Learners at KZN special schools return to class after boycott

Provincial education department has promised to provide ten buses

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Learners from Khulangolwazi Special School and others across the province returned to classrooms on Monday after a nearly two-month boycott. Photo: Manqulo Nyakombi

Learners from Special Schools in KwaZulu-Natal have returned to classrooms on Monday. This follows a nearly two-month boycott by parents and learners who accused the provincial Department of Education and Dube-Ncube of neglecting the needs of learners with disabilities.

Since 1 March parents have been demanding more teachers, buses, kitchen staff, guards, and clean hostels among other things.

Last week, more than 300 learners marched to KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube’s offices in Pietermaritzburg, demanding her intervention. Learners were accompanied by parents and some teachers.

On Thursday, the KZN Department of Education announced on Twitter that it would provide ten new buses for special schools. It added that R10-million has also been set aside to fill the post for support staff such as bus drivers, hostel mothers and cleaners.

The South African National Association for Special Education (SANASE) Deputy Chairperson, Khetha Khumalo, said they met with the Director General in the office of Premier, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, on Friday.

“For years we have been communicating with the department with no luck. We even went to the premier’s office with no help until last Wednesday when our children were there,” said Khumalo.

He said in the past when they raised their grievances, the department would tell them there’s no money. “But we are happy that they have finally committed to assisting the needs of our children,” he said.

According to Khumalo the department has promised to fill 356 posts and renovate about 15 hostels. He said even though the buses and post won’t be enough, these are better than nothing for now.

TOPICS:  Disability Rights Education

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