Angry parents close school
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.