Pupils abscond to play pool

School attendance rates have taken a hit recently, with pupils playing pool or video games in town on school time. “We come here to beat boredom,” confessed one pupil who was playing pool in his school uniform. Some students even admitted to bribing security guards to allow them off the school premises.

Pupils play pool on school time.
Pupils play pool on school time.

“There are bouncers who monitor the movement of pupils at our college and they do not allow pupils to go out during learning time, but we bribe our way out,” said another school-goer. An A ‘level student, Alfonso, said he and his friends did not need to go to school. “All work without play makes us dull, we need time to refresh and no one should tell us when to attend lessons,” he said. “We read on our own. Teachers dictate notes and we can surf the internet. We are not losing out,”

A shop assistant at one gaming venue said they did not monitor pupils. “It is not our job to monitor who plays here,” he said.

Teachers expressed concern over the growing numbers of pupils bunking lessons.

“This is disturbing,” said Sindiso Hove. “We also have cases where pupils are playing games and surfing on the internet whilst the teacher is delivering lesson.”

Parents interviewed said they were not aware that their children were playing games in the city during learning time.

“We send children to ‘good’ schools in town so that they can get education; we never know that these kids end up loitering in town or playing video games. School authorities should not allow pupils to go out during school time,” said Viola Mombeshona, a parent.

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