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Protests mar first day of school for Malmesbury learners

Protesters demanded that the Western Cape Education Department expand and upgrade Naphakade Primary School.

A group of parents gather in front of the Bergville Primary School in Bishop Lavis on 9 January 2019. They’re upset about a lack of educators, among other grievances. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A group of protesters disrupted three schools in Malmesbury on Wednesday.

The protest took place at Ilingelethu Senior Secondary School, St Thomas Primary School and Naphakade Primary School.

Protesters demanded that the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) expand and upgrade Naphakade Primary School.

WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond says it will meet with community leaders on Wednesday evening to discuss the infrastructure problems and possible timeframes to amend this.

“We ask the community to respect the teaching hours of the school, so that we can deliver education to the learners. We’re prepared to engage, but any disruptions to the school are not acceptable as it’s the learners who suffer the most.”

Meanwhile, a Bishop Lavis community has handed over a memorandum of grievances to the Western Cape Education Department citing issues of overcrowding and staff shortages.

Parents, teachers and community activists gathered at the entrance of Bergville Primary School on Wednesday morning.

Principal Aleem Abrahams admitted there are challenges.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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