The School Governing Body and parents of Umqhele Secondary School stood guard at gates on Tuesday, allowing learners to enter the school, but not the teachers, following accusations that they were not teaching their children. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
The School Governing Body and parents of Umqhele Secondary School stood guard at gates on Tuesday, allowing learners to enter the school, but not the teachers, following accusations that they were not teaching their children. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Parents accuse teachers of not teaching their kids and block them from entering school

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published Aug 4, 2021

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Johannesburg - The School Governing Body (SGB) and parents of an Ivory Park school stood guard at gates on Tuesday, allowing learners to enter the school, but not the teachers, following accusations that they were not teaching their children.

Before the school started, youth brigades stood at the gates of Umqhele Secondary School screening and sanitising learners, while the teachers stood around outside.

The parents and SGB stood guard at the gates calling for teachers to be removed as their children were allegedly not receiving an education. They said that the teachers allegedly chased out the school’s principal on Monday.

This comes a few months after a 38-year-old teacher from the school was arrested in May after he was accused of raping a 16-year-old Grade 10 learner. The educator is on a precautionary suspension.

SGB treasurer Raesibe Monyeki said that parents and the SGB have been trying to remedy the issue of their learners not being taught.

“The learners are not learning, their books are empty,” Monyeki said.

One Grade 11 learner said that in a day, only one teacher could come to class and distribute photocopied notes for the learners but not explain the work. “I see the teachers outside and I’m shocked that we actually have this many teachers at school today,” the learner said.

The learner added that because the children were not taught, they engaged in other activities during school hours such as drinking, smoking cigarettes and dagga and gambling. “We come to hustle at school,” the learner said.

One of the prefects told The Star that she did not know who her history teacher was and that the learners tried to complain to the principal, however, the matter was not addressed. “… We get our marks, but we don’t know where those results are coming from,” the prefect said.

The SGB and the learners also complained about the condition of the school and its infrastructure. The Star saw many classrooms that were dirty and full of litter, while a large number of desks and chairs were scattered outside the classrooms.

At about 9am, the police arrived and the prefects and an SGB member showed officers where learners allegedly used drugs, drank alcohol and gambled at the back of the school. The area was littered with cigarette butts, empty plastic drug packets and rolling paper.

The learners and SGB also raised concerns about safety at the school as many learners got into fights, including one that broke out on Monday where the police were allegedly called. A fight, allegedly over gambling, broke out while The Star was at the school.

Later, the SGB and parents allowed the teachers to enter the school for a meeting. The SGB and school were expected to meet Gauteng Education officials this morning.

GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed the department was aware that some teachers had chased out the school’s principal which led to the disruption at the school on Monday.

“The action of the educators is highly regrettable as they did not follow proper internal grievance procedures, and as such, until Monday August 2, did not make the GDE aware of the basis of their disgruntlement,” he said.

He added that the learners and parents retaliated by preventing the implicated educators from entering the school on Tuesday, resulting in a protracted and unnecessary disruption of schooling.

“We wish to discourage educators from behaving in such an unpalatable manner as it is disappointing for people to engage in the disruption of education at a time when all stakeholders in the education sector are doing everything in their power to ensure that we recover from the impact of the loss time due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mabona said.

According to Mabona, an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident had been launched and that necessary action would be taken against anyone found to be instrumental in the disruption.

“The district is working closely with the school management to provide them with necessary support to thoroughly clean the school and adhere to all Covid-19 protocols,” Mabona said.

The Star

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