Marches planned against S Cape school closures

The ANC in the Southern Cape has planned a series of marches in the region in protest against the Western Cape Education Department (WCED)’s proposal to close 27 schools in the province.

Eleven of the schools are in the Southern Cape and the Little Karoo.

ANC regional secretary Putco Mapitiza says they will meet with South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) and communities soon to garner support for a mass march in George next week.

“We started with one in Knysna today. It’s a march from the community of Brackenfell together with all the surrounding communities into the municipality. And we have a series of them in the region in Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Riversdale, and ultimately that will culminate into a regional march into the district offices of the Department of Education.”

Earlier this year, the WCED notified 27 schools that they may face closure by the end of 2012.

Equal Education (EE), a community members’ movement working for quality and equality in South African education, argued that while in some cases school closures may be legitimate and necessary, school closures should not be viewed as a reformative mechanism.

ANC regional secretary, Putco Mapitiza says they will meet with SADTU and communities soon to garner support for a mass march in George next week.

EE has been in contact with all of the 27 schools and gathered information about their unique situations.

According to the movement, while in some cases closure may be in the best interest of the learners, many school closures will have a negative effect on learners’ right to a  basic education.

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