Khulekani Mazibuko

Khulekani Mazibuko

PARENTS from Mthwalume on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal have welcomed provincial education MEC Senzo Mchunu's appointment of a task team to probe the poor performance at their school.

Mchunu appointed the task team after he paid a surprise visit to the school. He experienced first-hand the lack of discipline and late arrival of pupils and teachers for classes.

Community member and parent Makhosonke Ngwenya said: "We are pleased with the department's intervention and have already started to see some commitment from pupils. The number of boys in school uniform hanging around shops during school hours is declining."

The school's plight surfaced when it only achieved a 23percent matric pass rate for 2009.

Education spokesperson Muntu Lukhozi said the task team had already reported to Mchunu but said investigations would continue.

She said a key recommendation was that the school implement winter classes, considering their poor pass rate, and that the employment of outside teachers at the school be considered.

National Teachers Union spokesperson Allen Thompson blamed the education district for not supporting teachers.

He said unqualified teachers should be allowed to work but insisted they must have a "close link" with the districts to monitor their progress.

"The department must monitor unqualified teachers in order to tackle irregularities. They must also identify teachers who disobey the school's code of conduct and deal with them individually," Thompson said.