By Tauhierah Salie
The Bishop Lavis Action Community (BLAC) will be hosting another protest at Bergville Primary as the 2020 academic year kicks off on Wednesday morning.
Last year, the school was disrupted after teachers and parents protested, demanding action against overcrowding, lack of security and psycho-social services at disadvantaged schools. But this time, they are not shutting the school down because their demands, which also included more teachers and increased security, have not been met.
Instead, they are hoping to promote the moral values they feel every school should embody. Respect, care, conscientiousness and gratefulness are among these values.
“Staff, the school governing body and the wider body or parents and community members will be getting together tomorrow (Wednesday). The idea is to take ownership of the values that we believe should be driving our schools. Honesty. Integrity. Loyalty. Cleanliness,” said BLAC Spokesperson Abdul Karriem Matthews.
“But within the context that all of these values we espouse should be owned by the community. if the people who send their children to a school like Bergville, are living and practicing these values, we believe it will make a significant difference in the lives of our working-class children.”
“That’s what makes this different, its about ensuring that all forces that are interested in the education of our children, including the WCED (are a part of this),” said Matthews.
Commenting on the Western Cape Education departments claim that they have an ‘insufficient budget’ to tackle some of the issues facing public schools, Matthews stated that the way those in “power” views education is inaccurate.
“Rubbish. If the education is seen as an expense then of cause there will never be enough money. If it is seen as an investment; they would re-priorities the budget,” exclaimed Matthews.
“If one looks at the irregular expenditure by the state within any financial year, billions are stolen are from municipalities across the length and breadth of this country. The amount of money wasted is criminal! So, if their excuse is that there is ‘not enough money to ensure the quality of education’- its complete hogwash,” said Matthews.
In a statement, Bergville Primary principal, Aleem Abrahams, said it is important to creatively convey the value-driven approach:
“Our community needs to take ownership of our school. Every month, we will look at a different value. Our community is poor and many parents are also substance abusers which negatively impacts on our learners. Hence we also will be delivering a memorandum to our religious community leaders to assist us with instilling these values. Our parents of learners will also be given an envelope containing these demands in order for them to work with the school in terms of implementing it” he said.
The demonstration will take place at the primary school between 07h30- 08h30.
The programme includes a placard demonstration, speeches by the community and its leaders. A memorandum will also be handed over to the religious community to assist with instilling these values.
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