Rezone shock for 9 schools

2012-06-18 00:00

NINE schools in Northdale have been rezoned to fall under the Department of Education’s Swayimane district office.

Swayimane is about 33 km away, outside Wartburg.

Authorities at two of the schools said they were not amused at the way the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education’s restructuring exercise had affected them.

“We haven’t been given a reason why the department is moving these schools to Swayimane,” said Girendra Singh, vice-chairperson of the school governing body (SGB) at Union Park Primary School.

He said the shift would inconvenience teachers and pupils.

“Teachers will now travel 40 km to pick up papers or for meetings, while our pupils will have to travel the same distance to participate in different codes of sports with schools in that area,” he added.

The schools that have been moved from the uMgungundlovu District office to Swayimane are Northbury Park Secondary, Kharina Secondary, Deccan Road Primary, Allandale Primary, Springhaven Primary, Orient Heights Primary, Copesville Primary, Dunveria Primary, and Union Park Primary.

“It’s a joke,” said a principal at one of the schools.

His name is withheld because he is not supposed to speak to media.

“The department just told us that the restructuring is part of the new demarcations. Swayimane is a bit far,” he added. “It was just a top-down approach.”

He said this would hinder the sport development and that the school could not afford to transport the pupils to Swayimane.

He said attending cluster meetings would also be expensive.

Provincial Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the exercise was aimed to enhance service delivery.

He said the restructuring stemmed from a study by the department following the abolition of regional service centres, including uMgungundlovu.

All employees’ salaries, procurement of goods and services, among other things, would now have to be done at the district level.

“There is no information gap. We did communicate with them. Some people don’t want change because they are too comfortable in their own comfort zone,” he added.

With regard to the extra travelling, he commented: “These children are South African and the department is promoting integration. Travelling will be part of geography for them”.

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