No room at bursting schools for new arrival in Bay

HOME ALONE:  James Parker -
HOME ALONE: James Parker –

WHILE many other children his age have been learning and making new friends in Grade 1, school remains just a dream for one Port Elizabeth boy.

James Parker, 7, of Mount Pleasant, has not set foot in a classroom this year and is in a race against time as he has already lost a considerable amount of school time.

“I want to know when am I going to start at a proper school? When am I going to wear the uniform? I do not know why the school in our area does not want to admit me. I just want to play cricket and rugby,” he said.

James’s mother, Aret van Schalkwyk, has been battling since she arrived in Port Elizabeth two months ago to find a school for her son. She has been turned away from at least three schools – Charlo, Mount Pleasant and Walmer West – in the area.

Van Schalkwyk, 45, moved to the city from Mpumalanga after being appointed as a quality assurance specialist for R&S Consulting.

“He [James] is depressed by all this. He is not only missing his dad, but schooling. He always asks, ‘Mom, when am I going to school? How many nights before I get into the classroom?’,” she said.

-Hendrick Mphande 

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