Education imbizo planned

2012-02-22 00:00

UNSAVOURY relations between teachers and pupils in KwaZulu-Natal schools bother Premier Zweli Mkhize.

In his state of the province address yesterday, he said people involved in education would be brought together at an imbizo to discuss these relationships as well as declining pass rates.

Mkhize said the imbizo would also tackle matters of ill-discipline among teachers such as drunkenness, slovenly attire and creating bad role models.

On Tuesday last week it was reported that parents and pupils at Mtubatuba, north of Empangeni, threatened to take action if three teachers accused of having sex with pupils at the Esiqwini High School were not removed.

Members of the community said they had been trying to get the Education Department to investigate the allegations since 2009.

Last year the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) resolved not to defend teachers accused of having sex with their pupils.

The Witness yesterday, the union’s KZN secretary, Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, said the premier treated the erosion of professionalism as if all the teachers behaved the same.

He said there were 90 000 teachers in the province and 33 cases of sexual misconduct and 43 of general misconduct.

“He [Mkhize] should have emphasised the salary issues of teachers. Some are paid late by the department and posts need to be filled.”

If the imbizo focused on teachers’ ill-discipline it would not motivate but demoralise them, he said.

In his address the premier said the government was committed to ensuring that teachers were given support to improve classroom teaching and integrity.

Mkhize announced that:

• Some 95% of five-year-olds in the province were in Grade R;

• Delays in the delivery of textbooks should be resolved and attention given to curbing the number of drop-outs;

• In response to requests from poor families, the office of the premier had granted 370 new bursaries this year, making the total commitment by the provincial government R123 million.

• thandom@witness.co.za;

mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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