KWAZULU-NATAL school principals have returned the ball to the department of education's court, calling on the authorities to provide resources and infrastructure.
Thousands of principals interacted with Premier Zweli Mkhize and education MEC Senzo Mchunu at a meeting in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
The meeting was aimed at encouraging them to be committed to their work.
Principals indicated that they were committed to their jobs and improving results but needed the department to be more "hands on" by assisting them.
"Some teachers are unable to prepare for their classes due to the amount of work they have, said one principal.
"We need assistance to address these challenges. The issue of infrastructure has been a problem for years."
They said it was very hard to motivate teachers to produce good results under bad working conditions.
"We are committed to our jobs but a lack of resources has a negative impact on our schools' performance," another principal said.
Issues of security, nurses, provision of schools, cleaners, pupils' transport and clerks were high on the agenda.
"We do not know what to do when pregnant learners get sick. At least we need to be provided with a nurse because we are teachers not nurses," said a principal who said he had pregnant pupils at his school.
Mchunu acknowledged that a lack of infrastructure was a problem. He said the department was trying hard to get companies to provide mobile labs and other infrastructure to assist schools with pupils doing science.
Mkhize said teachers should understand that they are a catalyst of socio-economic development since they are strategically placed to mould and inspire future leaders.