Pta school accused of unfair treatment and dismissal

Photo: Ron Sibiya

Allegations of racial abuse and unfair treatment have surfaced against Cornerstone College in Silverton.

More disgruntled learners have come forward after Rekord reported on the protest of a learner’s father.

He expressed unhappiness over his daughter’s suspension from the school.

His action was supported by more learners who voiced dissatisfaction with their treatment at the school and about expulsions.

ALSO READ: Father protests Pta school decision to expel daughter

The father protested outside the school, holding a placard that said: “No to racism in our schools.”

He told Rekord the school was racially abusing children.

“What they are doing is camouflaging their racism as disciplinary action,” he said.

The learner’s father challenged the school to produce records reflecting the nature of conduct around his daughter’s suspension.

He also demanded detailed reasons for the action against her.

The father denied disrupting disciplinary proceedings and challenged Cornerstone to produce records to prove their claims.

“I shall fight for my child’s education because it is a fundamental right which many of us have fought for,” the father said.

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Information received from one of the learner’s claimed that students “hate” the way they were treated at the school.

“Students are getting tired of being treated unfairly and being dismissed unfairly,” he said.

The learner also claimed that learners had been physically manhandled by school management.

“They’ve laid their hands on us, pushing us as if we were their children,” he alleged.

Cornerstone director, Rob Hurlin, said although he could not give detailed comment on the allegations brought forward by the learners.

But he said the matter involving the expelled learner had been resolved.

“We had a meeting on Friday afternoon and reached a settlement,” said Hurlin.

Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) spokesperson, Steve Mabona, confirmed this.

ALSO READ: Father protests Pta school decision to expel daughter

“Officials from GDE visited the school on Friday, 8 September, and we can confirm that the learner will be reinstated on Monday, 11 September and the school undertook not to victimise her accordingly,” said Mabona.

Hurlin said the first thing he and the father of the learner who had been expelled, agreed on was that there was no racism involved.

“He [the father] used racism as a tool to make us accept what he wanted.”

Hurlin denied that racism was practised in the school.

“We only have black learners, over a thousand of them, everyone is equal,” he explained.

ALSO READ: School closed due to protests

With regards to the allegations made by the learners, Hurlin said he would be unable to comment without learners’ names.

“Whoever is unhappy should speak up. We need a name to address every individual case,” he said.

Another allegation related to weaker learners being expelled just before matric finals, to uphold Cornerstone 100-percent pass rate was brought to light.

Hurlin said this was untrue.

“Any thought that we would do this is laughable,” he said.

Hurlin explained that “weak learners” were identified at the end of grade 11 then brought into school a week early for extra lessons.

“Weak children are given extra lessons at the beginning of the year and monitored throughout the year,” he explained.

ALSO READ: Schools closed amid march violence

A former learner of the school claimed students were not allowed to write matric preliminary exams if their marks were not satisfactory.

It was also alleged that under-performing learners were forced to change subjects if they did not meet the pass mark of 55.

GDE spokesperson said the department would provide an update on the allegations brought forward against the school.

“We will update on allegations in due course,” he said.



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Keitumetse Maako

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