Khayelitsha Technical School students demand to be taught

Students march on provincial offices

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Photo of students with placard
Khayelitsha Technical School students holding up a placard, protesting outside the department of education in Cape Town. Photo: Thembela Ntongana

About 200 students from Sizimisele Technical High School in Khayelitsha marched on the Western Cape Department of Education offices today to demand more teachers for technical subjects.

The grade 8 to 11 students took the train from Khayelitsha to Cape Town. They said they had decided to go to town when they realised the school principal could not solve the problem.

Grade 11 students Mihle Mayipheli, said four teachers had left the school. “These are the teachers that are teaching the most difficult subjects.”

She said Grade 11 students were supposed to write a physical sciences test today but had decided to come to town instead. Students had been told by the school principal that the teachers’ contracts had come to an end and that it was up to the department to employ new teachers.

“We are here because it is us who suffer in the end,” said Mayipheli

The three subjects with no teachers were engineering graphic design, mechanical technology and mathematics.

15-year-old Yolanda Songa said her class had been without a class teacher since schools opened this year.

“We just sit in class until the next period,” said Songa.

Grade 11 student Ayanda Zuza said the same problem had arisen last year.

“Why do they keep putting teachers on contract? Last year the same thing happened and we are left to suffer. We are going to write exams soon; the term is almost over; how are we going to do that if we don’t have teachers?

“The other problem is they change teachers all the time. Last year, one teacher was changed three times and it is the teachers that are teaching all the difficult subjects. They all have different teaching styles which gets confusing,” said Zuza.

The students were given a letter by the Western Cape Education Department’s Lance Abrahams stating that the department would investigate and report back to the school and students by Friday 12 February.

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for the department, said the school did need extra curriculum posts. One post had been allocated last October and the appointment was being finalised; the school had applied for three further posts six days ago and the results of this application would be conveyed to the school “shortly”.

The school currently had 799 students with a staff of 26, she said.

TOPICS:  Education

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