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Media Release

29 January, 2007

Wesbank Secondary grade 11 promotions circuit manager suspended

Western Cape Education MEC Cameron Dugmore today had to request the temporary suspension of a Circuit Manager of the department after a group of learners locked the gates of a Cape Flats high school in protest against their demotions to grade 11.

Last year, 50 grade 11 learners were issued with report cards, which stated that they passed, which meant they were promoted to Grade 12. However, upon review the Education Management and Development Centre (EMDC) Metropolitan East discovered discrepancies in the promotions, and informed the 50 learners that they had to repeat grade 11.

This led to protests last week, resulting in running street battles with the police in which pepper spray and other restraint methods were used. This morning the gates were locked, which meant that almost a thousand learners lost out on a whole school day.

MEC Dugmore visited the school today and met with some of the affected learners, their parents, community leaders, teachers and EMDC officials.

The meeting agreed that learning and teaching must resume tomorrow, and that the learners and their parents may appeal against the decision of the EMDC. In addition the MEC has called for an audit of all the 2006 grade 11 academic records at this specific school.

MEC Dugmore will visit the school again tomorrow (Tuesday 30 January), from 07h30, to meet with the whole group of 50 learners, the teaching staff and address the school assembly. This visit will chart a way forward in resolving the matter.

Said MEC Dugmore: "I want to apologise to both the learners and the parents for the improper action of an official from my department, but at the same time, learning and teaching must continue whilst we are looking for solutions."

For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi:  082 550 3938, or gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za.

Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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