Primary school parents demand answers

2015-06-11 06:01

Jai-Hind Primary School parents say they are not satisfied with the school governing body election process that took place on Tuesday night.

The parents were called to a meeting for the election of new SGB members as the term for the previous SGB had finished.

A group of angry black parents visited the Fever offices on Wednesday alleging that the elections were unfair.

A while ago there were reports of racial issues at the school which resulted in the Department of Education intervening.

According to parents the SGB Act states that the SGB should be elected by a quorum of parents which means two parents should represent each child whenever there are meetings and that a school SGB should be balanced with equal racial representation.

The parents said the elections were therefore unfair as the elected SGB is made up of Indian parents and not any black parents.

One of the major concerns is that there are financial issues that the previous SGB team had not discussed. The parents alleged that there is R1.8 million allocated to the school by the DoE which was never reported to them. To date the parents are waiting for a financial report on how the money was used.

Other issues parents raised was that allegedly black pupils are assaulted by the teachers and children are called names.

“One of the teachers said ‘they are stupid like President Jacob Zuma’ to a pupil,” said one of the parents who chose to remain anonymous.

Parents said cases have been opened and reports on them have been reported to the department on several occasions.

They say that allegedly there is a Grade 3 class that has had no teacher for more than five months. They also say that allegedly pupils are allocated classes on a racial basis.

The parents said they would appreciate it if the education MEC would take action as the pupils are losing out on learning because of the issues.

On Thursday the parents were scheduled to have a meeting with Ugu DoE director Mfundi Sibiya and invited the Fever to be part of the meeting.

Before the meeting parents told the Fever about other issues that affect learning, including corporal punishment, victimisation of teachers and pupils by some teachers.

Teacher Bongiwe Mpunzana said one of the teachers called her “stupid like the president”.

“He said I am stupid. He said he thought I was different from other black people, [but] I am just like President Jacob Zuma.”

Mpunzana has reported the case to the Department of Education and has opened a case with the SAPS.

When the meeting started at the district office, parents and teachers of both races were called into the boardroom with department officials Mr Woods and Sibiya.

Sibiya started the meeting by asking teachers to excuse themselves as he could not discuss their issues at the sitting.

Sibiya asked parents if they had come to discuss the grievance they had submitted or had they come to discuss other issues.

He said that in terms of departmental policy he cannot answer questions pertaining to the school’s finances without an auditor being present.

He told parents that investigations on the alleged mismanagement of funds are under way, therefore he can’t make an official statement on the financial situation.

An attendance register was signed by all and the Fever reporter. Before moving to the next issue an official indicated to Sibiya that a reporter was in their midst.

Sibiya then stopped the meeting and asked the parents to be genuine as they had not indicated that a reporter was at the meeting.

Sibiya then asked the reporter to leave and closed the meeting.

The parents later contacted the Fever saying that Sibiya said they should take the matter to provincial DoE as they were not being honest with him by having a reporter present.

On Tuedsay members of the newly elected SGB visted the Fever and said they could not comment on the issue and their aim is to build the school not break it.

DoE head office was contacted for comment on the matter, but at the time of going to press no response had been received

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