NW education dept condemns forceful removal of pupils from school by parents

The department’s Elias Malindi said a group of community members arrived in at least seven vehicles on Sunday and forcefully removed more than 50 pupils from Naawpoort Mega School.

FILE: Tirelong Secondary has been vandalised at least five times, with the most recent incident seeing the school robbed of electric cables, taps, roofing, books, window frames and doors. Picture: Masechaba Sefularo/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The North West Education Department has condemned the forceful removal of grade 12 pupils from Tirelong Secondary School, who have been accommodated at Naawpoort Mega Farm School after their classrooms were vandalised last month.

Community members in Kroondal, near Rustenburg, protested last week after the department relocated pupils as a temporary solution.

Tirelong Secondary has been ransacked more than five times since March 2020, with the latest attack leaving some classrooms without roofs, doors, window frames, and electric cabling.

The department’s Elias Malindi said a group of community members arrived in at least seven vehicles on Sunday and forcefully removed more than 50 pupils from Naawpoort Mega School.

“It is reported that on Sunday, 16 January 2022, community members came to the school at 9 pm in four Quantums, one truck, and two motor cars to forcefully collect their children. It is alleged the group overpowered the security guards at the gate,” Malindi said.

The community previously protested against the relocation of pupils to nearby farm schools, demanding that mobile classrooms be placed closer to their homes instead.

Malindi said only 18 pupils stayed behind.

“We are really concerned to see adults gambling with the future of learners. Almost 56 out 74 learners have been taken away from the school.”

Parents said they would not back down from their demands, while Education MEC Maphefo Matsemela has accused them of violating the children’s right to education.