Parents demand acting principal be removed

2017-03-01 06:02
PHOTO: LUCKY KHANYILESiyamu Primary School in Caluza was locked down on Friday as parents protested against the appointment of the acting principal and the plans to combine Siyamu and Caluza Primary Schools.

PHOTO: LUCKY KHANYILESiyamu Primary School in Caluza was locked down on Friday as parents protested against the appointment of the acting principal and the plans to combine Siyamu and Caluza Primary Schools.

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PUPILS at a school in Caluza in Edendale were locked out on Friday as angry parents protested and called for the removal of the acting principal.

“There will be no teaching and learning until the Department of Education listens to our concerns,” parents shouted outside the Siyamu Primary School on Friday.

Plessislaer police had to intervene in the illegal protest and forced parents to allow the school to eventually open at around 10am.

The parents said they were unhappy with the acting principal, George Khumalo.

One of the parents, Ntombiningi Khuzwayo, said they were also against the department’s plans to combine Caluza and Siyamu Primary Schools.

Khuzwayo claimed that Khumalo “failed” the school and parents were not happy about him remaining as acting principal of the proposed combined school.

Plans to combine the schools apparently came after the former principal, Deli Mseleku, retired and Khumalo was appointed to act in the role.

The parents are calling for Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana to urgently address the issue.

“The department did not even inform parents when they appointed Khumalo. The principal has failed at his school, now they want to bring him to Siyamu. We are tired of being force-fed.

“We called a meeting with the department and in the meeting the inspector did not listen to our grievances,” said Khuzwayo.

Another parent, Thabisile Khoza, said Khumalo was not wanted at Siyamu school “as he will not set a good example for their children”.

“He is the principal at Caluza and ever since he took over nothing has gone right. Parents have been removing their children from his school.

“Now they want him to take over at our school? That will not happen because we don’t want our children to be under him.

“He has failed as a principal. Dlungwane must come and resolve the issue or else the school will remain closed,” she said.

Chairperson of Siyamu School Governing Body Nurse Zondi called for an urgent discussion to resolve the issues raised by the upset parents.

“We will wait for them [department], but there should also be a meeting where parents can share their concerns.

“A decision can be reached amicably without having to resort to violence,” Zondi said.

Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the issue of merging schools was a robust and long process of engagement.

Mahlambi said the decision to combine schools was based on observations over a long period of time to find out if a school was losing numbers continuously.

“The community is engaged until they understand and see that what is intended to be done is for the benefit of the pupils and the community in the long run.

“The fact that parents are protesting against the intention means we must go back to the drawing board and have discussions with them again,” said Mahlambi.

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