Linda de Beer, news24.com (South Africa), Dec. 8, 2006
Heads were set to roll in North West’s education department on Friday after every pupil from Grade 8 to Grade 11 failed in a Ganyensa school near Vryburg.
Those in a nearby school had a pass rate of about 13%.
Charles Raseala, the provincial education spokesperson, said it was a disaster.
“Clearly, there was no teaching in these schools. Incompetence and leadership problems were clearly to blame?
The headmasters of Kgomonyane Secondary School and Huhudi High School, as well as senior department officials, were called to Mafikeng for urgent talks with Pastor O J Tselapedi, the MEC for education.
Of the 667 pupils in grades 8 to 11 in Kgomonyane, one pupil was promoted after marks were adjusted, but Raseala said this was regarded as a fail.
Teachers called back to schools
At Huhudi, which accepts pupils only from Grade 10 through to matric, there are about 620 pupils in grades 10 and 11, of whom 541 failed.
This did not bode well for the matric results at either school.
Immediately after Thursday’s meeting, a team was sent to Ganyensa to investigate.
Teachers were expected to suspend their holidays and to report to the schools on Friday to help with investigations.
Tselapedi said disciplinary measures would be taken as quickly as possible against officials and teachers who had not performed.
Raseala said the headmasters and teachers at the school could not blame their poor results on a lack of resources.
In fact, resources had been made allocated especially, to ensure that they would improve their performance.
Kgomonyane, for instance, had a computer centre and a science lab.
Raseala said squabbles between staff and in-fighting in the schools’ management structures were among the main reasons for the bad performance.
Parents want answers
At Kgomonyane, a new headmaster had been appointed in April, after the deputy headmaster had been acting in the post for a long time. This had led to friction.
In March, a regional official had reported that problems could be looming, but “unfortunately, head office did not hear about it”.
Pupils and parents wanted answers from the department.
Tselapedi said he would address them next Wednesday and until then he asked for calm so that the investigation could go ahead.