Friday, 18 January, 2019

Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke: Concerned parents remove children amid tensions at school

An image circulating on social media which shows black and white children seated at separate tables apparently at Laerskool Schweizer Reneke South Africa teacher suspended over class 'split by race'
Melinda Barton | 10 January, 2019, 18:13

However, while all the white parents were saying "dankie" (thank you), she noticed her child and three other black children were seated in the corner of the classroom while the white kids sat next to each other at a single large desk in the middle of the room.

TimesLIVE was told that the principal said she was not aware of the situation.

Soon after the incident went viral, the province's MEC for Education and Sport Development, Sello Lehari, condemned the connotations of racial segregation the controversial image suggested and vowed to pay the school a visit.

"This was meant to be an exciting day for me but it's not", said the parent.

A teacher in South Africa has been suspended "with immediate effect" after a photo emerged of her pupils sitting in racially separate groups.

He added: "We are suspending her [the teacher] because we want the investigation to be fair and free".

Some white parents have removed their children from the school following the outcry, depicting alleged racism at the school, eNCA has reported.

Race relations remain tense in South Africa 25 years after the end of white-minority apartheid rule, with fierce racism-related controversies erupting regularly on social media and in politics.

The class teacher shared the photograph on the school's WhatsApp group.

National Freedom Party spokesperson Sabelo Sigudu said government had failed to improve the quality of education in public schools, driving parents to take their children to private schools.

Curro Foundation School in Roodeplaat was found guilty of racism after a probe by the Gauteng education department.

"We are still very busy", he said.

You can take your kids to the whitest schools in the country but so long as the black majority is poor, your kids will always be reminded that they are black and therefore inferior.

The removal appears to be as a result of fears surrounding safety, amid protests gathering momentum outside the school which appear to be led by EFF members.