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  • Petitioned Vanessa Mortlock

This petition was delivered to:

PA to Minister Grant
Vanessa Mortlock
Western Cape MEC for Education
MEC Donald Grant

Keep Zonnebloem Nest Senior School Open

    1. Petition by

      Equal Education

Zonnebloem Nest Senior School is a public school in Cape Town that caters for learners from the city, as well as surrounding townships. It is renowned its dedication to the dramatic arts. But earlier this year Western Cape MEC for Education Donald Grant told its learners that he is considering closing their school at the end the year because it is underperforming.

Last year Zonnebloem achieved a pass rate of 85% and in 2010 it achieved a pass rate of 73%.  In 2006 it was awarded a certificate by the Western Cape Education Department (the Department) for achieving a pass rate that consistently showed an improvement over the previous three years, while maintaining or increasing enrolment levels of full time candidates in Grade 12. It is therefore baffling that MEC Grant has cited underperformance as a reason for the school's possible closure. 

It has been suggested by principal Jonty Damsel that the school is facing closure because the Department is no longer willing to finance the school’s rental on a property close to the city centre. Concerns have also been raised that it is being closed because its learners, who mostly live in townships, come from outside the “school-community”

The integration of our cities is crucial to the future of the country! A school, in the city centre, providing a reasonable quality education to township youth should be protected

Help Equal Education keep Zonnebloem open!

Zonnebloem is one of 27 Western Cape schools MEC Grant is considering closing. A number of the school closures -- although not Zonnebloem -- are likely to be legitimate, but EE and the public cannot be assured of this yet because the Department has refused to reveal the information that MEC Grant is using to make his decisions.

This information would reveal the academic results of the 27 schools and the interventions the Department undertook before considering closure. Without this learners, parents, teachers and communities cannot engage meaningfully with the Department.   

Equal Education calls on MEC Grant to keep Zonnebloem Nest Senior Schools open and to release the information he used to select the 27 schools facing closure.   


Donate to help Equal Education keep Zonnebloem Nest Senior School open.

Read more:

Equal Education Appeals Western Cape Education Department’s Refusal to Release Information on Closure of 27 Schools, EE Press Release 

Equal Education speaks at COSATU-SADTU-ANC press briefing on proposed closure of 27 schools in the Western Cape, EE Press Release


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. Helen Zille Admits Rental Costs a Reason for Closing Zonnebloem

      Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has admitted on Twitter that one of the reasons they are considering closing the school is because of the cost of the property's rental.

      This reason was not supplied to the school or the community. Withholding important information will prevent the learners, parents, teachers and civil society from meaningfully engaging with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) on the issue.

      The WCED must reveal all the information it used to decide to consider Zonnebloem for closure.

    3. Reached 100 signatures
    4. Appeals over school closures filed

      Our petition made it into the news today!

      "EE started an online petition at www.change.org against a decision to close Zonnebloem Nest Senior School. The site contained a documentary about the school."

    5. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Nervern Presence CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
      • over 1 year ago

      its obvious that this school should stay open.

      • over 1 year ago

      Zonnebloem is a landmark, a treasure , with incredible souls working, learning and growing into well rounded citizens with a heart for the arts and a mind for the sciences....don"t get rid of it!

    • Sheena Overmeyer CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
      • over 1 year ago

      I believe in access to quality education for all people. Closing schools is not an effective solution to the problems we face in our education system especially if efforts have been made to improve the situation.

    • Tiffany Serenge CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
      • over 1 year ago

      it's important to the future of all South africans to see our children educated and closing schools that are achieving decent results will not help

    • Lucienne Haupt CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
      • over 1 year ago

      Opportunities ought to be abounding in this country, not drying up. Our children need more schools, not less of them,


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