visit our school you will be greeted by stinking and leaking toilets, classroom windows are broken. Gangsters terrorize our children while they are in school premises because there is not enough security measures at the school”. She says she was really looking for a change in school safety and sanitation systems.
The memorandum was received by Allan Subban from Department of Basic Education who promised that urgent attention will be given on the matter of school safety.