Knife-wielding learner defended

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WINDHOEK – Disgruntled relatives of a Grade 12 learner at Ella du Plessis High School who was suspended for allegedly pointing a knife at a teacher are up in arms accusing the principal of having refused the culprit permission to sit for the August exams.

It is alleged that on 30 July the learner, Roland Block, who is 19 years old was requested to remove his hat by a teacher in the examination hall. Thereafter, Block allegedly refused to heed the teacher’s instruction. “I told him that I had an operation and I have a tube from my brain to my bladder. I also told him that my head is not supposed to get cold. Then the teacher took my hat off and went to the principal’s office. I followed him and I was very angry and then I pulled out a knife and told him that ‘today you will see’. Then the principal grabbed the knife and the City Police were called in. I apologised to him and no case was made against me. I was also suspended the same day and I could not write my exams,” the learner told New Era last week Thursday.

Asked why he took a weapon to school, Block said he picked it up that same morning in a riverbed while on his way to school. “I always wanted to have a knife so I picked it up and it even had blood on it and I came to wash it off  at school,” he explained. The learner was accompanied by his father, Jacobus Block and sister, Maurichia, when they showed up at the school to find out whether he could still sit for the final December examination.

“We are not happy that Roland did not write his August exams. We want the Minister of Education (Dr David Namwandi) to impress on the school that he writes the exam he missed. August exams are very important, because they are the ones that were supposed to allow him to apply to any tertiary education institution,” his sister grumbled.

The principal, Jakavaza Kavari, said on the day of the incident he advised the learner’s father to take him to a psychiatrist for a mental check-up due to his medical condition. “Then after that we held a meeting with his father and explained to him that Roland can come and write exams, but he will be put in a separate venue because he is a threat to other learners. We organised him space in the kitchen and he only stayed for 20 minutes and disappeared and never came back for the examination. His parents also never brought him back to the school,” Kavari explained.

The principal also said the school management at the time agreed that he could not be allowed to attend lessons anymore, since he is considered a threat to the entire school and a very bad influence on fellow learners.

Kavari assured the parents that the learner would be allowed to write his final December examinations, but will be accommodated in a separate venue. “The public out there should know that schools are educational institutions and not areas for crime to take place. Learners are not even allowed to bring weapons on the school premises and for that matter point a knife at a teacher. We are fighting to ensure that whatever is compromising the education system should be rooted out,” he reiterated in no uncertain terms. The learner refused permission to be photographed.

 

By Albertina Nakale

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