School prob­lem angers vil­lagers

Pupils with­out sci­ence teacher for four years


Ekhwezi com­mu­nity mem­bers from Nta­bethemba vil­lage have threat­ened to lay charges against the district’s ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment for its fail­ure to pro­vide a sci­ence teacher and com­mit­ted prin­ci­pal for the Ikhwezi Se­nior Sec­ondary School.

The school govern­ing body (SGB), ward com­mit­tee, vil­lage head­man and par­ents told The Rep pupils had been with­out a sci­ence teacher for four years and they feared the school would close.

SGB chair­per­son Ntombizanae Mvimbi said the com­mu­nity had sub­sidised sci­ence teacher Tapera Chikunga with R2 000 a month since 2009 af­ter the school’s pre­vi­ous sci­ence teacher was trans­ferred.

Mvimbi said the com­mu­nity was wor­ried that Chikunga would leave as he had re­ceived of­fers from other schools.

“If he leaves, pupils will go to other schools which of­fer sci­ence. Chikunga teaches grade 8 to 12 and is ded­i­cated to teach­ing.

“We want him to re­ceive per­ma­nent em­ploy­ment. The de­part­ment says there is no post avail­able.”

She said in De­cem­ber they had warned ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials to act quickly to re­solve the is­sue be­fore they took ac­tion as the sit­u­a­tion had been ne­glected for sev­eral years.

Mvimbi al­leged the school prin­ci­pal was often ab­sent for lengthy pe­ri­ods, which fur­ther an­gered the com­mu­nity.

“The prin­ci­pal, Mon­wabi Ntle­meza, has been here on and off for six years.

“How­ever we are not fight­ing against Ntle­meza. Our de­sire is for him to do his job. The de­part­ment said they would also at­tend to this is­sue, which did not hap­pen,” she said.

Kholiwe Bonelwa, a par­ent, said, “This is the only high school in the vil­lage and the neigh­bour­ing ones are far away, which means that par­ents would have to pay for trans­port if the school were to close.

“Some will not be able to af­ford this. The num­ber of pupils is al­ready fall­ing.”

The de­part­ment of ed­u­ca­tion spokesper­son Mal­i­bongwe Mtima said the de­part­ment would in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter fur­ther.

CON­CERNED: Nta­bethemba vil­lage res­i­dents are wor­ried their only high school will close if the teach­ing prob­lem is not ad­dressed

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