uMgungundlovu District director Jenny Baiju remembered

2017-06-14 06:00
KZN Sadtu secretary Nomarashiya Caluza at the podium at Jenny Baiju’s memorial service last Thursday which was also attended by the KZN MEC for Education, Mthandeni Dlungwane.PHOTO: Makhosandile zulu

KZN Sadtu secretary Nomarashiya Caluza at the podium at Jenny Baiju’s memorial service last Thursday which was also attended by the KZN MEC for Education, Mthandeni Dlungwane.PHOTO: Makhosandile zulu

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UMGUNGUNDLOVU District director Jennifer Ann Baiju’s memorial service was held last Thursday at Maritzburg College where colleagues described her as a fearless, dynamic, diplomatic and energetic leader who was a gender activist dedicated to the transformation of the educational system in KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking at the service, KZN MEC for Education Mthandeni Dlungwane said Baiju had a natural flair for leadership and did not fear raising sensitive issues.

He lauded her for her hard work which resulted in an 8,4% increase in the matric pass rate for the class of 2016.

Last year, uMgungundlovu District achieved a 76,38% pass rate, second to Amajuba District.

KZN secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) Nomarashiya Caluza described Baiju as a hardworking individual who contributed to the union in various capacities including as shop steward, regional deputy secretary and gender convener.

“What is important now that she is no more is that what contributions, what teachings, what lessons can we take forward as teachers and members of Sadtu so we continue with the struggle that comrade Jenny committed to,” Caluza said.

She said the fact that Baiju died having reached district director level when not so long ago women did not easily occupy such positions and in a country still grappling with gender equity, means “she leaves us having witnessed transformation in the workplace, which is something we, comrades, must continue”.

Caluza urged the department’s management to desist from sowing division among staff as this negatively impacts the quality of teaching and learning.

“We are very proud that Jenny leaves us with a district that is performing well — it was the second best performing district in the province last year,” she said.

“And for them [the district] to continue producing these good results they need your motivation,” she said to the department’s leadership.

Messages of condolences were also shared by the South African Communist Party, the local ANC Youth League and the National Teachers’ Union.

Baiju was laid to rest last Friday.

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