The South Africa Human Rights Commission learnt that efforts to resuscitate academic activities in Vuwani, Limpopo ended in smoke.
With this ugly development, the future of over 41,000 learners in the area are on the verge of going bleak.
Acting head of the Limpopo Department of Education‚ Beauty Mutheiwane‚ who made this known to the aforementioned commission confessed that the number of schools torched and the crisis that rocked the area has really grown beyond the assistance of the department.
“The future does not look good. This is my own assessment. The future does not look good in a sense that we have learners who want to go back to school and there are parents who are saying if this decision (of the demarcation board) is not changed our children will not go back,” Mutheiwane disclosed.
She said the department can do all it can to provide mobile schools‚ try and get all resources “but if the parents are not bringing their children back to our institutions it is going to be very difficult.”
Mutheiwane reiterated that the department’s responsibility is to care of the children whenever their parents bring them to school and not to force parents to pull their kids to school.
In response, Chairperson of the human right commission, Lindiwe Mokate expressed fear that there are no signs that pupils are willing to return to school for continuation of teaching and learning in the area.
“Unfortunately we are at a stalemate point; it does not look like there is a breakthrough of any kind at this point‚” said Mokate.
About twenty-four schools were vandalized by residents during demarcation protests in Vuwani. During a hearing into the case earlier, the Education Department alleged issues in Vuwani were political and needed to be resolved by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department.
Vuwani Learners Intimidated
Following the incidence, it was found that those took their children to schools outside Vuwani were intimidated. On the other hand, the receiving schools expressed fears that if it could be known that they have accommodated learners from Vuwani they could also be targeted.
Meanwhile, the police say they have learnt lessons from Vuwani demarcation protests after they were heavily criticized for not having intelligence on ground.