Grade 10 girl attempts suicide after being refused enrolment

17 January 2013 - 02:01 By SIPHO MASOMBUKA
File photo
File photo

Kicked out of school after failing twice, and being called stupid by her father, a Grade 10 pupil tried to take her own life.

The 18-year-old, spent four days in Odi Hospital, Mabopane, following a failed suicide attempt.

This was shortly after she was refused readmission to the Dr Sam Motsuenyane High School, in Winterveldt, north of Pretoria, for twice failing to earn promotion. She is receiving psychiatric therapy.

"All I need is a chance, support and help in the problematic maths literacy and business economics," she said before bursting into tears.

An analysis by a researcher in the University of Pretoria's faculty of education, Dr Jean van Rooyen, found that over 1million pupils in 2011 had to repeat their grade. Grade 10 failures were the most common, at 242279.

Department of Basic Education spokesman Hope Mokgathle said the school was within its rights to deny the teenager readmission.

Mokgathle said it was the department's policy before 1994 that no adult be enrolled in a class of children.

"If [she] has failed Grade 10 for the second time, the school has a right to do that. Grade 10s are [normally] 15 or 14 years old," Mokgathle said.

"The age cohort guideline will not allow her to be 18 in Grade 10. She is an adult already and we are dealing with children."

Mokgathle said the teenager could complete her education at a further education and training college, or by taking adult basic education and training courses.

The girl's father, said the school advised him to enrol her at a college or at an adult basic education and training centre.

"I regret calling her stupid. I am short-tempered and I felt that she was not serious about her schoolwork," he said.

The girl has decided to continue her education at a college or through adult basic education and training.