Matriculants at the Good Hope Seminary School in Gardens are protesting against alleged systemic racism at the school. The protests, which started on Monday 16 May, have continued to Tuesday morning with pupils calling for an action and the matter to be dealt with at the school.
According to reports, an Indian pupil called a black pupil a derogatory name. Talking to eNCA this morning, a pupil shared that the incident took place last week and it was not the first time racism has been an issue at the school. It’s alleged that whilst complaints have been lodged to teachers, nothing is being done.
“We’ve had cases where our principal uses the word ‘darkie’ to black girls, where teachers refer to girls as looking like domestic workers, where black girls are told that they shouldn’t be at this school, we should go to the the township because we can’t speak Afrikaans because Afrikaans is an issue to us because it’s not our first language, nor our second,” she said.
In a lengthy social media post, one of the pupil at the school stated, “We have suffered so much at this school, this is the last straw. So much has happened in just under four years, be it racism or sexual harassment, so much – and all of this has been swept under the carpet. Not to mention how we are labeled as being dramatic and taking this too far when we voice them out. This is a second protest against racism in just under three years, we can’t go on like this.”
Weighing in on the matter, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is aware of the alleged remarks made by a learner to another learner, as well as, other concerns raised by the Grade 12 class.
Spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond, said the WCED has visited the school to engage with the principal and the learners. She added that the principal has already met with the learner representatives to discuss their concerns.
“A report received from the school indicates that at no stage did the learner sit in a meeting with the accused parent. The teacher has indicated that upon hearing about the alleged incident the two learners were asked to engage with each other and an apology issued by the accused. This happened on two occasions with both parties indicating that the matter had been resolved.
The WCED has not received any complaints recently regarding the school. The priority is to ensure that teaching and learning resumes and that the issues raised are heard, addressed and resolved,” she said.
Picture: Similise Mankomo / Facebook