Suspended Bracken High teacher has allegedly deleted study material from student portal site
Johannesburg - A suspended Bracken High School teacher has allegedly hit back with a blow that has crippled Grade 10 to 12 Life Science learners at the school days before exams kick in.
The teacher, who was removed from the school by the Basic Education Department, is said to have taken down Life Science study notes from a Google Drive student portal site.
The Star understands that the teacher taught Life Sciences to the school’s Grade 10 to 12 learners.
A Grade 12 parent who spoke anonymously said her daughter was finding it difficult to study without notes on the student site.
“The method of updating the site with notes has been very useful ever since the lockdown. It’s worrying that now our kids have to find a new way of making sure they study or obtain these notes,” he said.
The parent went on to explain that the teacher’s action might disadvantage learners.
“Matrics are approaching a crucial stage in their school journey.
“They need all the support they can get. It’s worse now because not all of them had to do with the teacher’s dismissal.”
Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said: “According to information at our disposal, there are no notes that were removed from the Google Drive, only the teacher’s recordings were removed.”
Mabona clarified that the recordings were meant for learners on lockdown learning and the teacher did not have learners on lockdown learning, which is why they were deleted.
“Learners can access the notes on Google Drive. In addition, they were also provided with hard copies and textbooks as well,” he said.
Another concerned Grade 10 parent said his daughter had been forced to find alternative study material.
“It’s really sad that our children are being caught in the crossfire. The matter should have been handled amicably without disturbing our children’s academic progress.”
Zama Mthunzi, Equal Education Head of organising Gauteng, said learners across the country are in dire need of interaction with teachers and access to resources, including study notes.
“Given the inequality of access to learning resources, the allegation that a teacher has withdrawn study notes for learners in retaliation for a complaint regarding their conduct is extremely concerning because such actions set learners up for failure and violates their right to basic education.”
The Alberton school came in for criticism last week when news surfaced that the suspended teacher had made unwanted remarks to a school learner.
The incident is believed to have happened during “civies” at the school when the pupil was allegedly wearing a dress that shows her breasts.
The teacher is alleged to have said about the pupil: “The manner in which she is dressed... should something happen to her, it would be her own fault.”
Later in the afternoon an attempt by other teachers and pupils to address the remarks went south when the teacher stood by her words and continued: “If you are dressed inappropriately, you make it difficult for boys not to look. If you are showing something and somebody looks at what you are showing, the person who’s doing the looking doesn’t have a problem because you are showing.”
The Education Department has since stepped in assuring parents that investigations will take place and that learning will not be disrupted.
However, parents have now voiced their concerns with the department’s official appointed to handle the matter.
“As parents, we feel that we are on our own. The official told us straight that wherever there’s a crowd of black people, there’s always chaos, which is something that didn’t sit well with us.”
Mthunzi said they expect the Education Department to also look into the culture and practices of the school.
Several learners at the school have already gone to give their testimonies about the abuse they experienced at the school.