Thursday, 24 January, 2019

'Segregated' classroom photo sparks row in South Africa

Black pupils allegedly segregated from white ones at Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke North West 9 January 2019 South Africa teacher suspended over class 'split by race'
Jeannette Daniel | 10 January, 2019, 18:16

The picture showed the 18 white learners in the classroom all occupying a single large desk in the middle of the classroom, while the four black children in the class occupied one desk in a corner at the far end of the classroom.

The office of North West Premier Job Mokgoro says the result of a preliminary investigation at a Schweizer-Reneke primary school will inform the decision on what action needs to be taken against the school.

However, after the photo went viral and an investigation was launched, the schools seem to have rearranged the learners into a more integrated system.

"The matter has been brought to the attention of the provincial Department of Education who dispatched a team to the school to investigate as to what exactly happened".

"This was meant to be an exciting day for me, but it's not", she said.

"We want the principal of the school to account".

Race relations remain tense in South Africa 25 years after the end of white-minority apartheid rule, with fierce racism-related controversies erupting regularly on social media and in politics.

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The pupils were attending their first day at the Schweizer-Reneke school in North West province, and the teacher had taken a photograph to send to anxious parents.

"They created a group parents and teachers group chat on WhatsApp past year".

The image began circulating on social media.

Curro Foundation School in Roodeplaat was found guilty of racism after a probe by the Gauteng education department.

'You can take your kids to the whitest schools in the country but so long as the black majority is poor, your kids will always be reminded that they are black and therefore inferior'.

There have been calls to shut down the private school while others said it was proof that racism was still rampant in everyday life across South Africa.

The mother, who is not being named to protect the identity of her child, told TimesLIVE that her child's first day in grade R had initially started off smoothly.

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