Put learners first, protesters told

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pretoria - The Western Cape Department of Education has called on everyone to put the rights of learners first after protesters who claimed to be parents disrupted learning at Ludwe Ngamlana Primary School.

The department said that on Monday morning two people locked the school's gates while a crowd of about 100 people gathered outside demanding that the acting school principal and the School Governing Body (SGB) step down.

Provincial MEC for Education Donald Grant said neither of the demands could be met as they would constitute a violation of the law.

"I have previously met with representatives of the SGB, parents, teachers and other stakeholders in the community, to explain that the SGB is legally constituted and that in terms of both national and provincial legislation, its term of office will only expire in April 2011, which coincides with the end of its three-year term," Grant said.

"I call on all affected parties to put the rights of learners first and to respect the rule of law," he said.

Grant said a number of allegations had been made against the SGB, however, an investigation conducted by the department had proven them to be without substance.

The District Director for Metro East, Melvyn Caroline and Deputy Director General for Institutional Development and Co-ordination, John Lyners met with the protestors to listen to their demands and explain to them the legal situation concerning the SGB.

Grant said, with the help of the South African Police Services, they would ensure that learning takes place without any interference.