Threat to close schools

HARD LINE: Education department's superintendent-general Zwoitwaho Nevhutalu. © Unknown.
HARD LINE: Education department's superintendent-general Zwoitwaho Nevhutalu. © Unknown.

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

Villagers of rural Tshiheni in Limpopo are not impressed by the department of Education after it threatened to close down a school because of poor results.

Nndavheleseni Secondary School is one of the schools at which extra classrooms are being built by the government because the old structures are on the brink of collapse.

Villagers have accused the department of failing to employ teachers for the school, which they claim resulted in the poor results.

Last year the school achieved a 20 percent pass rate, a 15 percent improvement on the previous year's results. This they achieved without having mathematics teachers.

Last year the department's superintendentgeneral Zwoitwaho Nevhutalu allegedly told pupils that the school was "useless" and dilapidated and that the students must prepare to be moved to another school.

"The department's decision to close down the school will frustrate our children's dreams. The government should have fixed the school long ago," said one parent, Tshilidzi Nenzhelele.

According to parents, the poor results were a result of the absence of mathematics and commerce teachers in 2006.

"We were told that the department won't provide the school with those teachers and the best we can do is to enrol our children at other schools, which are miles away," said one parent.

This year the school was left with only 84 pupils after most parents enrolled their children at other schools.

It is alleged that Nevhutalu told students that the department could not afford to provide teachers for such a few students.

Department spokesman Ndo Mangala confirmed that some schools in the province that were not economically viable would be closed down.

"We have started with the process of closing schools with fewer than 40 students. The department is shifting resources to the Waterberg district, where many of those are farm schools."