Pupils protest staff shortages

2016-05-19 06:00
Learners from Sizimisele Technical High School protested after three teachers whom they claim were not paid for months did not come to school for about three weeks, on Monday, in Khayelitsha. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Learners from Sizimisele Technical High School protested after three teachers whom they claim were not paid for months did not come to school for about three weeks, on Monday, in Khayelitsha. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Sizimisele Technical High School learners once again abandoned classes in protest against the shortage of teachers.

A group of learners took to the offices of Western Cape Education Department (WCED) on Monday to voice their disatisfaction with the situation at their school.

Siphosethu Mafungwa, chairperson of the Learner Representative Council(LRC), said the latest protest was informed by the absenteeism of three teachers who have not been paid since February and could no longer afford to come to school.

“The teachers could not afford to come to school, because they were last paid in February. It has been three weeks now since they were not at school. This is going to affect us as learners. We have to write exams soon, but we are not prepared. The WCED is not helping us in this regard. We have protested several times before, but the matter is still not resolved,” Mafungwa said.

In February 2015 and 2016, City Vision published stories highlighting the plight of the learners and the shortage of teachers in the Physical Science, Maths, Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering classes.

Dillo Maruping, the school principal, said the “story is still the same” at the school which is why the learners were protesting.

Paddy Attwell, Director of Communication for WCED confirmed the march by about 60 learners outside the head office of the WCED on Monday morning.

Tau Matseliso, Deputy Director General for Institution Development and Coordination had met with the protestors to discuss their demands.

“The department is aware of the situation at Sizimisele and has approved the appointment of three teachers to teach technical subjects on a contract basis until the end of the year.

The department could not appoint more teachers because the school already has five teachers in excess of requirements who cannot teach the technical subjects concerned.

Our district office is in the process of redeploying the five teachers to other schools,”

He said Matseliso promised to visit the school to discuss their concerns in further detail. He also said the district officials will work with the school to develop a long term strategic plan for the school.

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