A Cape Town mother is outraged by a Goodwood school’s decision not to allow Muslim boys to return to class after Jumuah prayers on a Friday, accusing the school of unfair treatment. Hamida Akleker, whose son attends Fairburn Colleges, says he son is missing out on Maths, English and Afrikaans during the Friday prayers, yet the school refuses to accommodate learners. the school closes at 2.30pm on Fridays.
While the principal was not prepared to comment, VOC News contacted the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), who confirmed they had discussed the matter with the school. The school has said that learners who leave for the obligatory Friday salah will cause a disturbance if they return to class. Those who return would have to sign back into the school and go back to a class that is already half way through its session.
“The only option left available is to request that the school allows an alim to come to school and offer the Friday Jumuah prayers. In this way the learners do not need to leave school, will be less disruptive and the learners can return to class after prayers. This is done at most schools,” said Akleker.
Due to the fact that her cries have fallen on deaf ears, she along with other parents have now opted to take another route by becoming a part of the school’s governing body. She has also sought assistance from the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) in this regard.
“The governing body is up for election on the 17th of March 2015 and one of the sheikhs affiliated to the MJC, Ebrahim Toffar called a meeting and in that meeting, three parents were nominated from the Goodwood area and from the school to stand for election,” said Akleker.
From the various schools Akleker said that Toffar will schedule a meeting to encourage the parents to become more involved in the nomination process of the governing body.
She believes that this will yield success as the parents nominated will have a say in the running of the school in particular the matter at hand.
“We are planning to get more Muslim parents on the board of the governing body so that issues like this can be raised and it can be sorted out,” Akleker said.
She hopes that when Muslim parents have grievances, it will be addressed by parents who understand the magnitude of the problem.
Akleker said she cannot fathom the fact that this is such an issue with the school. The school governing body has a 100% say in the running of the school and in that way parents of learners, who attend Jumuah prayers on a Friday, will be able to raise the issue and a solution could be sought.
“For now this is our plan and we hope that it works, if that does not work we will have to find other means to work around the matter, but we hope that this will work,” said Akleker.VOC (Imogen Vollenhoven)