Classes suspended

2016-03-16 06:00
THE Free State Department of Education has suspended classes at the Bartimea School for the blind and deaf in Thaba Nchu following protests at the institution over the past two weeks. The photo shows damage after protests in 2014, when the school was torched by learners whilst protesting against the management of the school.  Photo: Archive

THE Free State Department of Education has suspended classes at the Bartimea School for the blind and deaf in Thaba Nchu following protests at the institution over the past two weeks. The photo shows damage after protests in 2014, when the school was torched by learners whilst protesting against the management of the school. Photo: Archive

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THE Free State Department of Education has suspended classes at the Bartimea School for the blind and deaf in Thaba Nchu following protests at the institution over the past two weeks.

Education spokesperson Howard Ndaba said the department had launched an investigation into allegations made by learners and some members of management at the school.

According to Ndaba, a task team has been assigned by the department to look into allegations of mismanagement raised by both learners and staff.

“Allegations include corruption and ill treatment of some staff members by the school principal,” said Ndaba.

Ndaba said learners alleged preferential treatment and complained of uneven distribution of resources between blind and deaf learners.

Learners also alleged that some teachers lacked efficient teaching skills, resulting in poor education.

Ndaba said a decision had been taken over the weekend by the department’s senior management and school management to suspend teaching at the school temporarily in an effort to ensure the safety of all learners and staff.

“Last year, the school was torched, so the department decided to suspend classes, because we cannot guarantee the safety of learners and staff members,” said Ndaba.

Ndaba said learners at the school would only miss a few days of the current school quarter, with public schools in the province closing this Friday (18/03) for school holidays. The school will re-open with the rest of the province’s schools on 5 April.

The department has appealed to parents to collect their children at the school as soon as possible.

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