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'Dodgy' teachers go back to classrooms

By unknown | Nov 01, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mvuyo Mati

Mvuyo Mati

Teachers who went on strike for two weeks after being accused of ordering schoolgirls to strip off their uniforms and clean classrooms wearing only their panties have agreed to resume teaching.

Members of the governing body of Embekweni Primary School, near Mdantsane in Eastern Cape, also alleged that pupils had been ordered to buy liquor and cigarettes for teachers and that some teachers used their cars to smuggle liquor onto school property.

Many teachers were said to make a habit of arriving late for work and absenteeism among teachers was said to be "alarming".

But yesterday the teachers decided to return to their classrooms after marathon discussions with the department of education and the school's principal, deputy principal and heads of departments.

"It is imperative that teaching and learning not be disrupted," said provincial education spokesman Loyiso Pulumani.

But during the two days of talks last week pupils were turned away from school because there were no teachers to teach them.

Pulumani said "an amicable understanding" had been reached between teachers and the school's senior staff and governing body, which would allow the situation at the school to return to normal.

"The department is fairly optimistic that teaching and learning will resume at Embekweni Primary," said Pulumani.

Commenting on the alleged stripping of schoolgirls, the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) said the abuse of children by teachers was against its policy.

Provincial Sadtu secretary Mxolisi Dimaza said the union would investigate all the allegations against the teachers.

"Obviously, we cannot go on hearsay and we must interview the teachers and get to the bottom of this."

The union's branch in Mdantsane would be given the job of investigating the allegations, he said.


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