1 000 teachers miss 1st day of class

2012-04-11 09:13

Johannesburg - Over 1 000 teachers did not arrive for the start of the second school term on Tuesday, pleading exhaustion after a sports day, according to a report on Wednesday.

The Professional Educators' Union (PEU) sent a letter to schools informing them that some of their staff would be too tired to work because they had attended the Annual Association of Teachers' Unions of Southern Africa Games in Windhoek, Namibia, The Star newspaper reported.

"Owing to fatigue and exhaustion due to long travelling distances from Windhoek to South Africa, the union applied for time off for members, who will be unable to report for duty on April 10, 2012," the union wrote.

The letter was signed by PEU general secretary Ben Machipi, who told The Star the teachers had applied for annual leave.

The games included sports such as soccer, netball and volleyball.

  • Sharon - 2012-04-11 09:18

    Too tired to work!!! Excuse me while I get up from the floor! Why don't they do what they always do? Sleep at their desks!

      Foc - 2012-04-11 09:26

      I wonder how much of that was sport and how much of the trip was sportS .... like drinking games and couch rugby ... lazy bunch of nanas

      Kacee - 2012-04-11 09:50

      Man, wish I could use that with my boss... sorry cant make it in today, I had to drive back from holiday yesterday!!!!

      Rob - 2012-04-11 10:13

      Did the students even notice ?

      rbphiri - 2012-04-11 11:23

      Watch! these idiots will probably say that they did not arrive for the start of the second school term because they were kidnapped by the easter bunny.

      mholthuysen - 2012-04-11 12:04

      The success of the education system as our president so proudly declared in his State of Disaster Address... I am also too tired to get up - as I worked 16 hours yesterday to complete an important project - and I am back again today....

  • Bongani - 2012-04-11 09:21

    Tyred travelling to Namibia , is only 2 hour flite. I think these educaters are not be very honest. Fun never be placed before educate children.

      Gareth - 2012-04-11 09:37

      maybe they went by bus. Still, its not as if they were driving...

      Bryan - 2012-04-11 10:07

      Eish, eish, eish.............................Eish!! So much of tiredness.. Eish!!!

      Glyn - 2012-04-11 10:12

      The union is not honest! The teachers are not honest! See what this government has done to the country's education! Vote DA!

  • werner.smidt - 2012-04-11 09:23

    I bet their pronunciation of "fatigue" is something like "fattigew".

      rbphiri - 2012-04-11 11:26

      Probably they were late because they had such magnanimous hearts they decided to teach other students during their holiday. Pathetic

  • Marion - 2012-04-11 09:23

    Why do teachers still get annual leave when they already have four holidays a year?

      Makatikamusona - 2012-04-11 09:38

      As far as I know they don't get annual leave maybe a sic leave. But what about those that teach during winter holidays while they are supposed to be enjoying holidays with their family

      Glyn - 2012-04-11 10:14

      The teachers know what days they can or cannot take off. winter holiday teaching is one thing, sports is quite another! These teachers are malingering! Vote DA!

      Schmee - 2012-04-11 13:25

      @Makatika, what school are you referring too? Or are you referring to the handful of teachers that still care about teaching.

      Marion - 2012-04-11 14:55

      @Janine - thanks for clarifying that.

  • Chris - 2012-04-11 09:24

    Ok so they went for a booze up in Namibia and now they can't go to work! They knew the distances before they left why the sudden surprise? Fire them!

      Grant - 2012-04-11 12:38

      I bet these teachers do not know where Namibia is let alone the distance involved.

  • Den - 2012-04-11 09:25

    this is called bad planning

      IAnon - 2012-04-11 09:33

      Looks more like no planning.

      Brigitte - 2012-04-11 17:05


  • Deon - 2012-04-11 09:30

    Education is in crisis in SA.

      Grant - 2012-04-11 12:44

      Agreed and it's a ticking time bomb. These poorly educated pupils will not find decent employment when they leave school and that's when the $hit will hit the fan.

  • Stanley - 2012-04-11 09:32

    I'm practically speechless...our poor children have to educate themselves rather!!!..And I bet that someone will find an excuse to condone this!!!..It's sickening...REALLY!

