A teacher from Little Wood primary Nomonde Jikajika Balarane is accusing a school principal of racism after she was told she can’t be HOD of the school in Mitchell’s Plain because she can not speak Afrikaans. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)
A teacher from Little Wood primary Nomonde Jikajika Balarane is accusing a school principal of racism after she was told she can’t be HOD of the school in Mitchell’s Plain because she can not speak Afrikaans. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA)

Call for WCED probe into teacher’s alleged discrimination to be made public

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Oct 13, 2020

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Cape Town - The ANC has called for the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to make public its investigation into a claim of unfair discrimination.

Mitchells Plain teacher Nomonde Jikajika-Balarane held a lone protest inside Littlewood Primary School last week, saying she was unfairly discriminated against for not speaking Afrikaans during an interview when a senior post was internally advertised.

ANC provincial spokesperson on Education Khalid Sayed said it was not good enough to now only start an investigation as the case has been in the public domain for weeks.

‘’The department also must give the legislature the applicable language policy for this province with three official languages (Xhosa, English and Afrikaans) and how that is practically executed,’’ Sayed said.

Jikajika-Balarane, who has been a teacher at the school for 12 years, said she applied for the head of the department (HOD) position. “I was called for an interview, but part of the interview was conducted in Afrikaans, a language I do not speak or understand.”

There was a paper with questions in Afrikaans and she felt like she was being discriminated against.

“He told me that I cannot get the post as I cannot speak Afrikaans,” Jikajika-Balarane said, she was suitable for the position and the school language medium is English.

Jikajika-Balarane holds an Honours degree in Bachelor of Education Management and Leadership from UWC.

WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond has requested that the district investigate the claims made.

Hammond said the period for the temporary acting post was advertised from October 1 - December 15, indicating that the Language of Teaching and Learning was: “All subjects Grade 4-7: English and Afrikaans.”

The position has been filled.

Cape Argus

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