Principals with 0% matric pass rate 'won't be fired'

2017-06-27 20:37
KZN Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

KZN Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has denied claims by the Democratic Alliance that it had announced it would fire principals and district managers at schools which got 0% matric pass rates at the end of 2017.

DA KwaZulu-Natal education spokesperson Rishigen Viranna on Tuesday said MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana had announced this at the provincial legislature on Monday, following months of pressure from the party for action to be taken.

In the last two academic years, 19 schools in the province recorded 0% matric pass rates, Viranna said in a statement.

"In January this year, the DA submitted a parliamentary question to the MEC, asking whether he intended to dismiss principals at schools which received a 0% matric pass rate at the end of the 2016 academic year. His response, both orally and in writing, was that the move would be premature," he claimed.

Viranna said Monday’s "about-turn" on this issue by Dlungwana was therefore surprising, yet welcomed.

"The DA sincerely hopes that it is not merely an empty threat. We can only assume that the MEC has finally realised the severe effect that poor leadership has on our schools, and the long-term impact that this has on teaching and learning," he said.

However, when News24 contacted Kwazi Mthethwa, spokesperson for Dlungwana, he dismissed the claims.

Mthethwa said the DA was trying to "confuse" the public.

"The MEC only said district directors, circuit managers and school principals would be made to account. He has been misquoted," said Mthethwa.

Dlungwana was on record as saying that if any school received a 0% pass rate, "the officials would be made to account because, as the department, we have made sure that they get much needed support throughout the year".

"Dlungwana is not trigger happy. He just believes that there should be, what we refer to as, 'consequence management', meaning that employees should and must be held accountable for their actions," said Mthethwa.

Asked how officials from the worst performing schools would be held accountable, Mthethwa said "it would depend on the circumstances. There won’t be a one size fits all type of approach".

Read more on:    durban  |  education

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