  • Jason - 2012-04-11 09:34

    Dont worry they will strike again soon, to ask for more time off! Useless bunch of "I wants"

  • Zimbobwe - 2012-04-11 09:34

    @Marion it is part of their conditions of employment. Black and White teachers enjoy the benfits no need to get your knickers in a twist. I already see where is thhis going...

      Marion - 2012-04-11 09:37

      @Zimbobwe - and where is it going?

      clintsiren - 2012-04-11 09:50

      Who brought race into this?

      Newsreader - 2012-04-11 09:55

      Conditions of employment? Like the SANDF conditions of employment: Do not obey orders, AWOL as you like, Have no disipline....... Africa adieu!

      Zimbobwe - 2012-04-11 10:06

      @Marion read Newsreader comment... and people should just stop pretending deep down they know all their comments are based on race even if they don't spell it out. I'm not talking baout you Marion you are the exception, your comments are always fair and not race based.

      Glyn - 2012-04-11 10:20

      @ Zimbobowe - and where is it going? The condition of employment of all teachers requires them to T-E-A-C-H.

      Zimbobwe - 2012-04-11 10:29

      @Glyn yes and they are allowed to T-A-K-E L-E-A-V-E like you and myself. It's not like the whole school went to Namibia. In most schools you'll find only two or three teachers are involved in sports and there is always a back-up if the one doesn't pitch. - 2012-04-11 10:36

      You are deluded. Have you ever taught in your life?!

      patrick.saunders123 - 2012-04-11 10:48

      poor zimbobwe lives under the impression that south african teachers actually deserve any type of leave. maybe he hasn't noticed that education is a shambles because of the teachers. then again, maybe he is a teacher.

      Zimbobwe - 2012-04-11 10:57

      No I'm not a teacher and not planning to be one. Rightly so it's not fair to blame the whole education system failure on a single day away from work. Teachers have a right to take leave if they are not feeling well or have a good reason for it. I think it's their constitutional right!!! - 2012-04-11 11:13

      Don't think- it's not your strong point

      J.A.Rademan - 2012-04-11 11:50

      @Zimbobwe. You say it should not be race related, agreed. Why is it then that when I read a report on a 1000 teachers staying away from class, that they are all part of a "black" teachers union. Have you ever heard of 1000 white teachers staying at home over nonsense. You wont, its just not our "culture" to allow teachers to neglect the schooling of our children. The examination results reflects just that. The result is black children is still marginalized, and this time whites has nothing to do with it. Unbelievable, unfair, unjust, don't you think? Some stupid Racists will target the stupidity of the teachers and Union to their own benefit, but mostly whites pity the children of black parents who have to deal with this.

      Zimbobwe - 2012-04-11 12:43

      @Mr Rademan I hear you but lets look at it my way. South Africa have more than 2000 schools. SADTU have 240 000 members whcih are all teachers and we had only 1000 teachers staying away from school. If you divide 2000 by 1000 it gives you 2 teachers per school. 239 000 members of the union were teaching and that mean the two teachers who were not at a school on that day can be covered by other staff members. I know because my daughter attends an afrikaans private school and they do the same. If their class teacher is not available they intergate them with another class on the same grade and it's only for a day!!! Mr Rademan tell me if I'm wrong or deluded bcos as the Bigsexy said thinking is not my strong point.

      Grant - 2012-04-11 12:52

      @ Zimbobwe's comment that teachers are entitled to leave but they should at least apply in advance so other arangements can be made to teach the pupils.

      Rob - 2012-04-11 13:15

      Too many excuses here about teacher's having a right to take time off. Well, maybe they moderation. BUT that is not the issue here, is it? The issue is the apparent total lack of planning and suprise when it happened. Why is it so difficult for the institutionalised mind to grasp that forward planning can make most things work in a transparent and effective manner. I don't know whether this lack of foresight really is a race thing or a cultural thing, BUT I do know with certainty that it is alien to my culture and experience.

