Efforts to reopen NC schools fail

Minister Angie Motshekga visited the Kuruman region where there has been no schooling since 5 June.

FILE: Minister Angie Motshekga visited the Kuruman region where there has been no schooling since 5 June. Picture: Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Efforts to reopen 54 schools in the Northern Cape appear to have failed under threats of violent protests.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga visited the Kuruman region on Wednesday where there has been no schooling since the 5 June due to protests.

A group known as the Local Road Forum is behind the move and is calling for roads in the area to be tarred before any schooling resumes.

She failed to convince protestors to abandon their strategy of forcing school closures.

Minister Motshekga's intervention in the province school crisis has proved futile as the group protesting for the tarred roads is not giving in, which means the risk violent protests still threaten schools in the area.

It also means the education future of around 17,000 learners still hang in the balance.

The department's Troy Martens says it's unfortunate that learners won't be going to school, but the department isn't giving up yet.

"Unfortunately at this stage it doesn't look like children are going back to school, which we are not giving up."

Martens said the minister appealed to the group to let the learners get back to school, but the group wasn't receptive.

The stalemate has also stalled the plans to move about 500 matrics to a more stable area to check ahead of their finals exams in October.

Last week, the Northern Cape Education Department said parents of matric pupils affected by extensive school closures in Kuruman were considering moving their children to a more stable area.

The department's Sydney Stander said their main priority was to get matriculants ready for their finals.