Student teachers to protest over killings

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Student teachers at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Edgewood campus have threatened to down chalk against the killings of colleagues.

The student teachers say they are tired of teachers being "severely brutalised by hooligans who pretend to be noble pupils".

Thornwood Secondary School student teacher, Nokulunga Ndala, who was stabbed to death by a pupil, would have graduated on Thursday.

Ndala taught at Thornwood for less than a month before being killed. Her parents had invested all their savings in her education.

Ndala had specialised in drama and had hoped to make a difference at previously disadvantaged schools such as Thornwood.

Bukile Ngcobo, SRC president at the Edgewood campus in Durban and a fourth-year Bachelor of Education student, said they had asked to meet the SA Democratic Teachers Union to discuss safety and security strategies.

"We appealed to Sadtu to join us in mass action to voice our annoyance about school safety and security," Ngcobo said.

"The most disgusting things are happening in the profession and we cannot just sit back and watch. We will protest until the department acts."

Ndala was stabbed to death in her classroom last month. The pupil who allegedly stabbed her is expected to appear for a bail application in the Pinetown magistrates' court today.

Ngcobo said Thornwood teachers and Edgewood's faculty of education students would protest against granting the suspect bail.

Sadtu spokesman Sipho Nkosi said the union would meet students soon to discuss strategies to get education MEC Ina Cronje, pictured, to take the issue seriously.

Nkosi said: "It's simple. Each school should have metal detectors to prevent pupils taking dangerous weapons to school and each school should have a trained security guard."

Teachers held a lunch-time picket outside the department's Umlazi and Pinetown district offices yesterday.