Frustrated parents in Pretoria lash out at Gauteng Department of Education over placements

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Frustrated parents whose children failed to be placed at Laerskool Danie Malan in Pretoria north, have lashed out at the Gauteng Department of Education. They say it failed to accommodate their children in the area where they live. A small group of parents embarked on a protest outside the school on Tuesday citing racism. They say the alternative schools are too far away for their children to travel.

Tensions rose again outside Laerskool Danie Malan, as parents voiced anger over the non-placement of their children. They are adamant the school’s management is racist, claiming they prioritise Afrikaans over other indigenous languages.

They say it’s unacceptable that their children will now be forced to travel long distances to school, while they live just a few metres away from Danie Malan.

Angry parents in Pretoria clash with Gauteng Education’s Steve Mabona:

A parent, who chose to remain anonymous, says she refuses to enrol her child in a school that isn’t close to where she lives.

“My child is six-years-old and I applied like everybody else when the system opened and I am one of the parents who didn’t get placed in any of the schools and we get placed far, way far from our homes. And then the government tells us that they will provide transport for our kids and then we are like the reason why you gave us the platform to choose a school that we want is because that school is within our homes and it works for us. Now you don’t give us space and you throw our kids far from our home which creates a challenge for us. So I am not happy and I want to be placed here in the north because I applied for space here in the north.”

Another aggrieved parent, Obakeng Moeti, says it’s unacceptable that the Gauteng Education Department is doing so little to assist. He says government needs to intervene and ensure their grievances are addressed.

“It is a racist school and the way forward for us and what we are asking for is for government to intervene and the district must do their job not to give white schools privileges. They must make their own decision as to who to take in their schools because mostly they are only taking white kids so we are always behind with placements.”

Plans under way for unplaced learners

The Gauteng Department of Education assured parents of grade 1 learners who are unplaced, that plans are under way to accommodate them at other schools in the area. Spokesperson, Steve Mabona explains:

“In this area we have made more inroads, we are bringing more mobile units and we are making sure that schools continue with their self built process so we will place them. But we need to understand that it will be in alternative spaces and it might not be here in this school but we will place them in alternate spaces.”

In a statement, the school says the allegations made by the disgruntled parents are baseless and vindictive. It says that for the past three years it has been engaging with the department to ensure they enrol as many learners as the school can accommodate.

Parents still awaiting placement for their children at Laerskool Danie Malan: