An­gry par­ents close school

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Alex Mat­lala

Pro­tracted in-fight­ing be­tween par­ents, a school gov­ern­ing body and the Lim­popo depart­ment of ed­u­ca­tion over the ap­point­ment of a school prin­ci­pal has re­sulted in a com­mu­nity in­def­i­nitely clos­ing a Lim­popo school last week.

An­gry par­ents of pupils at Stan­ley Mopai Sec­ondary School in Marirone near Relela out­side Tza­neen locked up all the school gates in protest against the ap­point­ment.

Last week the dis­en­chanted par­ents marched to the school where they held a meet­ing with man­age­ment and the gov­ern­ing body. Top of the agenda was the con­tro­ver­sial ap­point­ment of the prin­ci­pal.

The par­ents said they would not open the school un­til MEC for ed­u­ca­tion Polley Boshielo ex­plained why she al­legedly ig­nored their plea for the ap­point­ment of their pre­ferred can­di­date.

The par­ents take turns man­ning the school gates every morn­ing to keep un­wanted peo­ple off the premises.

“We are the own­ers of the school and our voice su­per­sedes that of the depart­ment in terms of ap­point­ment of school man­agers,” said school gov­ern­ing body chair­per­son, Mathews Malatji.

“We com­pleted the re­cruit­ment process for the new prin­ci­pal in Septem­ber last year. But we were taken aback when the depart­ment in­tro­duced to us a to­tally dif­fer­ent per­son.

“The per­son the gov­ern­ing body and par­ents rec­om­mended had passed the in­ter­views with fly­ing colours.

“He has the right qual­i­fi­ca­tions for the job and he has a great track record with many years of ex­pe­ri­ence. As if that is not enough, the can­di­date also has an ocean of knowl­edge in man­age­ment and gover­nance,” said Malatji.

A teacher at the school, who asked to re­main anonymous as he was not au­tho­rised to speak to the me­dia, said not only is the gov­ern­ing body’s favourite can­di­date qual­i­fied, but he has also run the school since 2018 when for­mer prin­ci­pal Mak­wekwe Pilusa re­tired.

“Un­der his tute­lage, our 2017 ma­tric­u­lants im­proved our pass rate from just be­low 70% to 85% in 2018 and 75% last year,” said the teacher.

Spokesper­son for the depart­ment Sam Makondo said the gov­ern­ing body’s role was only to make rec­om­men­da­tions.

“From our in­ves­ti­ga­tion, this ap­point­ment was made in terms of the need to re­dress the im­bal­ances of the past in or­der to achieve broader rep­re­sen­ta­tion,” he said.

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