Safiyia Stanfley, MPL
DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education
The DA welcomes the fact that the provincial department of Education has instructed educators in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district to report to school. Hopefully, the return of the educators will be followed by the return of our students.
We trust that the department has also ensured that the necessary precautions and safety measures are in place to ensure the security of teachers. Reports received indicate that intimidation and fear of violence is still high in the area. We cannot risk the safety of our educators. During recent oversight visits from the Legislature to the area, we were told that it was too dangerous for us to visit the schools. Perhaps the time has come to deploy the army in the area to ensure that both children and teachers get to school safely.
It cannot be emphasised enough that the children must return to school immediately. The situation has turned into a stalemate where nobody wins and our children suffer for it. It is unthinkable that protests about a road has shut down education services in an entire region – not just once, but twice in the past two years. Those who are responsible for this state of affairs, including the provincial executive who sat back and watched complacently, needs to be held accountable.