Flurry of problems as schools reopen

2012-01-15 20:00

Johannesburg - Schools in five inland provinces are reopening on Wednesday amid a number of unresolved problems which threaten the education of thousands of pupils this year.

This comes after coastal schools reopened last week with reported shortages of, among others, books, furniture and teachers.


Problems of temporary teachers and scholar transport are threatening the smooth reopening of schools on Wednesday. The provincial education department and teacher unions are meeting on Tuesday to discuss how temporary teachers – still in limbo – will be placed.

Last year, the department failed to pay 4 212 temporary teachers for two months after they were removed from the persal (payment) system when their contracts expired in December 2010.

But the department insists that about 2 000 teachers have already been placed.

In the Gert Sibande and Bohlabela regions, transport operators doubt they will transport pupils to school because they have not been paid for four months.

They were all removed and replaced with a single company which did not have the 300 required buses for the job. The company then sub-contracted bus operators.

Department spokesperson Jasper Zwane said discussions with bus operators were ongoing and
that they expected operators to start working on Wednesday. – By Sizwe sama Yende

Free State

The provincial education department said books linked to the new curriculum and assessment policy statement (Caps) were being delivered to enable schools to be prepared to start teaching on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Howard Ndaba said the department will urgently address vacancies at schools for smoother reopening and that departmental senior managers were deployed to regions to monitor the situation.

“We expect to cover more than 70% of schools in the first three days of reopening,” Ndaba said.

There were fewer parents expected to flood schools to look for places for their children, since they had responded well to the registration campaign that was launched last year.

The campaign encouraged parents to make sure their children are registered before schools closed for the December holidays.” – By Cathy Dlodlo

Eastern Cape
As a condition for her child to be enrolled, a parent had to buy a chair for her child.

Meanwhile, a school principal had to cancel preparations to feed children on their first day of school last Wednesday because of a lack of funds.

Most rural schools reported that children were not brought to school because of problems with scholar transport.

Just a day before schools reopened, the provincial education bosses, MEC Mandla Makupula and head of department Modidima Mannya, conceded that they were not ready for the new school year.

Makupula and Mannya, as reported by the Daily Dispatch, told the education portfolio committee on Tuesday that officials were working in districts tobavert a looming teacher, furniture and stationery crisis.

Other problems experienced last week include the non-delivery of new Caps material at primary schools and the unresolved issue of temporary teachers – who are still to be employed despite numerous court orders.

Loyiso Pulumani, the provincial education spokesperson, said a process was in place to employ 500 of the more than 4 000 temporary teachers. – By Sabelo Skiti


Some children in rural areas still have to swim across a river to get to school, while parents have resorted to underhand dealings to get their children into better schools.

In rural Msinga, children swim across a river to get to school because there is no bridge linking their village to schools.

In Durban, queuing parents were busted trying to smuggle their children into schools without registering them.

A parent, who was trying to find space for his daughters, claimed that a teacher at Durban Girls’ Secondary School told him to buy his children uniforms to gain entry without registering.

This, the father said, was because it would be hard for the school to send the children away once they were inside.

But the plan failed and the girls were sent away weeping and joined the other hopefuls, who had been camping outside the school.

 “My children were being educated in a rural school in Kwandengezi and I felt they were not getting the best education,” said the father, who works as a security guard.

Teacher unions say late applications were a yearly problem that was exacerbated by the exodus in township schools because of the belief that former Model C schools were better. – By Sphumelele Mngoma

  • Kim - 2012-01-15 20:09

    And Private got to a good start. Hmmmm I wonder why?

      Anthony - 2012-01-15 21:24

      yep and the governmont proclaims free education, for Who, not the tax payers. just a thought!

  • Irene - 2012-01-15 20:11

    Aaah no surprises at the ANCircus! When will they realise that they can't run a bath, let alone a country.

      Hendrik - 2012-01-16 06:55

      I agree, but we have to give it to them - they CAN run a good shower though!!

  • Irene - 2012-01-15 20:18

    Kids having to swim across rivers to get to school, parents having to buy chairs for their kids before they're able to enrol them at school. What the hell is happening to SA ANC? Too much party, pooza and stealing taxpayers money I think. The cANCer's inability and sheer ignorance is absolutely mind-blowing. But hey viva ANC, my future ..... BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Kim - 2012-01-15 20:43

      What part of the speech did Zuma not understand at their ANC bash? shame on you Zuma. These children are our future damn it. Have some respect for them.

  • Alex - 2012-01-15 20:20

    Eish, I cant believe! sorry I can LOL

  • braamc - 2012-01-15 20:31

    Go blame yourself thieving, incompetent ANC.

  • chiepner - 2012-01-15 20:32

    corruption, nepotism, cadre deployment, arrogance - and each year it gets worse and worse........the above is just symtoms to these problems. But hey, lets see - ruling party arrogance will provail and nothing will be done.

  • mariuskowie - 2012-01-15 20:47

    My son must go to school in two years. I am worried sick about the standards in our schools. I cannot afford a private school and as a single dad, homeschooling is not a option. I wonder if there are o small remote tiny possibility that the ANC will succeed to fix the schooling system before then? Then again, they f-uped for the past 17 years, every year proving that the previous year was nut the ultimate in f__k__g up......

      TheWatcher - 2012-01-15 21:19

      a former model c school is your best bet but don't despair since they can often trade blow for blow with private schools in most areas (just do your research before you send him). The most important thing is how you help him when he gets home. If you and him make an effort and communicate with regards to school and homework then most of the battle is won. Also chat to the teacher once a week or so to keep tabs and they'll tell you if there's anything that needs work.

      Polotic - 2012-01-15 23:08

      @Rebel_without_a_cause - Move to the Western Cape! Here the Dept of Education is well run and the schools were ready at the start of term.

      SarelJBotha - 2012-01-16 08:31

      There is no chance fo the ANC seeing the light.

  • Andre - 2012-01-15 21:08

    ANC was quite right when they promised heaven under ANC rule. We heaven got free or good education, heaven got service delivery, heaven got health services, heaven got corrupt-free police service, and I could go on and on with all the things we heaven got!

  • TheWatcher - 2012-01-15 21:11

    'Teacher unions say late applications were a yearly problem that was exacerbated by the exodus in township schools because of the belief that former Model C schools were better.' What belief? Its a fact except in a few exceptional circumstances (I've heard some good things about some township schools with excellent results).

      Anthony - 2012-01-15 21:29

      called preplanning the only thing the anc has not got.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-01-15 21:16

    "Busted" are you serious?

  • Haveyoursay - 2012-01-16 06:59

    This happens every year. You would think that they would learn from their mistakes.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-16 08:30

    What a surprize..nothing has changed, except for the worst.

  • Malcolm - 2012-01-16 10:36

    Former Model C schools are certainly better for one reason only: Because we pay additional amounts of our hard-earned money to create better schooling for our children. This does not mean that children from far and wide are required to be enriched at the expense of paid-up parents.

  • idille.borchers - 2012-01-17 11:41

    So. what's new?

  • Comrade - 2012-01-18 16:17

    Flurry of problem in SA...not only the schools. What do we expect when you put ape in charge of our education dept. *shaking my head*

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