Pupils want principal gone

2016-02-02 06:00
 About 300 pupils from Masiphumelele High School marched to the local offices of the provincial education department to demand the removal of the school principal.

About 300 pupils from Masiphumelele High School marched to the local offices of the provincial education department to demand the removal of the school principal.

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“If this letter doesn’t matter to you, the school of Masiphumelele High will be burnt.”

This is how pupils at the school ended their list of grievances, submitted to the provincial education department on Tuesday last week.

About 300 Masiphumelele pupils marched to the local office of the education department to demand the removal of the school’s principal. The pupils handed over a petition and list of grievances, in which they claim the school gates are locked before the start of school and pupils are “chased away from the school property”.

This leads to teenage pregnancies or absentee pupils becoming involved in gangsterism or drug abuse, as those pupils no longer have a safe space to go, the pupils claim.

The list of grievances also states that the classrooms “don’t have doors and windows”.

The pupils also claim there is a lack of sport activities offered at the school, despite the school having facilities for sport.

The recent loss of five teachers, according to the pupils – along with insufficient numbers of textbooks – are contributing to the poor results at the school, the petition says, and the pupils are forced to take subjects they are not interested in.

The petition also makes allegations of corporal punishment, with pupils saying items such as keys and blackboard dusters are thrown at them.

Education department spokesperson Jessica Shelver says: “We will study and investigate all allegations listed in the memorandum of grievances and respond timeously.”

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