Parents threaten to shut down schools over enrollment controversy

Residents in Pefferville are threatening to “shut the gates” of local schools over what they allege is unfair exclusion of their children.

Concerned parents, led by community leader Schalk van der Sandt, met outside Jaws Supermarket on Windyridge Road on Monday to air their grievances.

One of the main complaints was that local schools were taking in students from outside the community, leaving local parents with the hard choice of either not sending their children to school or paying heavy transport costs to send them elsewhere.

“What we have a problem with is [when] your child stays across the road from the school, but then they tell you they don’t have space for the child,” van der Sandt said.

Schools were also accused of accepting bribes in return for enrolling students.

The GO! & Express reached out to the schools named at the meeting, but at the time of going to print, none had responded.

As the meeting went on, a book was circulated among the attendees who wrote down the names of their children as well as the name of the school they wished to be enrolled at.

“Most of the kids here don’t have a school for this year because the parents can’t afford taxi fare and lunch. Why must the people that live in this area not go to the schools here?” said van der Sandt.

He said he would go to all the schools with the book and demand that the children be accepted.

“We’re going to give the education department two days [to enroll the children]. After that, if they don’t want to listen to us, we’re going to close the schools in our area,” he said.

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