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VIDEO: Angry Sinethemba Public School learners shut down school over teachers

By Yolanda Palezweni - May 17, 2017
VIDEO: Angry Sinethemba Public School learners shut down school over teachers

Angry Sinethemba Public School learners on Tuesday brought business at their school to a halt as they embarked on strike demanding better school infrastructure, learning resources and more teachers.

Sinethemba Public School is based in Mlungisi Location, Stutterheim.

Speaking to RNEWS, Sinethemba Public School Grade 12 learner, Sibongile Kwezi, said that the school has always had a problem of shortage of teachers for years and shortage of learning materials and resources.

“We have problems at school, but among many the shortage of teachers is badly affecting us and our performance in our studies,” she said.

Kwezi added that the few teachers they have at school can’t cope with teaching several classes from Grade 8 up to Matric and some of the teachers are not trained to do practicals and that is also affecting their pass rate.

She told RNEWS that the learners contacted the local Educational Development Officer (EDO), Mandisa Tyala, a few weeks ago, about the issues the school is facing and she provided a Physical Science teacher.

Kwezi said that the teacher was only there for the first term, and when they came from Easter holidays, she was no longer there, and they(the learners) were never informed about the teacher leaving.

“We enquired from our Principal and we never received any information or direction on what’s going to happen to us as we have no teachers and text books,” she said.

She added that the Principal sent them back to the EDO for answers and when contacted, Tyala was allegedly evading the students.

Asisipho Jonga, a Grade 10 learner at Sinethemba Public school, also echoed her and said that there are not enough teachers at the school and as a result, they suffer in most of their vital subjects such as Agricultural Sciences and Physical Science.

“We don’t have a lab to do our practical’s and we don’t have enough classrooms, the few that we have are in a bad condition as a result, during the winter season, we suffer a lot,” said Jonga.

She added that resorting to strike was their last option as they have been pleading with the Eastern Cape Department of Education for a while now with no assistance coming or a solution on the table.

“We are failing, last year only eight learners passed Matric and we fear this year it’s going to be worse,” adde Jonga.

Speaking to RNEWS, Sinethemba Public School- School Governing Body(SGB) Chairperson, Nokuphumla Velem, said that for years, they been pleading with the department for assistance with no luck.

“It’s been years; we go to the department with no change; they don’t seem to care about the needs of our children and school,” said Velem.

She added that teachers are resigning and the department is forever promising replacements, but that never happens.

“In some schools, there are temporary teachers being deployed when we go to the department for temporary teacherss, we are told there are no teachers available,” Velem said.

A teacher at Sinethemba Public School also pleaded with the department to intervene as they have been waiting for change for years now.

“We are under performing and we worry if the department is not doing anything about this we are going to continue with the poor performance or worse,” said the teacher.

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