Earlier this year Equal Education (EE) was contacted by Eastern Cape learners describing appalling problems at their rural school, Moshesh S.S.S. EE has tried to contact the Eastern Cape provincial government to resolve the crisis but has not yet received a response. The Maluti district, the acting superintendent general and the Eastern Cape education MEC have all unequivocally failed to meet their responsibilities to learners at Moshesh S.S.S.
When EE visited the school in June 2012 it became aware of numerous problems. These include:
- Teachers arrive late for classes and leave early. Teachers are also frequently absent from school without explaining their absence. In these cases alternative arrangements have not been made to ensure that teaching continues.
- The principal did not come to work for nine months, from October 2011 to June 2012. He has also been accused of illegally expelling learners and beating learners.
- Curriculum planning and delivery are neither occurring or being monitored by the principal or the district.
- There are not enough textbooks at the school. Some learners use outdated textbooks from 1986 that do not meet the current curriculum requirements.
- The principal has failed to carry out basic administrative tasks that now threaten the chances of learners writing their final exams.
There was no response to a letter EE sent to the Maluti district director Mr Mtatyana, the acting superintendent general Mr Mgonzo and Eastern Cape education MEC Mr Makupula in June 2012. On 7 September 2012 the Equal Education Law Centre sent a follow-up letter on EE’s behalf requesting a response by Friday, 14 September 2012.
Parents and the school governing body (SGB) requested a meeting with district officials to discuss the issues. However, when district officials visited the school they refused to meet with parents and the SGB and would only speak with the principal.
In an article published in The Times today, provincial education department spokesman Loyiso Pulumani claimed that measures had been "put in place" to ensure that teaching resumed. However, EE has spoken with learners and parents at Moshesh S.S.S who say there has been no improvement and teachers are still not attending class.
EE demands that:
- The Eastern Cape basic education department ensures accountability to learners and parents and responds to our correspondence.
- Teachers at Moshesh must be on time for class and ready to teach.
- Learners must be provided with up-to-date textbooks that are in line with the current curriculum.
- The institution of a comprehensive catch-up plan to ensure that leaners are able to make up for the lost learning time.
EE will consider the possibility of legal action if the situation is not resolved urgently.
A documentary of EE’s visit to Moshesh S.S.S is available on the Equalizer Magazine Blog.
For more information please contact
Yoliswa Dwane (EE Chairperson) 072 342 7747
Kathryn Schneider (EE Researcher) on 082 444 6674