Non-governed school is a worry

THE school governing body (SGB) from Dumabezwe High in Bulwer has expressed concern over unoccupied posts at the school, which currently lacks both a principal and deputy principal.

SGB chairperson Francis Mbele said the post of deputy principal has been vacant since last year. He said the former principal left the school in January and his post is still unoccupied.

He said he decided to keep a close eye on the school, checking their daily operations including pupils who arrive at school late.

“Community members have asked the Department of Education to appoint a principal and deputy but their plea was unattended to. Interviews for the deputy principal were done last year but someone recommended by the panel was denied by the department,” he said.

He added that the Grade 12 class performed poorly last year because of unfilled positions and a shortage of teachers.

He said June results have not yet been released to pupils. “We don’t want the school to perform poorly again at end of this year,” he said.

On August 6, an overstate inspection led by Democratic Alliance (DA) KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson on Education Dr Rishigen Viranna was conducted at the school and discovered lots of irregularities. The party wanted the Department of Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana to intervene.

“During site inspection, we were told about a high use of drugs, an unsafe environment for both staff and pupils, high absenteeism for both staff and pupils, concerning school transport and expired food that was sometimes given to pupils. The DA is extremely disturbed by the situation of the school,” he said.

He said the posts of principal and deputy principal needed to be filled soon. He called for the SGB to be given training and access to funds for much needed maintenance of the school.

“DA will write to KZN Provincial Education portfolio committee for a full report into the ongoing delays regarding the appointment of school leadership,” he said.

Harry Gwala Department of Education district director Sindi Zakuza-Njakazi said she was unable to respond to media questions. At a time of going to press, the provincial spokesperson from DoE had not responded to media questions.