Pupils take the gap

2011-04-29 00:00

A NUMBER of schools that opted to carry on with the curriculum this week while others were closed experienced a high percentage of absenteeism as their pupils decided to join their peers on a long holiday until Tuesday next week.

The Witness visited various schools in Imbali and most of them were closed. Among them were Philani Primary, Esiqongweni Secondary, Zibukezulu Technical High, Sukuma Comprehensive, Sinamuva Primary, Zamazulu High and Mehlokazulu High.

Only Sukuma Comprehensive and Zibukezulu High School were open

A staff member who wished to remain anonymous at Sukuma Comprehensive said attendance was “fine” because the pupils had been informed well in advance that the school would be open.

“Our boarders arrived for school on Wednesday in the afternoon and the day scholars also arrived in their numbers, so everything is on schedule.”

At Zibukezulu High, principal Innocent Khumalo said, “Everything is going according to plan because we told our learners that if they do not come to school today and tomorrow we are going to inform their parents.”

He said all pupils were given letters addressed to parents informing them that the school would be open.

Maritzburg College headmaster Ron Jury said that although absenteeism was high, the academic and co-curricular programme carried on as normal.

Heather Secondary School also reported a high level of absenteeism.

Deputy principal Arumugam Naicker said they issued a communiqué informing parents that the school will be operating normally this week. However, only handful of the more than 1000 pupils pitched up.

“Despite our attempts to let parents know in advance that we will be working this week, a lot of pupils opted not come to school,” he said.

Naicker said teachers were all present and prepared to deliver lessons.

The headmaster of Longmarket Girls’ Primary, Deryl Muir, said it was too late for the school to apply to get the extra two days off, and it was expecting a high level of absenteeism because many lift clubs would not be operating and parents were wanting to spend time with their children.

She said the school ensured that learning took place to accommodate the pupils who reported for classes.

A spokes­person for the Education Department Mbali Thusi said schools had been instructed to apply in writing to the HOD for them to close yesterday and today.



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