- CHRIS MARTIN
Dineo Matomela EDUCATION REPORTER
THE principal at Port Elizabeth’s worst-performing school broke down
yesterday as he told members of the provincial legislature how despite
efforts by teachers, pupils failed to make the grade.
DDT Jabavu Senior Secondary principal Bonginkosi Gotyana could not
hold back the tears as he gave a delegation from Bhisho a report on the
performance of last year’s matric class.
The delegation, led by Education Portfolio Committee whip Christian
Martin, Member of the Provincial Legislature Dennis Neer and acting Port
Elizabeth district director Dr Nyathi Ntsiko, completed a two-day visit
to Port Elizabeth schools yesterday.
Gotyana, flanked by his teachers, also told of his plans to turn the school around.
“I am here in front of you and the staff to show a willingness to move the school forward,” he said.
Gotyana conceded that there was little commitment from last year’s
matrics. He said an example of one of the problems was that sometimes 20
pupils out of a class of 21 would not return to class after break.
Teachers also spoke of the shortage of textbooks and science
apparatus and the lack of discipline by pupils. A room for the apparatus
and chemicals used for science experiments and a classroom burnt down
in 2008, and the school had never recovered, said Gotyana.
Pupils have subsequently been doing their experiments at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University since last year.
Martin said the school had to establish partnerships with neighbouring schools who were successful.
“You need to form (partnerships) with teachers and pupils at
neighbouring schools including former Model C schools to see what they
are doing right,” said Martin.
DDT Jabavu managed a meagre 11,1% matric pass rate last year.
The delegation also visited New Brighton’s Ithembelihle Comprehensive
School which outdid DDT Jabavu by only a small margin, attaining a
17,9% pass rate.
They then went to the high-performing SEK Mqhayi in KwaDwesi which attained 100%.
On Wednesday the delegation visited Woolhope High School where a parent allegedly attacked a teacher.
The delegation also met with parents at Zwide’s Zamukukhanya Public
Primary where three children died following an accident on their way
home from school early this week.
They also discovered Chatty’s children were travelling long distances
to attend school. “They should not walk long distances or stay away
from school because there are no schools close by.”
The delegation will also be visiting schools in Grahamstown.