Irate and disgruntled SGB members and pupils of Dumisani Makhaye High School in Welbedacht West marched to the Education Board in Pietermaritzburg to demand their basic right to an education after they missed their first quarterly physical science examination due to a lack of proper staff, on Wednesday.
Angered parents of the pupils said their children were being robbed of an education due to the lack of interest by the Department of Education to employ teachers at the school and in the interim, their children are at a major disadvantage.
The only pupils who did not write their exams are those studying physical science.
“Physical science is one of the most complicated subjects that children study at secondary school level and the fact that they were forced to miss the examination is very disappointing and unacceptable,” said the parents.
Speaking to journalists, the chairman of the school governing body, Joseph Jili said, “The reason for the protest was to highlight all of the issues that the pupils have been faced with since the inception of the school. The school has been left without six teachers and non-teaching staff as well, since early last year. As a result of this, pupils of matric physical science class had to miss their first exam.”
He added that the principal is doing everything in his power to assist and resolve this issue.
Since the protest, the head of the Department of Education agreed to meet before the next school term to address all of the issues that are being faced at the school.
“The reason why we do not have the staff that the school requires is because the department sent out a new HRM which made it difficult to hire new teachers as there is only one person, who signs off these documents. Members of the school governing body, and myself included are hopeful that through this meeting, we can establish a way forward for the school and the pupils in terms of their examinations which they were unable to write,” added Jili.
Spokesman of the Department of Education, Kwazi Mthethwa said, “All schools in the district do have teachers that the department of education has provided to them. The school governing body and the pupils need to address the principal with regards to their issues. The governing body of the school still needs to be elected.”
Principal of the school, Mr Zwane, was unable to comment on the matter at hand, due to protocol from the Department of Education.