Learners run riot while department decides on the fate of School Governing Body

James Masango MP

Provincial Chairperson: Mpumalanga:

The Department of Education must urgently intervene in the chaos taking place at Vukuqhakaze Secondary School that has resulted in learning coming to a complete standstill.

In July 2014, members of the School Governing Body (SGB) filed a formal complaint with the Department of Basic Education as they felt that the provincial department was ignoring their plight.

In their complaint, they alleged that the principal mismanaged the school’s funds and even borrowed money from loan sharks on behalf of the school. They said that the principal drew up the school’s budget alone and that he and his deputy principal managed the school’s funds.

In the 2014 budget, the principal set aside R50 000 for his own traveling expenses and R75 000 for the rest of the teachers. It is alleged that he claims around R3 000 a month for his travels and that the evidence he provided for his attendance of meetings and workshops was not satisfactory.

The SGB asked the department to investigate the matter as the situation was resulting in the school performing badly.

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The provincial department then sent a letter to the school in December last year asking the chairperson of the SGB to give reasons as to why the department should not dissolve the SGB. The letter states that an investigation by the department made it clear that the SGB was not performing its duties in controlling the finances of the school.

Last week, the learners arrived at school to find that their electricity has been cut because e the school’s electricity bill not being paid, this despite the school having been given money to pay for electricity.

Learners have taken to rioting in an effort to bring attention to the schools lack of stationary, furniture and windows and force the department of Education to end the dispute between the school and its SGB. Classes where again halted this morning when the Circuit Manager arrived with two people that were said to be representatives of the SGB.

Although the department had indicated that it was going to dissolve the SGB, to date they have not informed the school whether or not that will take place.

The DA calls on the MEC for Education, Reginah Mhaule to urgently intervene and act in the best interest of the learners as they will bear the brunt at the end of the academic year.