Angry parents blame principal for high pupil drop-out rate and low matric pass rate
PARENTS of pupils at Tlhwahalang High School in Jan Kempdorp prevented the principal from entering the school premises on Tuesday after the Northern Cape Department of Education apparently failed to address their concerns regarding the running of the school.
The parents want the school principal to “be removed with immediate effect” and want the department to respond to their demands within seven days.
They blame the principal for the high pupil drop-out rate and the low matric pass rate at the school.
Parents on Tuesday gathered at the entrance of the school as early as 6am as they waited for the principal to arrive. When he did, they told him to never set foot at the school again.
They later handed over a memorandum of demands to a Northern Cape Department of Education official, who had apparently “rushed” to the school from Kimberley.
The police were meanwhile called to observe the situation, while the parents allowed everyone access to the school except for the principal.
The parents also allowed the school to run as per normal and did not disrupt pupils who were writing assessments.
The parents have accused the principal of arrogance, mismanagement and abuse of school funds.
They claimed that school management had “demotivated pupils” and that a number of pupils had dropped out due to “victimisation”.
The parents said that several Grade 11 pupils dropped out last year and they have not been allowed to repeat the grade this year.
The parents also complained that there was a “glitch” in school reports, which the school failed to address, forcing them to travel to the departmental offices in Kimberley to address the matter.
They added that following confirmation of the matter at the departmental offices, there was still, however, no way forward at the school for the pupils.
The parents said that they were told that the school registration period had closed and that the department did not intervene.
The parents claimed further that they are afraid that their children are being victimised and “kicked out of the school system” whenever they confront the principal.
Some of the parents said that their children have been repeating the same grade for up to five years, and that the principal refuses to engage with them regarding the matter.
They also claim that there is no school governing body.
“We don’t know why it is that this principal is so untouchable, while he toys with our children’s future,” said one of the parents on Tuesday. “He wants to run the school with his favourites, that is why he messed up the planned SGB election meeting.
“He will not set foot in this school any more. We will guard this school 24/7 … and he will not victimise a single child any more.”
The Northern Cape Department of Education promised to respond to media enquiries on Wednesday.
Department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said that the committee members were busy engaging with stakeholders and that they would have a report available on Wednesday.