Angry parents close school in Limpopo



Published Sep 9, 2014


Polokwane -

Angry parents have closed down Ntji-Mothapo Primary School in Limpopo indefinitely because they are not happy with the provincial Education Department.

On Monday, parents prevented their children from attending classes for the second time in as many weeks.

They resolved in a Sunday meeting to close the school permanently until the department removes three unwanted teachers.

“The department must choose. If it wants the school to reopen, it must fire the three teachers and reinstate the disbanded school governing body (SGB),” chairman David Mokoena said of the SGB’s disbanding by the department last week.

Parents were angered by the disclosure that the department had allowed an SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) official to head a task team that investigated alleged financial mismanagement at the school.

They said Sadtu was allowed to be “player and referee”in the probe, which excluded parents.

The parents have rejected the outcomes of a report compiled by the task team.

Parents have sided in the dispute with the principal, Ngoako Rapaledi, who they say is being undermined by three teachers affiliated to Sadtu.

On Monday, the school gates were blocked by rocks. Pupils were not allowed to attend classes.

In January, the pupils lost four days of study after their parents prevented them from attending classes.

Limpopo education spokesman Paena Galane slammed the parents, saying they keep changing their demands.

“They are being dishonest,” he said.

Asked for the department’s reaction to the school closing, Galane said: “Because they (parents) closed the school, they will have to reopen it.”

He said the task team report did not recommend that the three teachers be dismissed.

“In the report, it says the matter must be referred to labour (a unit in the department) to deal with it,” said Galane.

He said teachers would be expected to report for duty at their local circuit office as the school remained closed.

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