Pupils and staff Caught offside
LAMONTVILLE High School has been dubbed the "worst" poor performing school in the eThekwini education district, south of Durban.
When the school reopened yesterday a delegation led by MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Nomusa Dube and member of parliament Beatrice Ngcobo were shocked to find widespread ill-discipline at the school.
The visit was part of politicians and education officials' back-to-school campaign to check if teachers and pupils were hard at work on the first day.
KwaZulu-Natal cabinet members, including premier Zweli Mkhize, were also deployed to different schools to monitor whether teachers were doing their jobs and pupils were in their classrooms on time.
Dube expressed her disappointment with the behaviour of Lamontville management and pupils.
The delegation witnessed pupils loitering outside the school premises after 8am when they were supposed to be in classrooms.
The school has been identified as one of the worst performers in the district, with a 32percent pass rate last year.
When Dube confronted the pupils she found on the street they claimed they were expelled because they did not have full uniforms.
"Teachers sent me back home because I have no tie. I gave my tie to my friend last year," one pupil said.
Another told the MEC that she had no school socks.
Dube scolded the pupils, saying they were irresponsible because they knew they were going back to school and should have prepared for it.
"The uniform is part of the discipline and all learners should conform," a visibly annoyed Dube said.
"It's not acceptable that you are not in class because you gave your tie to a friend during exams last year."
The government delegation found one teacher giving instructions to pupils during school assembly.
Other teachers looked amazed when they noticed that they had been caught off guard, while parents were queuing to register their children.
Dube expressed her disapproval of the chaotic situation she found on the premises and in the administration block of the school.
"There is something terrible wrong at the school and we cannot allow such a situation. It's criminal that people are being paid while education of our children goes down the drain.
"We need to do something urgently about this school. And people cannot be remunerated if things are like this and the education of our children is destroyed by us," she told teachers.
Dube asked for the school profile but management were at sixes and sevens.
"We are expecting a report from the school principal on Friday to explain why there was a lack of discipline.
Dube also visited Gijima Primary School, where she found teachers hard at work.
"We will be meeting principals on Friday so that they can provide clarification about challenges they face in their schools," Dube said.