The Guard

The Truth On Board

Hostel dwelling pupils protest over starvation

By Masilo Malakwane

QWA QWA – Sekgutlong High School learners housed in the school’s hostel staged a protest over two days of starvation.

The full scale protest began on the night of June 7 as learners went on the rampage, burning hostel mattresses and other accessories. They could be heard in a video recording which has gone viral calling for the school principal to be fired.

On the morning of June 8, learning activities were disrupted as these learners expressed their frustrations by restricting their day scholar counterparts from entering the school premises. Police were called for intervention.

Speaking to The Guard on condition of anonymity, some of the learners accused the school principal of failing in his playing oversight role as they claimed the food shortage issue was brought to his attention when it first started.

“Our caregiver who works at the canteen, Mama Mathapelo has been a good Samaritan who ensured that we went to bed with something to eat,” the students said.

“When our parents approached the principal, the latter accused the SGB of disregarding his direct orders,” one pupil said.

One parent who did not want to be named for safety reasons, said the school never communicated challenges of food shortage.

“We only found out from our kids that there’s shortage of food at the hostel. Some of us pay up to R4000 per quarter, but we were not informed what could have led to our children going without food for two consecutive nights,” she said.

Another parent said their kids also informed them that the school also failed to stick to the recommended menu which they agreed upon. “They said in most cases they are fed pap and a patty or a Russian sausage.”

Meanwhile, the provincial education spokesperson Howard Ndaba said according to a report he received from Thabo Mofutsanyana district education, “On Wednesday, 08 June there was no bread for learners, but the issue was resolved immediately”.