Learning resumes in classroom shacks built from dilapidated Dibeng Primary School
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Pretoria - The Limpopo Department of Education has allegedly opened a case against the Dibeng village community leaders who made a decision to dismantle a dilapidated school to build makeshift classes for classrooms.
This is according to one of the community members and chairperson of Bakone-Matlala Development Forum, Kenneth Ramotshela.
He accused the department of targeting it’s leaders to intimidate them.
He claimed case number 157/07/2021 was opened but Limpopo police spokesperson Motlafela Mojapelo could not agree nor deny a case had been opened.
Pretoria News recently reported that parents had resorted to dismantling the dilapidated Dibeng Primary School to use the material for building shacks to use as classrooms after being promised a new school.
The matter shines the light on the plight of a community that felt ignored by the department and that they had no other choice but to build shacks despite the department approving a plan to relocate children to the nearby Phuthi Seopa Secondary School which has been abandoned.
Ramotshela said: “A gang of police officers knocked on the doors of the community leaders, taking statements in an effort to intimidate them after they defied the department and dismantled a dilapidated school.
“The police came to our houses yesterday because they wanted to take statements for all leaders and a case has been opened by those individuals. This surprises us because the community is the one that took the dicision to demolish the school and build the children shacks so that learning resumes.”
Provincial departmental spokesperson Tidamalo Chuene said while the situation was concerning those that disrupt learning might feel the full might of the law.
She said: “We remain concerned about the situation at Dibeng Primary School. The matter is being attended to by the Office of the Head Of Department (Onicca Dederen) following delays in reaching an agreement on the relocation of the school to Phuti Seopa Secondary School buildings and subsequent damage to property at Dibeng by some community members.
“Our priority at the moment is to get learners back in class. Schools have a lot of catching up to do after disruptions caused by Covid-19 restrictions .
“Any other disruption is definitely not in the best interest of our learners. It is important to indicate to parents and all members of our school communities that Section 3 of the South African Schools Act is clear on the fact that any person who, without just cause, prevents a learner who is subject to compulsory attendance from attending a school, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six month.”