SGB and parents express concern over how city school is run

2019-06-13 15:59
Northern Park Primary SGB chairperson Bongani Mpanza (left) assists as Education official Thulasizwe Mvubu uses parent Duke Ngcobo’s back as a desk to sign the memorandum handed over to the department outlining several grievances with the school’s management.

Northern Park Primary SGB chairperson Bongani Mpanza (left) assists as Education official Thulasizwe Mvubu uses parent Duke Ngcobo’s back as a desk to sign the memorandum handed over to the department outlining several grievances with the school’s management. (Chelsea Pieterse)

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Alleged mismanagement and low morale at Northern Park Primary has seen 10 teachers leave the school this year so far, according to parents picketing outside the school on Wednesday morning.

A small group of student governing body (SGB) members and parents gathered to lodge their grievances with officials from the Department of Education.

SGB chairperson Bongani Mpanza said there were issues with the management, particularly the principal of the school. “They are not taking us seriously. There are a high number of teachers leaving in quick succession and they tell us it is because of the principal and the way he runs the school,” said Mpanza.

Mpanza and other parents waited outside the school to hand over a memorandum to two Education Department officials, Thulasizwe Mvubu and Ndabazinhle Mtshali, who met with principal Kevin Marais on Wednesday morning.

The memorandum to the department contained a list of complaints and questions about how the school was being run.

According to the memorandum, the SGB chairperson is not allowed to call meetings and SGB members are not allowed to raise parents’ grievances against management and teachers.

“There is a high turnover of teachers employed by the SGB but we do not know their duties, their contract agreement or how much we are paying them.

“The security company at Northern Park is employed by the SGB yet we have not seen their contracts. Security personnel are changed day in and out, putting our children’s lives in danger as we doubt proper vetting is done.”

It adds that Marais had employed his wife as the librarian without letting the SGB know and that the full report for the school’s financial audit has never been brought before the SGB.

They gave the department seven days to respond and resolve the issues raised.

Mvubu said the department had received a message on Tuesday to say something would be happening at the school.

“The principal called Mtshali to say there would be a picket outside the school on Wednesday [yesterday] morning.

“The SGB chair then called me and told me the municipality had told the SGB to alert the Education Department of the picket.

“We have taken and signed the memorandum. We will take it to the district director and go from there,” said Mvubu.

Marais said he was unable to comment as he was compelled by the law not to speak to the media.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  northern park primary
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