Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Teachers on strike over closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in their classrooms have been told to get back to work or have their pay docked.
The 28 teachers, at Roseland Primary School in Newlands East, Durban, have been on strike for a week and teaching at the school has been disrupted.
"The teachers' salaries will be docked if they do not return to class today," KwaZulu-Natal education department acting head Simon Mbokazi said yesterday.
"We urge all parents to send their children to school."
The teachers are accusing their principal of installing the cameras to spy on them.
Mbokazi, who was at the school to personally intervene in the matter, said he knew that teachers were not informed about the installation of the classroom cameras.
He said the department had called the security company to come and de-activate the cameras until the issue had been sorted out between the principal and his staff.
"The information we have gathered at the school is that the teachers were only made aware that the cameras would be installed but not inside classrooms," Mbokazi said.
He said the department would suggest that the school create a consultative forum made up of teachers, parents and the principal to discuss the need for the cameras.
Teachers have accused principal S'thembiso Lushozi of installing the cameras to be his "watchdogs".
They said the cameras cost about R180000 and were not on the list of top priorities although they were well aware that they were for the safety of the pupils and themselves.
Lushozi was not available for comment, but Mbokazi promised that all the grievances would be investigated.
A parent said she was concerned about the lack of teaching.
"Our children have just returned from three weeks of holiday and now have another wasted week."
Mbokazi was locked in a meeting with the principal and teachers until late yesterday.