DA’s spot check raises ire of principal

Names of pupils who come late are recorded by Pholosho Junior Secondary School officials. Photo: Leseho Manala


The late coming to school by Alex pupils and an unannounced visit by a Gauteng member of the provincial legislature resulted in a differing of opinions between the school’s principal and his visitor.

This after the DA’s Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho, pitched up at Pholosho Junior Secondary School for an unannounced spot check which irked the principal Dingaan Kubheka. This occurred as many pupils streamed in late, some as the bell for the second lessons rang.

School officials attend to late comers at Pholosho Junior Secondary. Photo: Leseho Manala

Ramulifho said the visit was a normal practice to check on the delivery of the curriculum, nutrition and infrastructure at schools, and to keep public servants in check. “A conducive learning environment is central to the country’s development and success,” he said.

“This will occur if children are in class by 7.30am for classes to commence on time at 8am, for teachers to cover the entire curriculum before final examinations and children to pass and be employable. If not, the country will struggle to achieve its development goals with uneducated youth.”

Ramulifho added that it was the duty of education officials, including school governing bodies and unions, to ensure a conducive environment for teaching and learning. “Late coming should be only in exceptional circumstances like delayed transport which doesn’t apply in Alex. It’s from poor discipline and time management, a lack of parental care and strong management by the school, and supervision and support by the district that children relax and do as they please.

Names of pupils who come late are recorded by Pholosho Junior Secondary School officials. Photo: Leseho Manala

“They risk losing jobs and turning into criminals when unemployed if they carry this conduct into their working lives.”

Ramulifho also blamed the entire education system, saying it had failed to provide additional infrastructure and more schools to reduce congestion in classes, deliver all learning materials on time, assess teachers and ensure vacant positions were filled by competent and specialist teachers.

Speaking guardedly, Kubheka requested visitors to respect general protocol and alert the school’s management of any intended visits to ensure the relevant people were available to engage them.

“Late coming in the school is an exception and not the norm,” he said.

“Policy guidelines specify the remedial actions to apply to late comers. We adhere to this by recording the late comers and address the matter with their parents who we also urge to inculcate discipline in children at home.”

Kubheka added that parents were also tasked in teams to safeguard school property and children during lessons.

Details: Charity Moyo 011 498 5618

Read: Department of Basic Education changes pass requirements

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Leseho Manala

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