      Zimbobwe - 2012-04-11 13:36

      @Grant I agree with you they knew they were going to be tired after the trip and should have applied before but like I said it was only for a day. @criticallyhonest don't tell you have never ever phoned your work place and tell them you are not coming in because of some other excuses. No one myself included can tell me they had never phoned their bosses and gave him excuses for not coming to work. Even my boss used to do the same after a weekend trip out fishing, camping, hiking and mampoer/krokodil drinking. He was honest and used to tell me that. If it happened all the time I will understand but this is the first time I hope.

      Schmee - 2012-04-11 14:00

      I think Zimbobwe is being sexist in his first comment where he says that Marion shouldn't get her knickers in a twist.

      Zimbobwe - 2012-04-11 14:24

      @Schmee LOL!!! You killed boetman, me sexist??? Never!!! Have you ever heard of an idiom??? Knickers in a twist/Panties in a knot = Agitated/Incesed. Nothing sexist about that!!!

  • Angela - 2012-04-11 09:38

    Should be condemned as traitors. Any teacher failing to do their job in a country such as ours is a traitor because the ONLY way out of poverty is education. Mandela says it and my family have proven it. Fire their sorry tired asses.

      Heiku - 2012-04-11 10:11

      There are other ways out of poverty. Like crime and winning the lotery. Well done on doing it correctly though.

      Marion - 2012-04-11 10:57

      ... that lottery... got my sights set firmly on it...

      Angela - 2012-04-11 14:07

      LOL Heiku - as I said education, history teaches you crime is a short term solution and stats will teach you the lotto is very, very unlikely and having more than one ticket will not improve your chances significantly. But the lure of easy money is seductive.

  • Rob - 2012-04-11 09:38

    More hand-out mentality. Not until there is a work ethic will SA recover.

  • Freddie - 2012-04-11 09:44

    "Professional Educators" Union!!! WTF! What an oxymoron!

      Glyn - 2012-04-11 10:21

      Put the accent on "moron"!

  • Newsreader - 2012-04-11 09:52

    Will it make any differance? Even if they never ever came back? The results will still be the same. Fail Fail Fail!

  • Scouter - 2012-04-11 09:53

    I wonder how many children failed to appear?

  • brionyl.french - 2012-04-11 09:56

    last time i checked Teachers didnt participate in school sports days the kids do, so if they can rock up so can the teachers.... Gosh we are a lazy country full of excuses

  • Rob - 2012-04-11 09:58

    Unless they are " marching " wailing & screeching with clenched fists raised, there is no dedication shown by these fat @sses in anything they do. What a useless bunch.

  • Glyn - 2012-04-11 09:58

    These teachers are wimps!

  • Cassandra Olivier - 2012-04-11 10:02

    And they wonder why more and more parents are send there children to private schools or doing home schooling

  • Genesistt - 2012-04-11 10:05


  • - 2012-04-11 10:06

    Unacceptable piss poor planning, they had an entire week to take part in their sports event. Just another excuse to not do their jobs at the taxpayers expense

  • Oom - 2012-04-11 10:16

    PROFESSIONAL teacher's union? What's so professional about them and their members? They have quite a cheeck to call themselves that

  • Heinrich - 2012-04-11 10:20

    Funny how my brother drove all the way from namibia to cape town on monday and was on time for work on Tuesday morning?

  • Xavier7034 - 2012-04-11 10:21

    2012 Version: Educator = "Someone who educates young people" Learner = "Someone (especially a child) who learns (as from a teacher) or takes up knowledge or beliefs" 1990 Version: Teacher = "A person whose occupation is teaching" Pupil: "A learner who is enrolled in an educational institution" We used to call them TEACHERS, because they WERE OCCUPIED and always busy doing so...... We called them PUPILS because they actually used to ATTEND School

  • Lebogang - 2012-04-11 10:22

    I have to agree with Miss Mazibuko. Unions are indeed single handedly killing SA. Intrenching in the population the culture of entitlement rather than hardwork. what we need is a true Thatcherite to break their backs. Trevor Manuel comes to mind. - 2012-04-11 10:28

      Oh well said!!

      Rob - 2012-04-11 10:53

      Lebogang....When you " grow up " :) enter polotics. You will have my vote !

