As learners across the country make their way back to school after the winter break to resume with academics, it is the opposite in the streets of Soweto as parents are threatening to shutdown the Job Rathebe Junior Secondary School in Orlando.
Teaching and learning will not resume today and most likely for the rest of the week as parents sing and chant outside the premises of the school. Parents are tired of the unbearable conditions of the school and are demanding the school to be shut down officially because they have raised these grievances more than once and nothing is being done at all.
According to one of the pupils, their parents wanted to shut down the school last term, but they didn’t because they wanted their children to finish writing their exams. They also had hope that upon coming back from the holidays, the school would be in a good condition to resume with academics.
According to one parent, the toilets are disgusting. “The school toilets look and smell rotten inside, and there is no way a decent human being can use them. The school yard and classrooms are filthy and have become a health hazard for everyone. The only place in this school that looks clean is the principal’s office” she said.
The parents together with the support of the School Governing Body are calling for the Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to intervene before it gets out of control.
They are not only fed up with the inhumane conditions that pupils have to endure, but also the principal who is allegedly absent half the time and does not seem to care about what is happening at the school.
Meanwhile, the police have detained one of the learners of Job Rathebe after he was found with a firearm. According to a community member, the learner is notorious for being problematic. ‘’ I know that child very well, people are scared of him. He is very disrespectful, he gallivants during school hours and jumps the fences of the school” she said.
There are currently over ten police vans and JMPD vans outside the school to ensure that the situation does not get out of control.