Byline: Andani Matumba

27 July 2022

The aggrieved parents of the learners who attend Thomas Nhlabathi Secondary School situated in Embalenhle, Ext 2 (White City) stopped the class attendance of the learners on Monday, 25 July 2022 by initiating a total shut down at the school.

The purpose of the shut-down was for the parents to express their distress as they feel that the school curriculum does not suit the educational needs and abilities of each child since the school only focuses on Maths and Science.
According to Mr Richard Ndzukula several memorandums have been written and submitted to the Secunda Circuit offices and the Mpumalanga Department of Education respectively.

“The circuit referred us to the Department of Education in Nelspruit because they alleged that they do not have the power and the authority to introduce a new subject in a school.
We then submitted the memorandum personally in Nelspruit, but now the time has lapsed and the parents feel as though their grievances are not being taken seriously which is the reason they are shutting down the school,” said Mr Richardt Ndzukula.

Mr Ndzukula said the parents are frustrated because this is the only school that Tsonga and Pedi speaking children can go to in Embalenhle but they are not given an option to choose the subjects they are more confident in.

It is further alleged that the performance of the learners has dropped so much in the previous term with most learners failing.
Promise Mokobane, SRC President at Thomas Nhlabathi said the learners are confident that they would actually perform better if other subjects are introduced.

A meeting took place between the parents and a representative from the Department of Education later on the 25 July 2022.

Secunda Circuit Manager, Mr Masondo representing the Department of Education led the meeting later on the said day with the SGB committee and parents.

Masondo advised the committee on various options the parents have regarding the amendment of the school curriculum.

“An application has to be made by the parents to the Department of Education for the School to add other subjects and it is my recommendation that when the said application is made, I propose for the following subjects to be added:

Technical Mathematics ;

Technical Science;

CAT ( Computer Application Technology ); and

IT ( information technology ).

although if you want to add these subjects we have negotiate this with the Department even though the closing date was 31st March for the following year,”Masondo said advising the commitee present at the meeting.

It was agreed in the meeting that a follow up will be made on the letter that was sent to the District, and that an application for the above subjects will be compile and Mr Masondo will see to it that it is attended too.