YOUTH GROUP: ‘Probe the management at the school’

2019-11-06 06:01
photo: Andile sithole Some of the windows that are broken at Buhlebuyeza Secondary School.

photo: Andile sithole Some of the windows that are broken at Buhlebuyeza Secondary School.

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A YOUTH organisation from eNhlalakahle has asked the provincial Department of Education to intervene and launch an investigation into Buhlebuyeza Secondary School.

Members of Umvoti Youth Drive and Mission Project, in partnership with the eNhlalakahle Development Committee, are complaining about the unhygienic toilets and the poor maintenance of the school.

A member of the committee said attempts to schedule a meeting with principal Xolani Nyoka proved to be fruitless.

Resident Xolisile Mane said: “We have tried to have a meeting with the school governing body and the principal of the school. The school is plagued by serious issues that we would like the department to investigate. Drug abuse at the school is high and we want answers from the principal on this.

“As the residents of Ward Seven, we demand change at the school. The principal must explain to us what happens to the money that the department deposits into the account of the school every year. The school is in a total mess and one wonders how the children are expected to produce good results under these unsatisfactory conditions.

“We conducted an oversight visit at the school recently. It’s shocking to see our local school in that condition, with unhygienic toilet systems and broken doors in some of the classrooms. The department should launch a special investigation into the school.”

Nhlalakahle Development Committee member Nkosinathi Dlamini said: “The school is an asset to the community. It has many problems and the principal has been engaged in numerous meetings with the youth from the community. The whole community is concerned about the state of the school, hence the youth have taken the initiative to visit the principal to offer assistance in coming up with solutions to those problems.”

Nyoka agreed that he has received a letter from members of the youth organisation requesting a meeting with him. However, he said that after discussions with the Department of Education he was advised not to hold a meeting with “no agenda”.

He told the Gazette that the committee does not represent the parents.

“Some of the members in the youth organisation who are in the forefront picking up on the issues at the school are former pupils from our school. I don’t know when they became parents because they matriculated from this school last year.

“Letters were sent to parents to inform them that a meeting that was schedule to take place was called off after we had a meeting the Department of Education. The [officials] from the department advised me not to attend a meeting with no agenda.

“They were going around the township [announcing] by loudhailer a meeting that was going to take place at the school. You cannot call a parents’ meeting by going around the township because other parents are from eShane and Matimatolo, which are out of Greytown.”

Nyoka admitted that there are serious issues at the school, saying some of the problems are caused by pupils. “The unhygienic toilets are caused by the pupils themselves. We have recently replaced 20 doors in classrooms that were vandalised by the pupils. Every year we must replace new doors that are vandalised. The members of the KZN Legislature visited the school recently to access the situation. Pupils also vandalised water pipes at the school.”

PROBLEMS LISTED IN THE MEMORANDUM:

• unhygienic toilets;

• broken windows, doors and ceilings;

• leaking water taps;

• drug abuse at the school;

• lack of funding to oversee the running of the school;

• lack of proper security at the school; and

• children dropping out of school.

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