Playa haters diss star teacher


Sunday World - - News - MZWANDILE kaBIZOKWAKHE

A LIM­POPO prin­ci­pal has de­fended one of his bright­est and hard­work­ing teach­ers, Hodi Tsam­ago, who is also a Tho­bela FM soc­cer com­men­ta­tor.

This fol­lows com­plaints from Tsam­ago s col­leagues that he is ded­i­cat­ing more time to his budding ra­dio ca­reer than be­ing in class, on time and teach­ing for seven hours a day.

Mamole­mane Sec­ondary School prin­ci­pal MJ Mo­rapi told Sun­day World that his sci­ence teacher had not missed a day of work, but had taken leave last Jan­uary to cover the Africa Cup of Na­tions tour­na­ment held in South Africa.

I have never had a prob­lem with this teacher. And I am aware that he is a soc­cer ra­dio com­men­ta­tor.”

Mo­rapi said Tsam­ago was one of his star teach­ers.

When he ar­rived at my school in 2010, the pass rate for matrics for sci­ence stood at 38%. Last year it was 86%,” he said.

Tsam­ago started teach­ing phys­i­cal sci­ence in 2011 and the pass rate was 57%. The fol­low­ing year, it was in the mid-70s .

The star teacher also re­jects the al­le­ga­tions that he is ne­glect­ing his pupils.

I love teach­ing and have found that I can be quite good at it and I am pas­sion­ate about the chil­dren. I also love soc­cer, but I can t play any more. So I com­men­tate.”

Tsam­ago said he was en­ti­tled to leave like any em­ployee.

I know people think it was paid leave, but it wasn t. I didn t take a sin­gle day off school dur­ing Chan [the African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship]. All my games were dur­ing the weekend and at night.

If I re­call, all but two were at Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium, here in Polok­wane. So people hear my voice at night and im­me­di­ately think I am up to no good. But noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.”

Sun­day World vis­ited the school this week, and was told about Tsam­ago s other ac­tiv­i­ties.

He is one of the best-per­form­ing teach­ers. Ev­ery time there s a com­mu­nity up­lift­ment project, he is the first to vol­un­teer his time,” said deputy prin­ci­pal Ben­jamin Moloto.

He and I ar­rived at this school in the same year. We soon re­alised that noth­ing was hap­pen­ing around the com­mu­nity, but knew we needed to reach out. Hodi was in­stru­men­tal in se­cur­ing fund­ing for the bas­ket­ball/ net­ball court.

He has adopted a few pupils, some here and oth­ers at ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions. He helps them with their needs, like buy­ing uni­forms.”

Sun­day World met one of the stu­dents whose univer­sity fees were raised by Tsam­ago, Nel­son Moloto (20) and his mother, Cylia, at their home.

Moloto ob­tained a level 5 for both maths and phys­i­cal sci­ence, and wants to be­come a ge­ol­o­gist or a pi­lot.

Tsam­ago said: I give ex­tra lessons on Satur­days, Sun­days and some­times in the evening.

I don t un­der­stand what these al­le­ga­tions are about if not a de­sire to bring me down for ul­te­rior mo­tives.

Asked if he had ob­tained writ­ten per­mis­sion from the Depart­ment of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion to per­form paid-for du­ties out­side his work, he said no.

It is out­side work­ing hours and I didn t think I needed it. I am here ev­ery day at 6am and leave at 5pm, de­spite my com­men­tat­ing and read­ing for my Mas­ter s de­gree,” he said. I do my best.” Panyaza Le­sufi, spokesman for the Depart­ment of Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion, said teach­ers needed writ­ten per­mis­sion from the depart­ment to do ex­tra paid-for work.

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