Bhisho to probe alleged racial segregation at EC school

11:18 (GMT+2) Sun, 13 Jan 2019

Officials from the Eastern Cape Department of Education will be visiting a school in Matatiele on Monday following reports of alleged racial segregation of Grade 1 learners.

Department spokesperson, Mali Mtima, said on Sunday that a team had been appointed to visit the King Edward School to establish if the claims were true.

The Sunday Times reported that black Grade 1 learners and white Grade 1 learners are put in separate classes. 

The chairperson of the school's body, advocate Andrew Duminy, told the newspaper that the "children who battle with English are kept in separate classes until Grade 3 to give them special assistance".

He was also quoted as saying that parents at the school had shelled out R5m to build an additional classroom to accommodate learners who come from other pre-primary schools.  "Many of these children battle with English and are often a year behind in language and social development and receive special assistance," he was quoted as saying.

The newspaper said that a black learner was moved to a "white" class on Thursday following queries from parents.

Mtima told Algoa FM News that "if the allegations are true" there will be a process that will be followed to ensure that "the issue of social cohesion and integration" are addressed and that "we provide lessons to the learners that will ensure that at the end of the day they remain united irrespective of their colour, gender or creed".

"We want to make sure that at the end of the day that if these allegations are true we provide leadership as the Department so that incidents of this nature do not happen again," he said.