Twist in Rivonia principal's hearing

2012-09-12 14:12

Johannesburg - The education MEC is not the only one with authority to overturn a school admission decision, a disciplinary hearing heard on Wednesday.

The department head held the same right, said Qiniso Zwane, co-ordinator of appeals at the Gauteng education department.

He was giving evidence in a hearing in Johannesburg against Rivonia Primary School principal Carol Drysdale, who has been charged with misconduct and insubordination.

Drysdale has pleaded not guilty.

She allegedly failed to follow a Gauteng education department instruction to admit a Grade 1 pupil to the school.

The school placed the child on a waiting list, saying classes were full and the application was late.

New turn

Drysdale said she had not known about the regulation which granted the head of department the power to overturn an admission decision.

"My client would have followed the instructions had she known," said Dion Masher, for Drysdale.

Hearing chairman Terry Motau, said this was a new turn in the matter.

In Tuesday's proceedings, Zwane said the school did not follow its own admission policy regarding the pupil.
He said the school was not full as Drysdale had stated.

Masher said the admission policy also stated a grade could not have more than 120 pupils, and the five Grade 1 classes totalled 120 pupils.

The matter went to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, which ruled that it was up to the provincial department, not the school governing body, to determine the school's maximum enrolment.

The hearing continues.

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-12 15:26

    Very petty politics involved here. If the principal wasn't white, there wouldn't be this furore. The education department is a DISGRACE!

  • candy.hooke - 2012-09-12 15:43

    Disgusting power hungry officials. Blatant racism - if this kid was white do you think we would be here today? Oh no we wouldn't! It's some 'chip on the shoulder' buffoon who wants to prove to the 'white lady' that they are in charge! No wonder we are almost the stupidest country in the world - look who is in charge of education - morons who have none themselves! Oh and by the way - the kid who was enrolled forcibly - above others on a waiting list - is a year too young, and is struggling so badly at school - I hope that mother has her day! The wheel turns....

  • cheryl.christie.92 - 2012-09-12 16:15

    My child attended Rivonia Primary years ago when she was still Carol Koegelenberg (Miss K). I found her to be a power hungry, unpleasant and outright rude individual. In the 6 years my son was a pupil (and in the aftercare program) I never witnessed her being kind or loving to any child ever. She was not principal at the time but certainly aspiring. I don't think the matter has anything to do with racism. Why would the principal of a school not be familiar with the rules of her "employer". The wheel does turn Candy Hooke and PS "stupidest" is not a word.

  • roddy.higgins - 2012-09-12 16:18

    If the SA government had built enough schools there would not be this ridiculous situation. No wonder valuable SA teachers land up educating Australian/NZ/Canadian kids.

      emmanuel.roodt - 2012-09-12 17:06

      And living without fear in those countries!!!!

  • Sanusha Reddy - 2012-09-12 16:53

    I don't think this is about racism. As an educator she should have considered the childs right to an education. This lady didn't realise how many other children were affected by her decision to sue her employer. This time I have to agree with the department

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-12 18:22

      Oh I see, so it's okay to jump the queue and put in a late application on top of it all, then just demand your child is accepted? Load of bollocks!

  • nicola.killops - 2012-09-12 18:54

    Carol Drysdale did this not only for Rivonia, but for all the schools as we are under more and more pressure to take learners into full classrooms. The GDE feels 40 Gr 1's in a classroom with one teacher is perfectly ok yet blame schools when the poor literacy and maths results come in. How can one person teach 40 kids to read and write. Its not like the days when kids were disciplined and listened to the teacher. You need to be right there focused on each child to keep their attention. Thank you Carol, for standing up for the good education the department keeps promising yet fails to deliver.

  • june.corlett - 2012-09-12 20:16

    It's simple - Apply now -late application - you wait. Apply on the first day of school in January - the Department of Education will force a school to admit you. I see it every year. So why bother to go through the admissions process. Wait til 09 January 2013 - your child will be placed. Guaranteed.

  • rick.hartwig - 2012-10-11 20:46

    Any further developments - this is such a sad story ... Only ones benefiting are the lawyers.

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