Shocked pupils watch teachers’ cat fight

2011-07-25 00:00

LESSONS came to a standstill at a local primary school as two women teachers nearly came to blows in an apparent racial spat.

The tongue-lashing allegedly involved a black teacher, who started at the school last week, being told by a white teacher to go back to Imbali schools because her qualifications were “fake”.

The white teacher in turn was allegedly accused of being racist and against transformation.

The argument reportedly occurred on Thursday in front of a senior class of learners with special educational needs (LSEN) .

It was allegedly also witnessed by teachers and pupils in neighbouring classes, who abandoned their classrooms to watch the spectacle.

The Witness understands that a black teacher was deployed by the KZN Education Department to fill position of a post-level one senior primary teacher at the school.

She started last Monday at the beginning of the third term.

The teacher told the paper that she was told to shadow the teacher of the LSEN class last week. This week she will shadow a grade three class teacher before getting a class of her own.

“It’s basically like going back to university. For two weeks I’m supposed to watch other people teach when I have been in the teaching profession for 23 years.”

The teacher claims the teacher she has been shadowing, whose name is known to the paper, has done nothing but humiliate and undermine her.

“Since coming to this school she has given me nothing but attitude. She says things like, ‘You must be happy working at a school like this’, and ‘This must be a palace for you’,” the teacher claims.

The black teacher claims she even received reports from pupils that the white teacher has told them not to respond to her and say that they don’t understand her.

However, she said tensions reached a boiling point on Thursday when the white teacher told her without warning to teach so she could critique her. When the black teacher questioned this, she was allegedly told it was at the principal’s instruction.

“She started telling me that I had bought my certificates. She told me I have not received them back because she is not done with them. She told me to my face that if I didn’t go on my own accord, she would make sure that parents made me.”

This is allegedly the same teacher who was removed from a school in Cato Ridge after allegations of racial abuse.

The black teacher claims that after the screaming match between her and the colleague the principal gave her 10 minutes to prepare a lesson for him to hear her teach.

“I did it with tears running down my face because I didn’t want to give them a reason to make me guilty of being insubordinate.”

Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said that the department is not aware of the “tensions you are alluding to”.

He said the teacher started on Monday and is being orientated by the other teacher and not shadowing her.

Mlotshwa did confirm that the white teacher was a displaced principal from a school in Cato Ridge.

The school principal also claimed to have no knowledge of the incident, adding that neither of the teachers reported the matter to him.

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