Learners say they’ve had it with promises

2016-02-18 06:00

For a second time, students of Uxolo High School and Sizimisele Technical High School marched to the Western Cape Department of Education.

Students say they lack teachers at their schools.

The Uxolo students, who were at the department on Wednesday, say they were promised answers by 11 February.

Grade 12 learners Khaya Kona and Sipho Sondiyazi say the department is not listening. Their school has a serious need for Maths, Life Science and Natural Science teachers.

“It’s been five weeks since we last had a Life Science class and we have not had mathematics this year… They [the department] told us they would come and address us on Thursday, but they never came. We kept calling and they were saying they are on the way, they are getting lost, [but] they never arrived.” said Kona.

“We asked the principal when are we getting teachers and he told us that he had reported the matter to the department. He said there was no money to pay the teachers and that some of the teachers were either on contract or were volunteers.”

“We are grade 12 students who are already behind by a term, how will we catch up if they dont make a plan?

We don’t want the department to keep telling us, ‘as soon as possible’. We want them to tell us when exactly.” said Sondiyazi.

Students from Sizimisele Technical High school were also experiencing the same problem with a lack of teachers in technical subjects.

The department had promised to provide them with feedback today. Ayanda Zuza says when department representatives came to the school, they asked to speak with the learners’ representative council.

“They said they will give us tutors. That’s not what we want. We want teachers. If we let them bring us tutors, we might never get teachers.”

“We came back so they can see that we are really serious about this.” said Zuza

The last time students at Uxolo High School were in class was last week Friday, and Sizimisele Technical High School on Wednesday.

Four students from each school and members of Equal Education Law Centre met department officials.

Many learners waited in front of the department, singing songs.

“We don’t like being here. We want to be in class and it is up to us to see that happens,” said Kona.

Equal Education organiser Sindisa Monakali says this is an issue in many Khayelitsha schools. “There is always a problem with these school every year. If it’s not the shortage of textbooks, it’s a shortage of teachers. They never give us permanent solutions.”

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