There are threats of a possible disruption of schooling as members of the Congress of South African Students organization (Cosas) call for a national shutdown on Friday.
Cosas members, comprising mainly of school learners, are planning to march to the Union Buildings and the Basic Education Department offices in Pretoria where they are expected to hand over memorandums.
Cosas says there are serious challenges of school infrastructure in the country, including a shortage of classes and ablution facilities.
Cosas president John Macheke says a lack of security in schools is also a serious problem.
“We need cameras in our schools. Our computers are being stolen. So we need security, CCTV to monitor. The issue of corporal punishment in our schools, the issue of rape of learners is part of security. So we need proper security in our schools so our learners can be safe in different schools.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Basic Education says police will be called to intervene if learners and teachers are prevented from reporting to school today.
Basic Education spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga explains, “All issues that COSAS has raised will have to be dealt with by the relevant authorities. If they cause disruptions we will ask the police to help us because the law is very clear that no one should prevent learners and teachers from going to school. The Schools Act makes that point very clear. We just want our learners to be in school and go there without fear. We have days that are for learning and teaching and we don’t want to lose any of those days because there is a struggle when it comes to curriculum coverage. So any deliberate attempts to disrupt learning and teaching will be viewed in a very serious light.”