News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Monday July 22nd 2019

Row over placements at Vrygrond school


While the Western Cape Education Department is facing pressure to build a primary school for children in Zwelitsha, Khayelitsha, tensions are also mounting over lack of space at Capricorn Primary school in the Muizenberg area.

Parents who live in Vrygrond say there’s no space at the school for their children, who now have to attend school in gang-ridden areas like Lavender Hill.

Parents say the children for foreign nationals are being accepted at the school while their own children are being sidelined.

But the school has denied those claims saying all children were from the area, highlighting that learners there were mainly coloured, with African and foreign children making up only about 10% of the learner body.

Some Vrygrond residents, where the school is located, accuse the state-owned school of being “privatised” and not accepting children from the immediate surrounding area.

Thus not only do their children have to run the gauntlet of commuting through gang territories but those forced to attend the Christian David Primary school in Steenberg, have to risk crossing the M5, where they say a Grade 1 pupil was knocked down last week.

Yet Capricorn Primary was built four years ago through funds raised by the Vrygrond Community Development Trust.

Isaac Goliath, a father of three, said two of his children were attending a primary school in Lavender Hill after failing to get places at Capricorn.

Goliath accused Vrygrond Community Development Trust chair Jonathan Schrire of using the community to raise funds from donors yet many children from the area were being sidelined.

He said over a hundred children were turned away from Capricorn Primary at the beginning of the year.

“The school must be an open book. It is not full until we say it’s full. It must belong to the community,” said Goliath.

Schrire said Goliath was on a campaign to remove him as chairman of the trust with the intention of taking over the running of the school.

He said there were 25 000 people in Vrygrond and only about 40 people had rallied behind Goliath to “toyi toyi” against him.

“The vast majority of the people in Vrygrond are perfectly happy with what our trust has delivered over the years,” he said.

“Our school gives education to nearly 1000 local kids…parents of those kids are very happy with our trust and with the school,” he said, calling those who were unhappy with the school “a few sick troublemakers”.

He said he had “great sympathy for parents who cannot find a place for their children but Capricorn Primary was no different form other any other school.

But Prescilla Tom said she applied for a 2013 Grade 1 placement for her child last year in June, but was told the school was full.

Tom said as a result, her child was not in school as she could not get her son into schools in Steenberg or Lavender Hill.

Lyneth Adams, a volunteer in the Vrygrond community, said gangsters in Lavender Hill robbed children of their tuck money, lunchboxes and school bags on their way to school.

Ward councillor Shaun August said Goliath was a “trouble maker” who had “tried to orchestrate many land invasions within the Vrygrond area”.

“He tries to divide the community even further to score political points for the United Democratic Front.”

He said he held a meeting with the school and discovered that many of the parents tried to register their children late and thus failed to secure places. – Francis Hweshe

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One Response to “Row over placements at Vrygrond school”

  1. LUCY says:

    NO words can explain how Schriree reached out to the comunity of Vrugrond Single Moms, Unemployed, The list can just go on and on. So GOLIATH please dont gave our Gardian Angel a Hard Time. We dont like it.
    Member of the Comunity

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