School closed as science class protest turns ugly


Learning at Ndamase Senior Secondary School in Ngqeleni has been halted until next week after Grade 12 pupils allegedly pelted their teachers with stones during a protest.
The pupils were protesting to demand that their physical science teacher stay on and not lose his job.
He had been employed by the school governing body (SGB) and apparently it can no longer afford his salary.
Provincial education spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said the district authorities made the decision to close the school for safety reasons.
“Learners allegedly pelted and chased all the teachers.
“We are managing the situation and we have planned a series of meetings with the SGB, stakeholders and parents,” said Pulumani on Thursday.
Some parents said they were concerned about the time their children were now spending at home instead of learning.
Some of the parents, who asked to remain anonymous, said the pupils protested after learning that their physical science teacher was being removed because the SGB could no longer afford to pay him.
“The concern is having to change teachers at this stage of learning,” said one parent.
“These pupils love this teacher because he has managed to help them improve their marks and the pupils are worried that the next teacher might not be as dedicated as he was.”
Another parent, Nolukholo Hlungulu, said she understood that the SGB did not have the funds and called on the department to intervene.
“There are already other issues at the school and everyone knows how short and important this year is for them, so for them to lose even one day of learning, let alone a week, is worrying.
“I hope that the department finds a solution that will also leave the environment conducive for learning,” said Hlungulu.
Pulumani condemned the acts of violence and destruction to school property.
“We understand that the pupils have grievances but we plead with them not to be disruptive and to give the education department an opportunity to address these, which we are more than willing to do as we have indicated,” Pulumani added.
Classes are expected to resume on Wednesday...

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