Parents reject school reports

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

As schools in KwaZulu-Natal closed for the end of the second term on Friday, the parents of pupils at the troubled Mandlakayise Primary School at Inanda are worried about the poor progress reports given to their children.

The parents have appealed to officials of the provincial education department to use the holidays to find a lasting solution to the school's problems.

Teaching and learning at the school have been disrupted since January. Teachers refused to teach after their suspended principal, Frances Mthembu, was reinstated.

She had been suspended on allegations of corruption. After three months at home without pay, education officials sent her back to the school when they could not place her elsewhere.

Twenty teachers downed tools when they heard that Mthembu, against whom they had testified during a disciplinary hearing that found her guilty, would be returning to the school.

The teachers applied for transfers to other schools, saying they feared for their lives because they "were being bullied and had received death threats" since her return.

Two weeks ago Mthembu was shot 14 times and survived. She is recovering in hospital. The school was closed down for a week after the attack. The 10 remaining teachers say they cannot cope with teaching more than 1400 pupils.

Chairman of the school governing body Bonginkosi Zulu said parents would not accept the reports that the pupils received as a true reflection of their children's progress.

He said the department did not regard the problems at Mandlakayise as serious.