‘Teachers’ behaviour unethical’

2014-08-18 00:00

THE Piet Retief Primary School governing body says it was so enraged by the teachers’ conduct, it now wants the Education Department to take action.

Teachers protested at the school last week, calling for education officials to restore law and order at the school.

In a detailed response to The Witness, SGB secretary Alfred Ntlabathi provided copies of the SGB constitution and debt collection policy. He said this was proof that teachers had lied in their allegations that the SGB had no constitution and that they had not appointed a debt collector. “We appointed a debt collector in May this year,” he said.

Ntlabathi said: “Our teachers have displayed the worst, unethical behaviour to the extremes and were just driven by [a] deep-seated sense of gross dishonesty and unprofessionalism.”

He said they were “so very much baffled by this kind of behaviour from our teachers”.

Ntlabathi said the SGB does have a debt collection policy. “We are quite sure that every parent who might have read such allegations in the newspaper was shocked because the parents voted overwhelmingly on July 31 for the adoption of the same policy. It’s extremely puzzling why our teachers would tell such a pathetic and blatant lie to the public,” he said.

Ntlabathi accused teachers of undermining the intelligence and integrity of all those parents who attended the meeting and adopted the policy. He said it was agreed that it “must be applied uniformly across the board”, which means even the members of the SGB must be dealt with without any fear or favour.

He said all parents who have outstanding fees have received letters from the school requesting them to settle their outstanding fees or make payment arrangements.

Ntlabathi said the issue of children bringing drugs and alcohol to the school was reported in May, and he went to school to address pupils. “Since then, the SGB has no record of such incidents being reported,” he said.

Ntlabathi said they were not against teachers disciplining pupils, but correct procedures must be followed when invoking disciplinary action.

He said the parents are welcome to view the schools finances if they so wish.

A STATEMENT from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education’s senior general manager Judy Dlamini, responding to the Piet Retief matter was received.

“I have on numerous occasions intervened at Piet Retief when school governance problems were reported,” she said.

Dlamini said she immediately put together a team of school governance specialists from head office and district. “After receiving an instruction to focus on Piet Retief, they then put together a programme which was preceded by an investigation in March,” she said.

Dlamini said the outcome was a need for training on roles and the responsibilities of the SGB. “We focused on the safety and security of the school.”

She said they worked on the code of conduct, disciplinary procedures and the tribunal. Dlamini said financial management was also dealt with.

She said follow-up visits are ongoing.

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