'Segregated' classroom photo sparks race row in South Africa
'Segregated' classroom photo sparks race row in South Africa
An image circulating on social media which shows black and white children seated at separate tables apparently at Laerskool Schweizer Reneke
10 January, 2019, 21:45
The North West education MEC and other politicians will on Thursday visit a school in the province which sparked outrage after allegedly separating grade R learners by race on their first day.
Curro Foundation School in Roodeplaat was found guilty of racism after a probe by the Gauteng education department. One of the kids mothers', during an interview with Open News South Africa, recalled how excited she was to drop off her child at the Grade R class, where all the kids were lined up outside, ready to start the day.
This was not the first time children have been subjected to racism in the country's schools. "Learners from different backgrounds, including race, religion and language, are not merely accommodated but are fully integrated in all aspects of the school environment", Du Plessis continues.
In the photo, 18 pupils can be seen seated around a large table in the classroom while four black children sit separately at a smaller desk in a corner of the classroom.
The controversy prompted a protest outside the school on Thursday, and some white parents retrieved their children from class.
Briefly.co.za learned the parent contacted the principal, who claimed to be unaware of the situation.
Apparently to reassure parents that all was going well, the class teacher reportedly shared a photograph of the children to the school's private WhatsApp group.
Some white parents have removed their children from the school because they fear for their safety.
"All I saw was messages from the white parents saying "dankie, dankie" (thank you, thank you') on the WhatsApp group but no one was saying anything about the separation of the learners", said the mother who was not named to protect the identity of the child.
The school responded to the allegations, stating that it was all a misunderstanding and that the children were separated based on whether they were Afrikaans or English-speaking.
"We saw the photo and we were also angered by what we saw", he said.
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