Home News Parents prevent pupils, teachers entering school

Parents prevent pupils, teachers entering school

83
SHARE

“We are tired of rushing to parents’ meetings only to come and witness confrontations between teachers and SGB members.”

CHAOS erupted at Zingisa Intermediate School when parents locked the gates of the school and prevented pupils and teachers from entering the premises at the start of the school day yesterday.

Parents at the school were angered after members of the school governing body (SGB) allegedly removed the two Grade R teachers from their posts and sent the pupils home.

The parents said that the Grade R pupils have not attended school since the start of the academic year last week.

According to the parents, the SGB intended replacing the two teachers without consulting with the school or the parents.

The parents, who stood guard at the school gates yesterday, demanded that the Northern Cape Department of Education listen to their grievances.

They said they had been trying to engage the department since 2018 but had been ignored.

The parents also accused the SGB of running the school like its “own playground” and belittling the integrity of the teachers and disregarding the future of the pupils.

They complained that they were told to buy books for Grade 6 to 9 pupils by the SGB, after the books for these grades were destroyed in a fire at the school on January 13.

“They never engaged with us or told us why the Grade R teachers were being replaced,” said one parent. “We are sick and tired of what is happening here and we have no option but to demand the department’s attention by closing the school gates.”

“We do not want to do this as we want our children to get an education but we realised this is the best way to get heard,” said another parent. According to the parents, the “arrogance” of the SGB members has escalated to such an extent that even the pupils are affected.

“Our children are afraid of the SGB members as they treat teachers and children of vocal parents with disdain.

“We are tired of rushing to parents’ meetings only to come and witness confrontations between teachers and SGB members.”

They stated further that the SGB chairperson, Mthuthuzeli Matshoba, should not be a member of the governing body as he had removed his children from the school.

Matshoba responded yesterday that he had removed two of his five children and placed them in another school out of concern of victimisation.

“I was worried about the safety of my children when I started investigating alleged maladministration at the school,” said Matshoba.

He stated that the in-fighting at the school was between members of the former and current SGB after his team had highlighted alleged maladministration of school funds.

Matshoba also refuted claims that parents are expected to pay to replace the books that were destroyed in the fire.

Regarding the removal of teachers, he said the contracts of the two Grade R teachers had expired.

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said yesterday that the situation at the school had been temporarily resolved and that schooling had commenced at 9am following the department’s intervention.

“The SGB failed to appoint Grade R teachers for the 2020 academic year. The initial meeting to discuss the appointments was scheduled for January 13, but that process was derailed by the fire at the school on the day,” said Van der Merwe.

He added that it had been agreed yesterday that the Grade R teachers from last year would stay on at the school until the end of January and classes would continue as normal.

“This will give the SGB an opportunity to appoint Grade R teachers for the remainder of the year.

“Meanwhile, a formal meeting to discuss the way forward, following the demands of the community that the SGB be dissolved, will be organised by the district.”

Van der Merwe said that the date of the meeting will be communicated to all those concerned shortly.