Riverside High School takes in 55 pupils not admitted to Hoërskool Overvaal
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has found an alternative school to place 55 English-speaking learners denied admission to Hoërskool Overvaal.
The 55 learners have been allowed to attend Riverside High School‚ just more than 15km from Hoërskool Overvaal.
"We had a long meeting with the leadership of the parents ... and they insisted that we place the kids in one area while we are dealing with the challenges of the law and‚ after persuading each other‚ we agreed to locate all those children in this particular school‚" said Lesufi.
The MEC said he had appealed to the school principal to ensure the 55 pupils are not intimidated by other learners because of the Hoërskool Overvaal debacle‚ adding that they should be integrated into existing classrooms and not have a separate classroom, as this would divide the students.
Riverside High School principal Evald Makgwatha said he welcomed the pupils with open hands.
"When this emergency arose‚ we looked at the space we have and we started receiving parents this morning and their kids and‚ as you rightfully put it MEC‚ we did not want them to be viewed as if they are different. We all understand the background of the story so we integrated them into the classes‚" said Makgwatha.
"As it is‚ they are already in the classes and whatever education that is going on they are also receiving it because we didn’t want them to be behind. So that is the assurance we can give."
Makgwatha assured parents and Lesufi that, for as long as the court case was still under way‚ the 55 learners would receive quality education. According to Lesufi‚ Riverside High School received a 90% pass rate for the 2017 academic year.
Lesufi said he would appeal the judgment made by Judge Bill Prinsloo that the 55 English-speaking learners cannot be admitted at Hoërskool Overvaal due to capacity constraints.
Parents of the pupils who were denied access had threatened to shut it down when it re-opened on Wednesday.