Parents and learners close Eastern Cape school
Kariega school is short of teachers, say protesters
About 100 learners and parents of Sisonke Secondary in KwaNobuhle, Kariega, blocked streets, burned tyres, and blew whistles in front of their school on Monday and Tuesday to protest against a shortage of teachers.
Learners from grades 8 to 12 carried placards and satchels on their backs while singing protest songs and blocking streets with rocks.
They want the school principal, who has been on sick leave since last year, to be replaced, and they want more teachers.
Nokuzola Mbewu, chairperson of the School Governing Body (SGB), said, “Our grade 8 learners sit in class every day waiting for teachers of grade 12 to finish teaching before teaching them.
“Our petition bearing our signatures which we submitted to the district office of the department of education a few weeks ago…has prompted department officials to suggest last week to our dismay that this school must rather be closed. We told them this school, which has an acting principal now, must stay open and that if they want to close it, that would happen over our dead bodies. We want a new principal too,” she said.
Learner representative Yamkela Mtima, who is doing grade 12, said, “We have a shortage of teachers in grades 10 and 12, who teach life science, English, isiXhosa and Life Orientation.”
“Grade 8 to 9 learners have no teachers for creative arts, while grade 9 need English, isiXhosa and Life Orientation teachers,” she said.
Eastern Cape education spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said the issue of the principal is being followed up internally. He said as a result of a drop in learner numbers at Sisonke fewer teachers were needed. The school has 240 learners, Mtima said.
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