Protest over teacher shortages

EDUCATION PROTEST: Pupils at Loyiso Senior Secondary lead the demonstration at the Zwide school to back up calls by themselves and their parents for more teachers
EDUCATION PROTEST: Pupils at Loyiso Senior Secondary lead the demonstration at the Zwide school to back up calls by themselves and their parents for more teachers

Classes were interrupted for at least two hours yesterday by parents and pupils at Loyiso Senior Secondary School in Zwide.

The fed-up parents picketed on the school’s field to highlight the shortage of 12 teachers.

Adding to the problems is an instruction from the Eastern Cape Education Department to have three more teachers moved to other schools. This is in relation to the provincial teacher post basket for 2015.

The school has lost six teachers to retirement, two are on extended sick leave, one has resigned, and three have died.

None of the posts has been filled despite the first vacancy being recorded in 2011.

Nearly 1 000 pupils and parents carrying placards picketed.

They chanted songs demanding the department fill the posts.

School governing body member Nzimeni Yeki said numerous letters, visits and sit-ins at the department’s district office in Sidwell had all failed.

“It is enough now. We really cannot carry on like this because as parents we send our children to school to learn and it breaks our hearts when they come to say they were just sitting in class doing nothing.” Parents plan to continue with pickets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

This will culminate in a mass march planned for next Thursday where they will deliver a memorandum to the district education office.

The Eastern Cape Education Department has been the subject of many protests in the past four years as schools battling crippling teacher shortages decry their situations.

Each has been characterised by rolling closures and repeated calls for more teachers.

Department spokesman Malibongwe Mtima failed to comment.

-Zandile Mbabela 

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