Parents bar teachers from Eldorado school
Angry coloured parents yesterday prevented seven black teachers from Eldorado Park Secondary School affiliated to the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) from entering the school premises.
The problem started in November 2017 when the teachers allegedly accused the principal of financial mismanagement, of being a racist and threatening one of the teachers with a knife. The teachers then started reporting at the district office as they said they feared for their safety.
One parent, Fagmida Brown, 43, said the seven teachers should be redeployed elsewhere because they don't want them at the school.
"We don't want them in our community, they have no regard for our children's education. We have been doing fine without them for the past 13 months. We had to approach retired teachers to assist the school which is why we managed to get [an] 86.90% matric pass rate," Brown said.
Temporary teachers hired by the Gauteng department of education had their contracts terminated in December.
"It is not fair for the department to terminate the contracts of the temporary teachers who have been working hard to improve the school's pass rate. We demand that they be hired on a permanent basis," Brown said.
A woman, also 43, who asked not to be identified, said she was forced to move her grade 8 child to another school after he was stabbed three times in the classroom last year.
"My son is still traumatised and he refuses to go back to school. If there were teachers this could have been avoided."
Meanwhile, some classrooms were without teachers yesterday with some pupils sleeping on the desks.
"The situation is frustrating as some learning has not yet started," said a grade 10 pupil.
The school governing body's Victor Molahloe said: "Sadtu wants to play politics and we won't allow that. "All we want is for our children to get a better education with no disruptions."
Sadtu branch member Desmond Luvhengo said: "Those teachers will go back to school by force. The department should make sure that they are safe or we will remove all the black kids and teachers from Eldorado schools."
MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the department had several consultative meetings with all stakeholders and encourage the community to accept all affected teachers, or that it will explore other options to resolve the matter.
"... we urge the principal and SGB to ensure that the teachers are welcomed at the school and that their work conditions are favourable. We further appeal to the community not to disrupt schooling," Lesufi said.