eMbalenhle learners abandon class because there was no food

eMBALENHLE – Learners from Roodebank Combined School refused to attend class on Wednesday, 6 September because they were told no food was cooked for them.

Motorists were concerned when they saw young children wearing school uniforms, some as young as six years old, walking more than 10 kilometres to return home at about 9am.

Some had to sound their car hooters because the learners were walking in the road.

The Ridge Times went to the school to find out why the learners were released early without transport.

The newspaper also talked with learners and when asked why they were walking home and were not using transport, they said: “The teachers released us early, but we do not know why.”

Learners however changed their story when the journalist said she was going to find out from the teachers.

“We are going home early because they did not cook food for us,” said some of the learners, who were joined by others who confirmed their reason for going home.

Teachers said the learners did not go into their classes and decided to return home after a learner informed the others that there was no food for them.

Scholar transport problems

One of the teachers added that the confusion is being caused by scholar transport problems.

“We have to first see whether the children arrive at school before we can begin to cook, because we will waste food if they do not arrive.”

The school has been experiencing scholar transport problems for years and some learners often only attend school two or three days a week.

Parents said local operators prevented the operator appointed by the Mpumalanga Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport from transporting learners to school this week.

The previous operator was from Kwaggafontein and parents complained about the safety of their children as the buses did not have brakes and were also not in good conditions.

The Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport replaced the Kwagga operator with Mpumalanga Scholar Transport, but local operators refuse to let them operate in the area.

They demand to be given first priority to transport learners.

The spokesman for the Mpumalanga Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport was contacted for comment, but was in a meeting and promised to give comment soon.



Levhuwani Matumba

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