MEC Condemns Disruption Teaching at Avondale Primary School in Atlantis
I strongly condemn the disruption of teaching time at Avondale Primary School in Atlantis.
I have been briefed by senior officials of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) that teachers have refused, since Monday, to carry out their official duties as educators to teach the learners at Avondale Primary.
The teachers are protesting the return of their principal after a lengthy disciplinary process that was initiated more then two years ago, and follows a decision to uphold the principal's appeal by the then MEC, Yousuf Gabru.
The principal of Avondale Primary returned to school lawfully following an arbitration hearing.
It is clear that teachers and some members of the school community are unhappy with his return and the process that was followed.
I wish to underscore that teachers cannot allow their unhappiness to undermine due process of the law, and most importantly, to prejudice the rights of learners.
Senior officials, on my instruction, are currently at the school and are attempting to restore order.
My immediate priority at this stage is to ensure that learning continues and that the safety of learners is protected.
Teachers are free to express their dissatisfaction about this issue, but are not in any way free to do so at the expense of the learners whom they are duty bound to teach.
The department will continue to engage in a constructive way with teachers to explain the process that was followed, the reasons behind the principal's return, and will try to, where legally possible, to address whatever legitimate concerns they may have.
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Cell: 072 724 1422
Tel: 021 467 2377