      Willie - 2012-04-11 19:22

      Lebogang, wish we had a few million more fellow South Africans with your insight and belief

  • - 2012-04-11 10:25

    Pathetic attitude! They should not be called teachers. We are all tired when we get home from school but we soldier on- for the sake of the little ones!

      Zimbobwe - 2012-04-11 13:51

      @Bigsexy so what??? Nobody forced you to get laid little missy!!! Take care of your little ones and stop comparing your situation to that of the teachers. They are entitled to their annaul leave and there is nothing you can do about it. The leave was granted and you can go drown yourself if you are not happy!!!

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-04-11 10:29

    They must not be paid then. If you do not work, then why should you be paid? Paid to rest? It's a different story if you are sick. Or they should penalise people who don't show for work...

  • TheMonk - 2012-04-11 10:52

    No work, no pay.

  • Richard - 2012-04-11 11:11

    To tired due to travel from Windhoek to Sa. Did they walk?? Oh but do not forget the great job they are doing. The pass rate in Matric is now at 70%. Ok Ok so you only need to get 30% to pass but who is counting.

  • J.A.Rademan - 2012-04-11 11:13

    They are entitled to leave if the leave is granted. You don't TAKE leave. This is typical of SA where employees think they are entitled to TAKE leave. And in a country where education is so pathetic, a union should not get involved with "a days leave" that individual teachers take. It is BAD PR. Really stupid stuff from the teachers and Union.

  • Leonard - 2012-04-11 11:20


  • xolile.hanse - 2012-04-11 11:26

    Kuyayiwa espan noba udiniwe ntozakuthi!!!

  • lmadikwe - 2012-04-11 12:00

    I'm starting to believe that UNIONS are the worse thing to have happened to SA education...Period.

  • pat.pugheparry - 2012-04-11 13:05

    The Professional Educators Union????? - extremely (un)professional behaviour

  • daniella.blazic - 2012-04-11 13:38

    ALL I SAY IS..... LOL *shakes head in disgust*

  • Grant - 2012-04-11 13:43

    Who paid for this jaunt? I suspect the taxpayer. I'll bet my bolloks the teachers didn't pay. Think of the costs involved : transport, food and accomodation. If the union footed the bill (lol) they must be collecting a hell of a lot in subscriptions. Strage how the teachers were fit enough to travel to SWA and play soccer netball and volleyball yet when they returned to Jhb they were too knackered to go to work the next day.

  • Zimbobwe - 2012-04-11 14:09

    @Bigsexy and so what??? Nobody forced you to get laid little missy!!! Take care of your little ones and stop comparing your situation to that of the teachers. They are entitled to their annaul leave and there is nothing you can do about it. The leave was granted and you can go drown yourself if you are not happy!!! - 2012-04-11 15:08

      You need a hug- come here. Shh shh, I know. Just promise me you won't breed-ever.

      Peter - 2012-04-12 14:05

      I was following your debate, with some interest, until this nasty bit of writing. What was so exhausting ? They were driven back. Very sad state of affairs.

  • David - 2012-04-11 14:09

    I have been teaching for 35 years now and never missed a day because I was to exhausted after a holiday. Of course, I have never taught in South Africa either.

  • vuyo.zuccherro.gqwaru - 2012-04-11 14:52

    Wow, the education system in South Africa is in a horrible condition but teachers still decide to take time off whenever they can. We still have a long way to go towards fixing the messed up education system.

      Marion - 2012-04-11 15:09

      @vuyo - don't forget the times the teachers go off early to attend union meetings and then kids are released from school hours before the end of the school day because not enough teachers to cope.

  • Wayne - 2012-04-11 16:16

    I'm too tired to pay my taxes, which by the way keeps you skunks in jobs!!!! @zimbobwe - this is but one sympton of a rotten system.

  • Brigitte - 2012-04-11 17:01

    Oh you got to be joking?????? And as for annual leave...that no longer exists for most teachers, so where do these ones get it?

  • Willie - 2012-04-11 18:28

    With work ethics as displayed by a large proportion of teachers at schools where pupils cannot afford to lose an hour of schooling, I am afraid South Africa will just slip further and further backwards. I cry for my country!

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