Following a bumpy three days start to the school year, an NGO offering life coaching at Hoërskool Overvaal has encouraged parents to allow their children to go to school despite three consecutive days of sometimes violent protests, Eyewitness News (EWN) reported on Friday 19 January.
According to EWN, demonstrators have been calling for an end to the school’s Afrikaans-only language policy.
Some parents have opted to keep their children away from school as protests over language policy and transformation continue there.
The school’s life coach Pierre Ronquest was quoted by EWN, “We’re motivating the parents as far as we can.
“We’ve sending SMSes every day, we’re calling the parents that aren’t bringing their children to school to motivate them to bring the kids back.”
Parents and some community members have been gathering here at the school since earlier this morning.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Vaal region has condemned the incident of assault that has reportedly erupted between a parent and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) protesters at the Overvaal High School in Vereeniging.
Regional Chairperson and the Executive Mayor of Midvaal, Bongani Baloyi has urged parents to refrain from antagonising demonstrators and that those demonstrators exercise restraint in expressing their views.
Baloyi said in a statement, “The tensions follow a verdict that was delivered by Judge Prinsloo of the Pretoria High Court on Monday.
“The verdict blocked the Gauteng Education Department from forcibly enrolling 55 English pupils at the school where Afrikaans is the medium of instruction.
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“Judge Prinsloo determined that the department didn’t adequately assess the school’s capacity to accommodate learners before seeking to overrule its language policy.”
Baloyi further called on the department to engage with the school in order to find common ground.
He said, “If the school has capacity to accommodate the learners, the department must commit the necessary resources and learners must be placed.
“Integration at schools is important and it should be planned in a manner that does not compromise learning. Where schools are requested to accommodate learners, those schools must be capacitated to do so.”