PRIOR to the most recent incident of alleged physical abuse by a teacher at Ikamva Lesizwe Combined School in Ekuphumleni, pupils complained about a teacher at the school who allegedly treated them badly.
Two former pupils who matriculated last year came to see TotT about the situation. They gave their names to TotT but did not want to be identified in the newspaper as they said they still feared the teacher.
“We’re scared to talk about this,” one of the former pupils said.
They said the tourism and geography teacher, whose name they also provided to TotT, had been at Ikamva Lesizwe for many years.
“She swears at pupils. They weren’t misbehaving, the class wasn’t out of control,” one of the past matrics said. “She’s been like this a long time.”
But they said the most vexing problems they with the teacher was her expectation on assignments. She allegedly demanded as well as typing them, they had to be printed in colour.
We wanted to write, not type – we have a problem with typing,” one of the ex-pupils said.
“We used the computers at the Ekuphumleni library, near the clinic. But is costs R5 a page to print in colour.”
Finding it unaffordable, many pupils submitted their assignments in black and white. The teacher rejected them, sometimes tearing them in half.
When it came time for moderation, the work of many pupils was outstanding.
“That’s when a guy from the education department came to find out why so many assignments hadn’t been submitted,” one of the ex-pupils said.
She said the teacher told the education department official to ask the pupils why their assignments had not been submitted.
The official spoke to the tourism and geography pupils, and when they related their problems there was no resolution.
“He told us there’s no proof of our complaints. He said we need to use our cellphones to record the teacher swearing or tearing our assignments in half,” one of the past matrics said.
“There were about 45 pupils taking tourism and geography. We weren’t the only two unhappy.”
The ex-pupils said they were only able to pass because of the help they received from other teachers at spring camp and winter camp.
Meanwhile, they said the teacher resigned in September last year, blaming the Grade 12 class.
“But she’s back this year. It’s not only us – we know the years before us had problems [with this teacher] as well. And the ones who come after us will as well if things don’t change.”
TotT submitted questions to the education department in January. Two weeks ago, education department spokesman Malibongwe Mtima said our questions had been forwarded to the acting district director of the Grahamstown district office, Perseverance Futshane. No answer has been received.