KZN matrics left in the lurch as 22 educators abscond from school

Issued by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Education
16 Sep 2019 in Press Statements

The future looks uncertain for the matric class at Kwadinabakubo High School, West of Durban, after they were left to face their September trials without adequate preparation. This after as many as 22 teachers absconded from the school in April over their dissatisfaction following the appointment of a Deputy Principal whom they did not endorse.

According to local DA eThekwini Councillor, Pearl Msomi – who visited the school last week – the post was advertised in April, upon which two of the schools educators applied. The outcome of the process saw a Mr Ngwane emerge as the successful candidate against Mr Hadebe who is said to have acted in the position for over a year.

Following this, educators embarked on a go-slow to voice their concerns while Mr Hadebe appealed the outcome. The go-slow also saw the cancellation of extra classes for matriculants including weekend sessions and the full winter school programme. Matrics also found themselves in unsupervised classes as educators boycotted the standing curriculum. After Mr Hadebe lost the appeal and the appointment of Mr Ngwane was made official – with a starting date of 2nd September – educators then resorted to protest action.

The DA is extremely concerned by recent events at Kwadinabakubo High School. It is clear that learners have become caught in the middle of school politics. This must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. With less than six weeks to go until the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examinations, time is of the essence for these young people. To make matters worse we are also advised that learners from Grade 8 to 11 have also not written any third term exams.

While the DA is aware that a joint meeting took place on 3 September between educators, the Department of Education, the School Governing Body and parents we are also advised that an altercation broke out between educators and parents.  Despite this untenable situation the province’s Education Department does not appear to have made any positive interventions to date. This despite having been a party to the deliberations since April.

It is in this light that the DA has written to KZN Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu (view here) to call for this school to be prioritised and a solution found. It is unacceptable that teachers should in any way hinder the success of learners and the DA expects the MEC to tell them to put the future of learners first and get back to work. We also expect the MEC to tell the relevant unions to apply restraint rather than being opportunistic at this critical time in the academic year.

Education remains an important tool to advance much-needed change in the lives of our youth. The decision to hold these students to ransom – by their own educators – is not only selfish but a violation of learners’ basic rights to access quality basic education. The DA remains committed to closely monitoring the situation at this school and to fighting for the best interests of these young people.