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News - Date: 09 February 2019
Written by: Kaizer Nengovhela / Viewed: 762
Pupils at Sukumani/Kundani Secondary at Gogobole in the Soutpansberg West education circuit are boycotting classes and closed the school gate, not allowing educators to get inside since last Thursday.
According to them, the protest is due to a shortage in maths, physical science and life science teachers. The pupils blocked the entry by lining up at the gate, denying everybody, including the school principal, entrance.
Their demand for teachers started in 2016, they say.
"It is pointless to allow our children to go to class while there are no teachers. They just sit and look at each other, while other children in other areas are getting ahead with their education," said Mr Petrus Marubini, SGB chairman.
Marubini said that since in 2016 they had asked the department to provide teachers, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. He said that now was the time for the department to provide teachers as many parents removed their children to other schools, because of the lack of teachers.
A Grade 12 pupil, Fhulufhelo Maedza, said that they were feeling discouraged, due to the lack of teachers at the school. “We cannot sit back and watch our right to education being violated like this.”
The lack of teachers at the school has allegedly also encouraged activities such as playing cards during school hours, as pupils spend a lot of time unattended by the teachers for lessons. “What made us boycott classes is that we will soon write first-term exams and we are expected to do well. How are we supposed to do well if we are not being taught?”
She added that the government must “stop playing with us and send teachers. Or else, we will continue with the protest". “One of the most important rights is that every child has the right to education, and I feel that this important right is being ignored, overlooked or simply forgotten.”
Provincial education department spokesperson Mr Sam Makondo said that the school must merge with Manaledzi Secondary, because they had 83 enrolments from Grade 8 to 12 learners and five teachers, including the principal.
Pupils demonstrate at the school.
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.