Principal under fire

2017-09-27 06:02
Two broken desks, of which the frames had been covered with pieces of steel locker cabinets, which learners used in one of the classrooms of the Relebeletse Primary School in Phase 5, Bloemfontein. Photo: Teboho Setena

Two broken desks, of which the frames had been covered with pieces of steel locker cabinets, which learners used in one of the classrooms of the Relebeletse Primary School in Phase 5, Bloemfontein. Photo: Teboho Setena

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Trouble is brewing at another Bloemfontein public school, the Relebeletse Primary School, following the revelation of a rift between the staff and the principal, Victor Nene.

A similar situation, in which the principal is at the centre of controversy, has unfolded at the Tjhebelopele Primary School in Phase 4.

The alleged rift at Relebeletse is reportedly impacting negatively on the 49 teachers’ work and the effective learning of learners. The school has 1 441 registered learners.

Disarray at Relebeletse, also located in Phase 4, is blamed on Nene’s alleged dictatorship when it comes to his managerial style.

Express reliably learnt that some members of the school governing body (SGB) were at loggerheads with Nene following the discovery of alleged confusion relating to accounting for money spent and the failure to produce proof thereof, arousing suspicion of mismanagement of the school money.

During Express’s recent visit to the school, learners were found using irreparably broken desks. In one of the classes, pieces of a broken steel cabinet was utilised to cover the framework of two of these desks spotted in the classroom.

Despite there being a demand for the replacement of these irreparable desks, an amount of R43 000 was “approved” for a recent trip to Cape Town undertaken by Nene and two deputy ­principals, Nomvula Nhlapo and Kebawetse Mablane. The amount was reportedly to cover accommodation, food and airfare.

“The current situation at this school is a ticking time bomb,” said one of the concerned teachers, who asked to remain anonymous.

Allegations of Nene’s dictatorship have been fuelled by disciplinary action being instituted against a female teacher, whose identity is known to this publication.

Six charges, instituted after a meeting held on 15 August, were brought against the teacher. The charge sheet was apparently forwarded to the Free State Department of Education in the Motheo District.

In the charge sheet, signed by Nene and one of the deputy principals, the transgressor was instructed to attend an informal disciplinary meeting at the principal’s office at the school on 24 August at 14:30.

“The teacher’s crime was to seek clarity from Nene about the whereabouts of a male Gr. R teacher who had been instructed to vacate the position after a dispute had been lodged against recommendations by the principal and his confidants to appoint a candidate they preferred, overlooking the male candidate who volunteered for years. In the event the male teacher left, a female teacher was recommended to volunteer and the position for a Gr. R teacher was advertised. What does that say to any person of integrity?” asked one of the teachers.

Express’s repeated efforts to get response from the department concerning the situation at Relebeletse, have been futile.


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