South Africa:

Photo: Facebook / Laerskool Theresapark

Outcry at Pretoria school – after Afrikaans children ‘moved to storeroom’

A huge discrimination row has erupted at Laerskool Theresapark in Pretoria, after Afrikaans students complained about their treatment.

South Africa:

Photo: Facebook / Laerskool Theresapark

Laerskool Theresapark has found itself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons once more, after the educational facility in Pretoria was accused of discriminating against Afrikaans-speaking children.

Afrikaans students, parents accuse school of discrimination

Last year, the principal of the school was forcibly thrown out of her office, for allegedly plunging the centre into financial difficulties. Well, if parents were gatvol back then, some of them will be apoplectic at this point.

A minority of Afrikaans-speaking students say they their classes now take place in ‘storerooms’, rather than proper classrooms. The accusation has sparked a fierce backlash within the community, with parents and family members marching to Laerskool Theresapark on Friday morning in protest.

  • Afrikaner youth movement, Bittereinders, registered their grievances via this video posted on Facebook:

Laerskool Theresapark back in the news…

Gauteng Education Spokesperson Steve Mabona has sought to ease tensions amongst the affected parties, and responded to the allegations on Friday. He does not deny that smaller classes may have been taught in non-conventional spaces, but insists that the ‘repurposing of rooms’ is not based on any form of discrimination.

“We have learners there who are still taught in Afrikaans but the numbers are low. Old rooms on the school’s premises [have been repurposed] – you can convert a store room, or you can also take what used to be a gym or any other room and convert it into an environment that will be conducive for teaching and learning.”

“That is what is being happening at that school. They felt the rooms that were utilised for other things they can be changed. Because you can’t have a class of seven people. When there are fewer learners to a class, space gets repurposed.”

Steve Mabona

Afrikaans community enraged by Pretoria school policies

For enraged parents and civil rights groups, however, this response won’t cut the mustard. The Bittereinders have posted again on the subject this week, and they have vowed to ensure children are protected from ‘hateful policies’

“Let’s be an example of how we show this school that we will not bow to racist and hateful governing bodies and schools. We will not allow our children, and our people, to be treated that way. Stand together now and stop this trend, your children’s school may be next.”

Bittereinders on Facebook