Continuing engagements with communities in Vuwani and surrounding areas are changing perceptions and garnering support for governmentâ€™s plans. Whilst communities have expressed their concerns with regards to demarcation, from village to village they have joined with government in calling for parents allow their children to go back to school.
Calls have also increased for educators to put the future of learners first and resume teaching. This change in mindset by the majority of communities, to allow their children to return to school, is a result of the persistence and determination of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) led by Minister Des van Rooyen.
As part of this back to school campaign, ministers from the IMC visited more than 20 schools. Ministers engaged principals, educators, school governing bodies, and learners, encouraging them to get behind their desks. Minister Muthambi visited a total of 20 schools, sharing messages of calm and calling for a return to normality, whilst simultaneously ensuring that learners are in class. Only a few schools showed poor attendance of both teachers and learners.
Emotions ran high as Minister Muthambi interacted with parents and learners at Kolokoshani High School. Parents pleaded with government to stabilise schooling in and around the Vhembe District Municipality. Learners applauded the IMC for bringing peace to the area.
â€œYour children have a right to education and we shouldnâ€™t stand in their way by blockading roads with stones. Their future is in our hands. These children have a right to good facilities, even if we as parents have grievances that need to be resolved. It is our responsibility to ensure the protection of children, as they are among the most vulnerable members of society,â€ said Minister Muthambi to stakeholders at Kolokoshani High School.
The government delegation, led by Minister Muthambi, also had a community engagement with the Tshimbupfe traditional leadership and communities. The meeting also emphasised the importance of ensuring that the situation goes back to normality and the lockdown is ended. Discussions with the community on these issues clearly demonstrated that there is progress and that Vuwani will return to tranquility.
The delivery of mobile classrooms is continuing. We hope that by Monday, 23 May, all the targeted 76 portable classrooms would have been delivered.
Police patrols and visible policing will also continue as part of the process to bring calm and stability to Vuwani and surrounding areas. Communities are urged to report any form of intimidation or actions that have the potential to endanger other community members.
Together we can educate our children and move South Africa forward!
Head of Communication (COGTA)
Mr Legadima Leso – 082 378 9495.