Principal’s recruitment halted

2011-01-03 00:00

THE recruitment of a new principal for Raisethorpe Secondary has had to be halted and an investigation will be conducted after allegations that the integrity of the interview process was compromised.

Disputes were lodged with the KZN Department of Education’s district grievance committee and the matter was heard early in December following claims that a brother of one of the short-listed applicants confronted a member of the interview committee about how his brother had been scored.

The Witness is in possession of an affidavit sent to the acting head of labour relations in the Education Department in which it is alleged that the panel member was coerced into meeting the brother of a candidate, a teacher at the school.

The panel member was allegedly shown a note containing his scoring of the top four short-listed candidates.

Other allegations have surfaced that the scores were released by another teacher at the school, who was a union representative acting as an observer in the interview process.

It is alleged that the teacher had joined the union only a few weeks prior to the interviews being conducted, and was afforded certain favours by the candidate. It is also alleged that this teacher had his cellphone with him at all times and was surfing the Internet while the questions were being formulated, possibly e-mailing the questions to his preferred candidates.

This teacher is also accused of reporting on the progress of the interview to other teachers on a daily basis, despite signing a confidentiality agreement.

Another allegation involves a different panel member said to be friends of this same candidate. While he scored his friend 12 out of 14 for professional development, he allegedly scored another candidate two out of 14.

The latter candidate is apparently a senior deputy principal, a chief marker and an author of the grade 10, 11 and 12 textbook in his teaching subject.

When contacted about the allegations, the concerned candidate said he was unaware of them.

“I have no idea about that and I think if I did there would be something wrong because I’m an applicant.”

Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said two head office officials have been tasked with investigating the allegations, but only after the department’s offices reopen. He could not say anything else about the matter, which is sub judice, he said.

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