Friday, 22 March, 2019

[LISTEN] Parent horrified at alleged racism at NW 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'
Ellis Copeland | 10 January, 2019, 21:47

The pupils were attending their first day at the Schweizer-Reneke school in North West province, and the teacher had taken a photograph to send to anxious parents.

The woman, who was not named, told TimesLIVE: 'This was meant to be an exciting day for me but it's not.

Sello Lehari, the provincial Education Minister, said after stopping by the school: "From the information I got from the meeting, it seems that there are a lot of cases here of racism".

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.

Earlier, parents removed their children from the school and tensions were high as EFF members gathered outside the school.

She said no one said a thing about the separation of the grade R class, so, she spoke to another parent outside of the WhatsApp group.

Image copyright. Image caption After a backlash from parents the school reportedly shared this picture of the children sitting in integrated groups What has the response been?

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Social media users said the picture evoked memories of the apartheid system that promoted racial segregation and oppression in South Africa.

'Rather what becomes painful is that there are black people who still insist that racism has ended and who think that blacks and white can have peaceful relations that do not have undertones of racism.

The school apologised and de-segregated classes.

The chairman of the school's governing body, Jozeph du Plessis, said the teacher thought she was helping the students feel at ease on their first day of school, by seating them with children from their own racial group.

NFP blamed the government which it said neglected public and rural schools.

The school responded to the allegations, stating that it was all a misunderstanding and that the children were separated based on whether they were Afrikaans or English-speaking.

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