Number of learners missing school increases to over 456 000
Statement by Minister David Maynier, Minister of Education Western Cape
The SANTACO-WC minibus taxi strike prevented 456 020 learners and 17 449 staff members from getting to school today, with the Cape Town metro education districts being the worst affected.
This is a significant increase from the 287 000 learners and 9 500 staff members who were absent on Friday, and is a devastating loss of teaching and learning time that our children simply cannot afford.
27 schools had to close today, and a number of other schools allowed learners to leave early if needed.
We are committed to keeping schools open as far as possible and where it is safe to do so, not just as places of learning, but as places of safety and nutritional support for children. Decisions to close selected schools will be taken on a case-by-case basis, and the school in question will inform parents.
Unfortunately, rumours that schools were being targeted and burned spread wildly this morning, resulting in panic and confusion.
No school has reported such an incident.
We appeal to the public not to share fake news. Adding to the uncertainty is irresponsible and puts our learners at risk.
We also urge our school communities to report any harassment or intimidation of learners being transported to school, so that we can take the appropriate legal action. We will not tolerate anyone preventing our children from accessing their constitutional right to education.
Spokesperson to Minister David Maynier
Western Cape Ministry of Education