Pupils in absent teacher-coach exam nightmareComment on this story
WHEN Ofentse Mehlape’s mother died in 2007, his aunt promised him a quality education. But now, the future of the 12-year-old Limpopo pupil hangs in the balance because of somebody else’s bungle.
Ofentse is among a batch of Grade 7 pupils at Ramogobe Primary School, in Ga-Ramongoana village outside Polokwane, whose exam marks for June are outstanding.
This is because Jerry Ramohlale, their class teacher – who is the uncle and coach of disgraced Comrades Marathon winner Ludwick Mamabolo – has been absent from his teaching post.
Northern Sotho, life orientation, and arts and culture are the three subjects taught by Ramohlale to grades 5 and 7 that are missing from their reports.
The principal has written in Ofentse’s report “subject teacher was absent”, in the space for the exam marks for the three subjects.
Ramohlale is accused by the school governing body (SGB) and his colleagues of bunking work since his appointment as a temporary teacher last August.
Ramohlale has refused to comment on the allegations levelled against him, including claims that he was away without permission to prepare his nephew for the Comrades.
Mamabolo faces a probe after his A and B samples tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, but he has maintained his innocence.
The principal of Ramogobe School, Matome Mara, said the Ramohlale matter was being handled by the district manager, MJ Mamabolo, who in turn has been accused of protecting Ramohlale from being disciplined.
The Star reported yesterday that Mamabolo had allegedly instructed the SGB to reinstate Ramohlale last week, after the governing body had terminated his contract.
It is not clear whether MJ Mamabolo is related to the controversial athlete, with whom he shares a surname.
Ofentse’s aunt, Refiloe Letlalo, said she had been criticised for taking the matter to the media. Letlalo said the missing marks were jeopardising her nephew’s chances of admission to schools next year.
“Capricorn High School in Polokwane, a former Model C school, was very sceptical about whether my nephew would be admitted if they don’t know how he had performed,” she said. “The department must see to it that my nephew gets admission at my preferred school.”
The Star has seen Ofentse’s report, which shows that in June he attained 82 percent in English and 68 percent in mathematics.
Limpopo Education Department spokesman Pat Kgomo said the matter was now being investigated by the senior district manager.