While pupils across the Eastern Cape took up their books for the new school year, pupils at Aeroville Senior Secondary, Somerset East, were locked out on their first day back.
Angry parents locked the school’s gates before the day even started yesterday, refusing to let teaching proceed until the Education Department had addressed the school’s atrocious state.
An upset Regina Jansen said the classrooms lacked windows, the toilets were unusable and even the school hall was in a bad state.
She refuses to let her Grade 11 son Luciano attend class until conditions have improved.
“This is an important year for my son as he goes into matric next year.
“How can he concentrate in a classroom without windows, or where the toilets do not work?” Jansen asked.
Her anger was echoed by mother Jacky Jordaan, whose Grade 9 daughter Shatigha also missed her first day.
“Aeroville was [a] top school in the area, but in the past few years things have been going downhill.
“We have to stand together. We will be at the school gates every morning until someone in authority helps our school.”
Jansen and Jordaan also pointed fingers at principal Zolile Cafu, saying the school had deteriorated rapidly after his appointment a few years ago.
Staff at the school agreed with the parents.
Cafu could not be reached for comment.
– Riaan Marais