Cato teachers walk out and ask for union help

2008-02-06 00:00

A group of 10 teachers yesterday walked out of the troubled George Cato primary school in Cato Ridge in protest of the department of Education’s decision to appoint an acting principal from outside the school. This comes after the school’s principal was suspended recently.

One of the teachers told The Witness that the group felt that they had been marginalised as there were teachers among them who were more than qualified to hold the position. He asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

The 10 teachers went to the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation (Naptosa) offices in Durban yesterday to elicit help from the union.

They said that they wanted a hearing with the minister of Education and the provincial department, but feared their pleas were falling on deaf ears.

"We are the ones who have been co-operating and have been at our desks teaching during the protests, and this is the thanks we get. We were co-operative; we were never on strike."

But Education spokeswoman Christi Naude said that the acting appointments were not permanent and that the teachers would be welcome to apply for these posts when they were advertised.

She said that the decision to bring in an outsider as acting principal was made in an attempt to diffuse tension amongst teachers at the school, following the fierce protests there last month.

The Education Department suspended the school principal and her deputy following a long-standing inquiry into allegations of racial discrimination by the school management against the black teachers.

The school’s deputy was subsequently replaced by a teacher at the school.

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