A high school in Umzinto on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is making headlines, as a few of its pupils are demanding a daily smoke break. However, it seems provincial education authorities are not going to cave in to the demands.
According to reports, Roseville Secondary School learners are demanding a smoke break between 8 am and 9 am, while raising other grievances with the administration. The children went as far as to refuse attending school last week, embarking on a protest.
Provincial education spokesperson, Kwazi Mthethwa explains the department will not give in to the learners’ demands, stating they are meant to be in class, learning.
Furthermore, Mthethwa says the department cannot allow this type of behaviour to flourish and they are standing firm against the demands.
Mthethwa adds that the department wants pupils to lead a healthy lifestyle and smoking does not form part of a healthy lifestyle.
Allegedly, learners went as far as to make two videos citing their demands. In one of the video clips, a child apparently walks through the teachers’ staff room, smoking.
Following the recent protests, the school had to be closed.
A meeting was called at the school on Sunday, so the matter could be discussed with the parents.
A member of the KZN Parents’ Association agreed with Mthethwa, saying the demands are unacceptable. Vee Gani went as far as to remind people that smoking under the age of 18 is illegal and education in South Africa was struggling. Because of the issues faced by the education system, Gani believes learners need to start respecting their teachers and focus on their schoolwork.
What are your thoughts on learners making silly demands like being allowed to have a cigarette break during school times? Share your views and opinions with us in the comment section below.