Education dept official assaulted and robbed when protesting parents storm building

The parents were demanding that their children be placed in schools as they had not yet been placed since the beginning of the academic year. Most of the learners are from other different provinces seeking placements in Gauteng schools.

 Parents outside DBE offices in CBD. Photo: Supplied

An official from the Department of Basic Education in Pretoria was rushed to the hospital after she was assaulted and robbed by angry parents from Atteridgeville that stormed into their offices on Monday.

The parents were demanding that their children be placed in schools as they had not yet been placed since the beginning of the academic year.

Most of the learners are from other different provinces seeking placements in Gauteng schools.

Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said one of his colleagues in the communication unit was taken to hospital after being assaulted by the protesters.

“In the chaos, they assaulted her and took her phones.”

Mhlanga said township schools were full across the province, but that parents were still demanding spots for their children.

“It is not just Atteridgeville that is full but other parts of the of the city such as Mamelodi.”

He said they had a meeting with the protesters’ leaders and the officials from the district on Monday.

“The district tabled an update about the work that is already being done to resolve the matter. The issue is that the schools in Atteridgeville are oversubscribed. Parents are asking that some of the primary schools be turned into secondary schools for learning and teaching to take place.”

Mhlanga said from Tuesday, furniture will be delivered and teachers will be arranged.

“The preparation to admit those learners administratively are going to start on Tuesday morning.

“An official from the department and the district are going to be in Atteridgeville to make sure that learners are admitted and that everyone’s credentials are checked.”

Mhlanga said they were still accessing the damage caused by the parents during Monday’s protest.

One of the parents, Josephina Mohale said she was happy with the meeting.

“We hope that they keep their promises because our children will end up doing the wrong things or fall into drugs because they cannot go to school.”

Another parent, Maikie Mphela, said she was happy with the feedback she got from the protest leaders.

“They told us that we will meet in one of the schools on Tuesday where it will be determined where each child will be placed. So I’m happy with that feedback and I hope it is not simply an empty promise.”

Read original story on rekord.co.za