Parents and learners close Eastern Cape school

Kariega school is short of teachers, say protesters

| By

Learners and parents at Sisonke Secondary School in Kariega, Eastern Cape, have been protesting for two days, demanding more teachers. The Eastern Cape Education Department says learner numbers have dropped and fewer teachers are needed. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

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.

TOPICS:  Education

Next:  More than 30 families share one pit toilet at this Durban informal settlement

Previous:  Thabo Bester escape: Many unanswered questions about the death of Katlego Bereng

© 2023 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and GroundUp, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

We put an invisible pixel in the article so that we can count traffic to republishers. All analytics tools are solely on our servers. We do not give our logs to any third party. Logs are deleted after two weeks. We do not use any IP address identifying information except to count regional traffic. We are solely interested in counting hits, not tracking users. If you republish, please do not delete the invisible pixel.