Clamping down on truancy at Shakaskraal school

More than 300 pupils were locked out of Shakakraal Secondary School for arriving late on Monday.

With final examinations around the corner, hundreds of Shakaskraal High School pupils arrive late to school on a daily basis showing little care for school rules or learning.

Umhlali SAPS were forced to intervene at the high school this Monday after more than 300 pupils arrived late to school.

The pupils were locked outside the premises where they were addressed by SAPS and the principal.

Most children are believed to be walking from surrounding areas in Shakaskraal and although pupils are supposed to be at school at 7.45am, most are found arriving an hour and up to two hours late for class.

While the teenagers mocked and laughed at the police and headmaster, Shakaskraal principal Sunjay Bodasing said the matter was getting out of hand.

“When they arrive they are disruptive because half the school is outside trying to get in when the rest of the class are learning.

“We are considering locking out the pupils who come in after 7.45 am. If we do not correct these bad habits they will become irresponsible adults. “

According to Bodasing, parents were not aware that their children were arriving late as the pupils often left their homes on time.

Umhlali SAPS spokesperson Vinny Pillay said truancy would be taken seriously and pupils found wandering the streets could face being picked up by police and detained at the station.

“We have to consider that one of the reasons for arriving late at schools is that children are engaging in illegal activities such as taking drugs.

“This is a problem at all schools in Ilembe but we have never seen such a large number of pupils arrive late consistently.

“Last week, we did a patrol and pupils were just walking slowly on the roads, talking, laughing and playing around. This was around 10 am.”

KZN education department spokesperson Kwazi Mthetwa said truancy was a reflection on the school leadership.

“Late coming is a widespread problem and it is serious. It is concerning that before examinations we are still seeing this but if the school leaders were firm enough then this would not be taking place.

“When it is an issue of transportation, the education department tries to assist in whichever way possible. This is a problem of discipline and we appeal to parents to ensure their children are arriving at school on time.”

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Erica Abrahams

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