NW Education Dept accused of ignoring SGB's pleas to fix Tirelong Secondary

School governing body chairperson Nkhanedzeni Mungomeni has accused the North West Education Department of making empty promises for three years to build a new school after the deterioration of Tirelong Secondary School and yet not a single brick has been laid.

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 school governing body at Tirelong Secondary in the North West has accused the Education Department of refusing to listen to its desperate pleas to fix the dilapidated school building.

On Thursday morning, the department revealed that it was investigating reports that 162 pupils were abducted on Tuesday night from the Boons Mega Farm School hostel by a mob of drunk people pretending to be parents.

The department said that it had received calls from concerned parents who'd confirmed that most of the children were taken home by the alleged perpetrators but officials said that it was not yet clear if everyone made it home safely.

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This is not the only bizarre incident that the North West Education Department is looking into.

It said that 54 pupils were allegedly kidnapped from the Naauwpoort Mega Farm School, also in that province, in recent days.

School governing body chairperson Nkhanedzeni Mungomeni has accused the North West Education Department of making empty promises for three years to build a new school after the deterioration of Tirelong Secondary School and yet not a single brick has been laid.

Mungomeni said that last week Monday, the parents were called to a meeting where they were informed that children would be sent to alternative schools. They were assured that their boys and girls would be safer and the buildings would be ready to accommodate them for this academic year.

Parents were not happy with this assurance and were clear that they were demanding a new school.

However, Mungomeni could neither confirm nor deny if parents were behind the plot.

"The parents felt that their kids were not safe that's why they picketed," he said.

The North West Education Department's Elias Malindi said that some of the parents had made contact to say that their kidnapped children arrived home and asked for transport to be arranged to take them back to school.

"It became a community thing. These criminals, they are not working alone," Malindi said.

The department is still investigating as it can't yet account for all 162 pupils who left the Boons Mega Farm School on Tuesday in two vehicles - a truck and a bakkie - which was allegedly driven by a drunk mob who could not prove that they were parents.