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MEC demands answers after Pinetown school goes without Grade 1 teacher for 6 months

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published Nov 21, 2019

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Durban - A Pinetown primary school has not had a Grade 1 teacher since May this year.

Unions have described the situation at Shayamoya Primary as “unacceptable and irresponsible”.

According to the department, other teachers at the school have been taking the class on an ad hoc basis.

Thirona Moodley, the chief executive of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA in KZN, said it was the department’s responsibility to ensure that there was a teacher in every class.

“These innocent pupils have lost a year through no fault of their own,” said Moodley.

She added that pupils had a constitutional right to quality basic education, and said this was an infringement of that right.

Nomarashiya Caluza, the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary, said the union wanted an investigation into the matter and other issues within the human resources unit.

“Principals of schools are mostly helpless when it comes to the appointment of teachers as it remains the responsibility of the district. Sadtu, therefore, calls upon all school principals with their school governing ­bodies to forward the names of schools and grades that are without teachers in their schools,” said Caluza.

The KZN MEC for Education, Kwazi Mshengu, said they met with the ­senior management of the department together with the school’s governing body and principal on Friday last week, in an attempt to resolve the school’s challenges.

According to the department, the school has experienced several challenges in the recent past that have negatively affected its core business.

“We also have been made aware that some of our officials failed to address the matter, despite being advised by the concerned parents to fill the vacant post. We can confirm that harsh action will be taken against those who dropped the ball,” said Mshengu.

He said that in correcting this unjustifiable prejudice to the pupils, he had directed that the post be filled by this week.

The Mercury

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