Protest shuts schools

2015-01-22 00:00

TWO KwaZulu-Natal schools kept their doors tightly shut yesterday as schools in other districts welcomed thousands of children through their gates.

In a statement yesterday, DA ­Uthukela constituency MP Alf Lees condemned the alleged failure of Ngozo Secondary School and Zimisele ­Primary in Waaihoek, Mnambithi, to reopen for the new school year.

Lees said he had received information from a reliable source at the Education Department that they arrived at

Zimisele Primary early yesterday ­morning only to find the school completely closed.

The KZN Education Department yesterday could not confirm that the schools had failed to reopen, as they were waiting for feedback from the ­district, said spokesperson Muzi Mhlambo. A source within the ­Education Department, who refused to be named, has however confirmed ­Ngozo Secondary had been closed for the day, citing protest action.

Lees strongly condemned the­­ ­“irresponsible actions of those who fail to ensure that the pupils at these schools ... are getting a quality ­education”.

“It is only through giving these ­pupils the opportunity of a high ­standard of education that they will be able to fulfil their full potential and emerge from the poverty that they ­experience today.”

Meanwhile, ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said he was satisfied at how well the first school day went. He urged people to work together to ­ensure that pupils receive quality ­education.

“We are also calling on school governing bodies and parents to work with the teachers and ensure that everything is done properly in our schools,” he said.


UNIVERSITY of KwaZulu-Natal education specialist Professor Wayne Hugo said that while all levels of education were important, the primary school phase was the most influential and therefore the most important level of all.

Hugo added that the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) had been fully implemented in the ­education system and as far as he could tell, it had been effective in ­improving results so far.

“The curriculum clearly sets out what the teacher needs to teach the pupils each day and this gives us hope­.

“The CAPS system is effective, especially within the poorer schools where there are less resources. In some cases, we find the teachers understand very little and the curriculum is not being followed. In some schools, we find they have stopped teaching grade sevens and sixes completely, as they often find they have the reading or writing ­capacity of a Grade 2.”

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