Rural school's pupils go through the year without exams

Eastern Cape education spokesperson Mali Mtima said they are aware of the problem at Nongwane Primary.
Eastern Cape education spokesperson Mali Mtima said they are aware of the problem at Nongwane Primary.
Image: paylessimages / 123RF Stock Photo

The future of Nongwane Primary School's pupils in Eastern Cape is unclear after they missed out on writing final examinations, just as they did not write the June midyear examinations.

Parents of pupils in grades 5, 6 and 7  expressed their concerns alleging that in June pupils were given reports which showed that they had done well even though they did not write their exams. The school is situated at Nonaliti location in Debe Nek, near Middeldrift.

Phelisa Msuzane, 38, a mother to a grade 7 pupil, said the last time their children were properly taught was in May.

Eastern Cape education spokesperson Mali Mtima said they are aware of the problem at Nongwane Primary.

“The school had shortage of teachers and we provided them with a retired teacher and an education development officcer. However the principal  has not been at school for 61 days but as the department we have made arrangement for pupils to write and we are helping them with revision to cover for the lost curriculum,” Mtima said.

"It is very sad to see the future of these kids going down the drain. The principal does not even bother to come to school.  We last saw him when the children were supposed to start writing their exams but he did not say much even then,"Msuzane said.

"We are jut left in the dark and we don’t know what is going on.”  

Noxolo Nombewu, 34, who attended the same school, said in her day the school was doing well.

“Things changed with the arrival of the [current] principal at the beginning of this year. They last wrote class tests in May and after that nothing happened. I was shocked when my child came with his June report even though they did not write. The report showed that he did extremely well in all his subjects,” Nombewu said.

Mzikayise Mhlozana, 57, said it pained them as parents to see their children sitting at home doing nothing.

“I can show you my child’s books; they are just clean. These children are hungry for education but a teacher decided to take that away from them. Our children will not progress to the next level. Their right to education has been taken away from them by an ignorant teacher,” Mhlozana said.

Mhlozana said the parents decided that the children should stay at home for their safety.

“They were not writing and we did not want them to end up fighting and hurting each other because they did not have a teacher to guide them. We are also worried that they will have to go to the nearest village because we only have one primary school in our village,” he said.

Mtima said the department is also investigating allegations that the pupils did not write their June exams.

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