Religious, teacher, learner bodies and others stakeholders take practical steps to restore sanity in Vuwani

Louis Trichardt 8th May 2016 – The Vhembe Pastors Forum took a decision to preach a common sermon this Sunday, denouncing the destruction and looting of school property and the disruption of schooling in Vuwani.

The decision was taken during a crisis meeting held in Louis Trichardt by the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), SADTU, Professional Teachers Union (PEU), Combined Teacher Unions (CUT), Autonomous Teacher Unions (ATU) National Association of School Governing Bodies, COSAS and the Vhembe Pastors Forum to restore, protect and promote learning and teaching in Vuwani.

“We denounce the destruction and looting of school property and the disruption of schooling.  If we do not act history will judge us harshly,” said forum spokesperson Rev/Dean Alunamutwe Rannditsheni.
Lamenting the diabolical situation, Khulekani Skosana of COSAS said, “every time there are service delivery protests in the country, parents and adults turn learners into collateral damage when they prevent them from attending classes.” This is always the case where grievances in question are unrelated to schooling and education but end up negatively impacting the leaners. Skosana further said “Our constituency is under siege. The burning of schools is tantamount to destroying our future.”

Over the next few days the collective will be in discussion with the government to explore ways in which the lost school days can be recouped. Part of the proposed solutions will entail organising study camps which, with guaranteed state security will secure the safety of learners, and making use of church facilities and underutilised government facilities to continue teaching the children.

SADTU’s provincial secretary, Mathome Raphasha said; “We are ready to go back to the classroom and ensure that children recoup the number of school days they have lost once safety and normalcy have been restored to the area, we will go an extra mile.” Teacher unions; PEU, CUT and ATU are also fully behind the call to go back to the classroom to claw back the lost school days.

Similarly the collective resolved that parents must release their children to continue preparing their future. “Parents must not hinder learning and teaching,” the collective explained. 
Closing the meeting NECT CEO, Godwin Khosa, said; “Parents, teachers, learners, traditional and religious leaders should stand up for the restoration of learning and teaching, and the safety of the leaners.”
As part of its campaign to restore and promote learning and teaching, the collective decided to popularise #TheBurningofSchoolsMustFall.

Church leaders in the area have also organised a Prayer Meeting to be held on the 11th of May at Levubu Lower Laer Skool at 10:00.

Ends- 

Issued on behalf of: NECT, Vhembe Pastors Forum, SADTU, PEU, CUT, ATU, National Association of School Governing Bodies and COSAS

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