Pupils in rural areas, EL stranded in transport impasse

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East London schools that depend on government-funded scholar transport found themselves in a fix yesterday as thousands of pupils could not make it to school.

Mbulelo Primary School in Scenery Park is one of the many schools affected by the scholar transport strike,school activities were disturbed . PICTURE: SIBONGILE NGALWA

The Dispatch reported yesterday that scholar transport operators decided to stop ferrying school pupils because they had not been paid.

A total of 77237 pupils depend on the transport.

At Mbulelo Primary in Scenery Park, 165 pupils did not show up.

Chairman of the school governing body Siyabonga Gastile said they were not prepared for the blow.

“I am surprised by this. We didn’t know anything about this strike.

“I left my own kids early in the morning, thinking that they would be picked up as always, but if no transport came, it means that they went back home.”

In Reeston, Nkangalelo Primary School and neighbouring Chumani Junior Primary were unable to carry out school activities because most of their pupils did not arrive.

Nceba Ngauzele, principal of Nkangalelo, said: “School activities have been interrupted. Pupils were meant to write their formal assessment tasks, but they couldn’t go on because more than 50% of our learners are not here.”

Chumani’s principal, Nosipho Maholwana said more than 90% of her pupils had not shown up.

“Only those who walk to school were present because our school is far [from most pupils’ homes].

“Exams are coming up soon, and our schedule was disturbed.

“We hope that things will go back to normal as soon as possible.”

Taxi associations were scheduled to meet premier Phumulo Masualle in Bhisho yesterday afternoon to find a way forward. Border Alliance Taxi Association president Vuyani Mshiywa said he hoped a resolution would be reached soon. “We do not wish to continue this way. Our aim is to come up with an amicable solution.”

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