File photo of pupils of the Iqhayiya High School in Khayelitsha marching to the Western Cape Department of Education. (Liza Kettil, GroundUp)
Cape Town – Pupil protests continued at the iQhayiya High School in Khayelitsha this week, despite efforts to resolve their grievances, GroundUp reports.
GroundUp on Thursday found teachers and pupils standing outside classes and four SAPS vans and two Metro police cars at the school.
A group of pupils stood across the road. Teachers called them “troublemakers”. Stun grenades were fired when the protesting pupils tried to enter the school grounds.
A parent said some children had pulled others out of classes. Some parents came to collect their children when they heard about the trouble.
The school principal and a Western Cape Department of Education official, who would not give his name, refused to speak to reporters.
On Friday, GroundUp spoke on the phone to pupils, who said they had been turned away from class.
One said they were told to take off the Congress of SA Students T-shirts they were wearing under their school shirts. They want the principal removed and claim funds are being misused.
The unhappiness has a long history.
GroundUp reported on the iQhayiya pupils’ protest outside the department in November 2015. They complained about the principal and raised questions over R2m in allegedly unaccounted-for funds.
Earlier that month, pupils complained about the principal and the use of corporal punishment at the school.
Department spokesperson Millicent Merton said pupils had raised a number of issues that had already been dealt with.
“Our district office will continue to engage with the school to address their concerns.”
It was resolved at a meeting on Wednesday night that all affected parties would ensure stability at the school. Despite this, protests continued. The pupils said they were not included in the meeting.
“We went to the department last year to plead with officials to take this seriously, but they have failed us. They have not done anything till today about our complaints,” a pupil said