'Black teachers make for positive role models'

Mthetho Ndoni

Mthetho Ndoni

More black teachers should be employed at former Model C schools in Nelson Mandela Bay municipality because most of the pupils are black, according to teacher unions.

But some principals say that the reason for the shortage of black teachers is that blackss show no interest when vacancies arise.

Eastern Cape secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) Mxolisi Dimaza yesterday denied claims that black teachers were not applying for posts, but blamed parents for not involving themselves in school activities.

Dimaza said the shortage of black teachers meant that black pupils absorbed only Western cultural values and lost touch with their own traditions.

The principal of Muir College Boys High School in Uitenhage, Nigel Hopley, said out of 28 teachers, the school had only three black teachers - an African, an Indian and a coloured. Hopley said they had a few vacant posts, but first had to fill them from within the school before advertising them outside.

The principal of Collegiate Girls High School in Port Elizabeth, Pam Cameron-Ellis, said competency, and not the colour of a teacher's skin, was their selection criterion when appointing staff at the school.

The chief executive of the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa, Peter Duminy, said the implications of the shortage of black teachers was that pupils lacked role models from different backgrounds.

"We encourage school governing bodies [SGBs] and principals to have black teachers so the pupils can have positive role models and a positive self-image," Duminy said.

Spokesman for the provincial Department of Education Loyiso Pulumani said all schools had to adopt equity at their schools similar to those in government departments. He said SGBs were responsible for selecting candidates for posts and ensuring racial equity.