Hundreds of schools left leaderless

11 December 2012 - 02:01 By Thando Mgaga
School work. File photo
School work. File photo
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

KWAZULU-NATAL has more than 500 schools that operate without a principal.

This was revealed by the provincial education department in its response to a parliamentary question put by the DA.

There are just over 6000 schools in the province but 576 of them do not have a principal.

It was revealed in the parliamentary reply by head of department Nkosinathi Sishi yesterday that 315 schools do not have a deputy principal and 1124 do not have heads of departments.

"The unacceptable delay in filling these posts points to serious mismanagement. It is also indicative of a complete lack of urgency within the provincial education department's human resources department," said Tom Stokes, a DA MP and the party's spokesman on education.

"Principals play a crucial role in the functioning of schools and there is a high correlation between effective school management and academic results.

"Their retirement or resignation does not happen overnight. It should therefore not be difficult to manage the transition to a new school principal in an orderly and timeous way," said Stokes.

He said there should be no break in school management - before a principal leaves his post, a new principal should be appointed, enabling a seamless transition of leadership.

Stokes said that the education department's human resource section lacked the management and leadership skills at top level to fix "obvious" problems.

It was revealed that there were no vacancies for teachers in any of the province's 12 education districts.

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