PE parents to continue shutdown of schools

Parents are demanding that the EC Education Dept hire new teachers and address overcrowding.

FILE: Protesting parents have for the past three weeks kept their children out of school. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Some parents in Port Elizabeth's northern areas are expected to continue a shutdown of more than 50 schools in the metro.

A group of disgruntled residents yesterday blocked several roads to schools.

They are demanding that the Eastern Cape Education Department hire new teachers to make up for shortages and address overcrowding.

This week, Education MEC Mandla Makupula announced plans to appoint 53 new teachers.

The Northern Areas Education Forum's Richard Draai said, "The parents still have this mistrust in what we're busy with. We're negotiating with the premier's task team and we're trying resolve the issues but they have not got time. They want things to be resolved immediately and you know with government processes there is red tape."

Draai said parents made their concerns clear.

"They said the department must deliver on their demands and nothing else. If their demands are not met, they will get their children out. The atmosphere was very volatile and not really good as we're were addressing the future of our children."