A group of parents staged a protest outside the school gates of Rustic Manor Primary School on Tuesday, 6 June. The parents were protesting against various issues of concern and demanded that the issues be addressed by the SGB and school management. 

The group of parents outside Rustic Manor Primary School

According to the parents some of the issues include learners physically abusing other learners, bullying, teachers physically and emotionally abusing learners, victimisation of learners, victimisation of parents among other issues within the local school.

Speaking to The Phoenix Tabloid, member of the SGB who was part of the protest, Nerasha Dukhi Harrichuran said, “We have a lot of issues in this school which are never attended to by the teachers or the principal. I have requested the SGB chairman to hold a meeting on numerous occasions regarding all the issues that have been brought forward by the parents and have not been successful. Sitting as a chairman, you have a responsibility to the parents to come out and address these issues.”

“Parents have filed many complaints as well as had meetings with some teachers yet the principal chooses to do nothing about resolving the matters. We demand that the school management and SGB members address all the issues that have been directed to them immediately,” added Harrichuran.

A parent who did not want to be named added that she was not happy with the condition of the school toilets. “My child picked up an infection from the toilet and when I informed the teacher, I was told that the toilets are cleaned every day yet they stink all the way from the passage. We pay school fees for our children and for them to be exposed to these conditions is unacceptable. Hygiene is very important, we want the toilets to be sorted out immediately,” said the parent.

Speaking to The Phoenix Tabloid, chairperson of the SGB at Rustic Manor Primary School, Mr I Gerald said, “I’m aware of the protest that took place at the school. I was contacted by a member of the SGB who gave me a list of general issues so I told her to put all the concerns in writing, to which she then sent an email which I forwarded to the principal. The attitude of the member however as she was threatening me via text messages is unacceptable. If you want to raise an issue, you raise it in a proper manner so that it can be directed to the correct channels. The SGB members of Rustic Manor Primary will be engaging in a meeting regarding the issues raised by some parents.”

Rustic Manor Primary School principal, Mr S Yusuf said, “I was not informed about the protest however I did see some parents outside the school gates. Prior to this I did receive an email from the SGB chairman which was sent by another member of the SGB. Most of the claims in the email are baseless and the person responsible for the email does not even attend meetings. One of the parents within the group had assaulted my HOD about a year ago and as a result have criminal charges against her. I have also had parents come into my school and verbally assault as well as threaten to physically assault me in the past.”

“We do allow parents to bring in their children to a certain point but due to safety reasons do not allow parents to go into the classrooms. We have prefects and educators who assist by walking the learners to their classrooms and assembly however some parents insist on taking their children to the class room. Previously we’ve had incidents of parents assaulting other learners verbally and physically which is unacceptable. I have to think for the whole school, parents need to understand that I have taken precaution to ensure that their children’s safety is a priority,” added Yusuf.