E Cape parents lament govt school closures causing children to attend distant schools

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Parents of Phakamisa Village outside Komani in the Eastern Cape have lambasted the Eastern Cape government for risking the lives of their children.

They say government closed a nearby school in June 2021 and their children were taken to a school that is far without any provision of scholar transport.

The parents say have been pleading with both Education and Transport departments but their plight is falling on deaf ears.

Learners have to wake up early as they have to walk a long distance, in order to avoid missing out on some classes.

The scholars arrive at school tired and miss school on rainy days.

One learner, Sive Miti says, “We miss some lessons at school because we always get at school late and we getting in so much trouble because teachers they don’t understand how long we travel to get to school, they don’t understand our pain, what we going through to get to school.”

Another learner, Buhle Matwele says, “I have to leave home early, and I miss out on some of the morning lessons because the distance is long and its risky especially for a girl child like me.”

Some parents use private transportation to take their children to and from school.

Nosakhele Tyiwa, who is a parent, says,” Government needs to come up with a solution on this, we are forced to reduce the money we spend on grocery, so that we can pay for scholar transport, if we don’t pay our children will not go to school we need a swift response from government.”

Another parent, Nophahamile Masoldane says, “Government took our children to a far school without providing transport, they must must reopen our school if they can’t provide scholar transport for our children, they must bring it back and teachers.”

The Provincial Department of Transport says it is working on a long term solution for this problem.

Transport Department Spokesperson, Unathi Binqose says, “This is one of the schools that have been closed at a very short notice and we are now in talks with our colleagues with the department of education to swiftly find a way for those learners who are in need for scholar transport.”

Learners are hoping that both the department of education and transport will come up with a solid plan to end the two years of travelling long distances to access education.