The Western Cape High Court has made a ruling that the Western Cape Education Department keep Uitsig High School open despite the department's insistence it is shut down for safety reasons, a lack of numbers and underperformance.
The ruling is pending a Supreme Court of Appeal decision on the school's future.
Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer says the school has been vandalised for many years and its resources removed by members of the community.
It is basically a shell of a school. For many years it has been vandalised and taken away by people in the community and no one has done anything to stop it.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
The quality of learning is not good, there are only about 60 learners left at the school and there other high schools about 1 km radius of Uitsig High School.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
It makes no sense whatsoever to spend R60 million in a community when there are already two other schools who can accommodate learners from Uitsig.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
Schafer is adamant that it is not feasible to keep the open when the money can be directed to other areas that are in serious need.
It is inexplicable to me why would anyone want to keep children at a school like that where there aren't enough teachers for the number of subjects that learners want to take.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
I am quite frankly mind-boggled that anyone would want to keep their children in a school like that.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
She says Tony Ehrenreich apparently lives in the area and seems to be behind the push to keep the school open, having it is believed a personal connection to the school. But she says having a sentimental attachment to a school is not a reason to keep it open.
There was a 15% pass rate last year for the matrics and I am desperately concerned about those learners at the school.— Debbie Schafer, Western Cape Education MEC
If the high court rules against the department, she says it will study the ruling and proceed accordingly under legal advice.
To hear the rest of the conversation with Debbie Schafer, listen below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Education MEC Debbie Shafer 'mind-boggled' anyone would keep kids in Uitsig High