The pupils are bullying us - Roodepoort Primary principal

2015-11-24 16:18
Gauteng legislature portfolio committee on Education chair Joe Mpisi addresses Roodepoort Primary School pupils. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

Gauteng legislature portfolio committee on Education chair Joe Mpisi addresses Roodepoort Primary School pupils. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

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Johannesburg - Teachers at the troubled Roodepoort Primary School are still being insulted and bullied by pupils, Principal Nomathemba Molefe said on Tuesday.

"They bully us. They insult us. Others say: 'My father said I must do this and see what you will do'," she told a meeting of the Gauteng legislature's portfolio committee on education, being held at the school.

One member of the school's management told the committee that a 13-year-old recently called a teacher a "poes".

Molefe said some parents still came to the school wanting to confront her.

"Children are very tender people, whatever you tell them stays with them. What has happened in this school has affected learners a great deal, and we are struggling with some of them," she said.

"This is starting with the parents and they must delete all that they have told their children."

Violent clashes

The school has been mired in controversy, and has been closed several times, the latest instance being earlier this year for nearly a month.

It was also the site of several violent clashes between residents and the police. In one incident a petrol bomb was thrown at a deputy principal's car, and in another, a parent allegedly brought a gun onto the school premises.

A security company was also hired to guard the school.

Parents and residents had claimed the appointment of the principal and her two deputies was irregular. They also claimed that two reports, one clearing their appointment and another clearing them of financial mismanagement, were incorrect.

The school was re-opened in September following the long closure.

This was after an independent mediation task team was appointed to find solutions at the school.

There have been several allegations that some parents did not want the principal because she is black. The community has denied this.

Gauteng legislature portfolio committee on Education chair Joe Mpisi addresses Roodepoort Primary School pupils. (Ahmed Areff, News24)

'We are here to tell you we love you'

Earlier, the committee's chairperson, Joe Mpisi, told the pupils that they needed to stop seeing race when playing with each other.

"Don't hurt each other. Don't discriminate with each other, you are all South Africans," he said.

"This is a beautiful school, and you are all beautiful. We are here because of the challenges you have faced. We are here to tell you we love you."

The pupils were sitting on the sports ground, in the shade of two large trees.

Mpisi said he would tell the department of education to look into building a hall for the pupils.

He also said pupils needed to be more respectful with each other and their teachers.

'You must respect'

"Some of you might have received counseling, we think you need more. You must not be influenced by some things that are happening in our society," he said.

"Tomorrow you are going to be the president of the country or the CEO of a company. We are telling you that as long as you have respect, you are going to be successful.

"If you don't respect, you will end up as a hobo on the street."

When he initially started talking to the pupils, he asked them if they knew who the premier was.

"Zuma", a few children shouted out in reference to President Jacob Zuma.

Mpisi said: "No, he is our boss, he is our president."

Some pupils shouted out: "Huh-uh!"

Pictures by Ahmed Areff, News24.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education

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