Khayelitsha students protest about school hair rules

iQhayiya High School students march in Cape Town

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Photo of students protesting
Students from iQhayiya HIgh School in Khayelitsha protested about school hair rules outside the Western Cape Education Department today. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

About 70 students from iQhayiya High School in Khayelitsha learners protested outside the Western Cape Department of Education today demanding the right to wear their hair as they liked.

The students also demanded an end to the payment of financial contributions to the school.

A grade 11 pupil told GroundUp that the department had not resolved grievances raised last year, when about 150 students marched to the department.

Students also want “freedom of expression”. A grade 10 pupil told GroundUp that the principal only allows “natural” and plaits and braids are not permitted.

Students handed over a petition to Chief Director Clifton Frolick. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

Chief Director Clifton Frolick accepted the petition and promised to visit the school tomorrow to investigate.

Rules about hair styles have been at the centre of protests elsewhere in the country with students at Pretoria High School and Sans Souci High School in Cape Town protesting earlier this month.

IQhayiya Secondary School principal Ayanda Mvaba declined to talk to GroundUp, referring questions to the department of education.

Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Shafer, said students had raised concerns about the school code of conduct and complained that they were not allowed certain hair styles.

“Students also raised concerns about a contribution fee parents had agreed to at a parents’ meeting,” she said.

This is the third protest at the Western Cape Education Department in a week. On 7 September students from Joe Slovo High School handed over a list of grievances to the department, including complaints about the imposition of fines, and on 9 September students from Joe Slovo and Bulumko HIgh School protested about gangsterism at school. 

TOPICS:  Education

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