Parents of children who are not enrolled in schools have invaded a college in Eerste River.
They broke the padlock and made their way into a community training college.
More than 100 Mfuleni residents gathered yesterday morning discussing the invasion.
Three leaders went into the WC Community Education and Training College, asking to meet with college head Lillian Monakali.
She informed them that the placement of school children is not the Higher Education Department’s responsibility.
Community leader Sibongiseni Mapatalala announced to the crowd: “The manager said to us that they have nothing to do with the Western Cape Education Department.”
Eerste River community leader Bongani Mentashe says all they wanted was to find a building belonging to the government for their children to have a school.
“We have lots of unemployed teachers in our communities and they don’t mind not getting paid, for now.
“The college building is not in use, they have very few people who are in there.”
But WCED spokeswoman Bronagh Hammond says the invasion will not change anything.
“The WCED has processes in place to accommodate and place children. Illegally occupying a building, or creating a school in a field, will not result in a new school.
“If certain people want to create a new school then they are welcome to apply as an independent school,” she states.
She said the WCED has been confronted with similar attempts like this in the past, “where certain teachers are vying for jobs through this kind of action by community members”.
Mentashe says they are not playing games and only want what’s best for the children.
“This is for their safety, while their parents are at work they can be at school. Children are better off in school rather than out on the streets.”
He said they will go back to the college today and have asked the parents and pupils of an outdoor “school” in Eerste River to join their efforts in securing a building.
“The plan is to combine the children and then take photos and send them to the education department, to show them that this building can function as a school for our children.”
Last week parents opened a school under the trees on Old Faure Road and named it Empumelelweni Primary and High School.
The outdoor school has five classes and 480 enrolled learners.