Workers close school for children with special needs

Teachers and learners find gates locked

Photo of woman and child walking away

Finding the school gates locked, some parents took their children home. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

By Thamsanqa Mbovane

3 April 2019

The 29 teachers of Mzamomhle Special School in KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage were locked out by workers at the school on Wednesday morning.

School Governing Board (SGB) members, who were also locked out by support staff, said that the 294 learners had been locked out too.

Protesting workers included drivers, cleaners, and gardeners. The workers did not want to discuss their grievances, referring GroundUp to placards they had stuck on the school buses. The placards read: “School runs by factions”, “No transparency”, “No control”, “No monitoring”, “SGB is dysfunctional” and “Education doing administration work”.

Teachers and learners found the gates locked.

Later learners and then teachers and SGB members were allowed in but teachers were told they may not teach.

SGB chairperson Nomonde Mdekazi said learners had waited at bus stops for school buses which had not arrived. Some had come to school on foot.

“These are children with special needs. Some of them can’t survive ten minutes without being looked after.”

She said a month ago the workers had demanded the resignation of one of the workers. “They gave us a letter saying he must resign and he did. We don’t know what their demands are now.”