Striking matrics want maths teacher, principal removed

2010-07-21 00:00

WITH fewer than 100 days to go before the end-of-year exams, the matriculants at Mlungisi Secondary School in Vulindlela are not in their classrooms.

They are striking about the acting principal and the maths literacy teacher whom they want to be dismissed. They also said conditions at the school are not conducive for learning.

What’s more, they said, they are willing to strike until their demands are addressed.

The Witness visited the school after receiving reports that classes were being disrupted for the second day running.

A large group of pupils complained that their maths literacy teacher does not teach them properly. They claimed that she simply sits, reads from the textbook and expects them to be able to answer textbook questions without first explaining concepts to them.

They also claimed that instead of being taught maths literacy, the teacher makes them read newspapers. The pupils said the issue is not about the teacher being an English speaker or about being taught in English, but the fact that the teacher doesn’t take time to teach.

“She is old and all she does is sit. She can’t even bring herself to stand up and write on the blackboard,” one pupil said.

According to the pupils, the teacher came in as a replacement earlier in the year.

While she is permanently employed, they said, they claimed her post was never advertised. The Witness has not been able to verify this.

The pupils also complained about the deputy principal, who is currently the acting principal. They accused her of neglecting her duties and of failing to hold teachers accountable.

A matriculant told The Witness, “We received our March exam results very late. I’m in matric and I am yet to receive my June results. Hence I can’t apply. We go and complain about certain teachers and nothing ever gets done. She has no respect for us as students and has brought division among the teachers because she takes her own decisions without any consultations.”

The pupils also alleged that instead of teaching the grade 12 classes she is responsible for, the acting principal passes those duties to teachers employed to teach grade eight.

“She has no regard for us. But the problem is that she is friends with the inspector. As we speak, they are locked in the principal’s office without any teacher or learner representative present; what does that tell you?” another pupil said.

The pupils are adamant they will not go back to class until these issues are resolved.

The pupils also expressed their frustrations over overflowing and filthy toilets. They said some classes have no windows or doors.

The Witness could not get comment from the KZN Education Department before going to print.

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