'Personal interests' collapse education at Durban high school

15 January 2019 - 12:45 By Jeff WIcks
KwaZulu-Natal MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube says Masakhaneni High School is on the brink of crisis just five days into the new school year.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube says Masakhaneni High School is on the brink of crisis just five days into the new school year.
Image: Sunday Times

The Masakhaneni High School – beset by staff faction fighting and criminal elements within the student body – is on the brink of crisis just five days into the new school year.

This was the assertion of KZN co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who visited the school in KwaMakhutha on Tuesday January 15 as part of a school functionality programme run by the provincial legislature.

"The main thing that is collapsing education here is personal interests and nothing else, and that is what closes the gates here. We should not tolerate this," she said during a stakeholder engagement session.

"The future of this community is being collapsed because we are failing these children," she added.

The school was closed in August last year after a fatal double stabbing in a scuffle over a cellphone.

The double murder drew back the veil on long-standing management issues at the institution, prompting education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana to announce sweeping reforms in the school’s management.  

On Tuesday the meeting heard that the school’s principal had been suspended, the faculty had been reduced to seven teachers and that the skeleton staff had been augmented by 25 volunteer teachers from the community.

The management reforms, outlined in a report tabled at the meeting, included the dissolving of the governing body and the removal of all staff and volunteers.

"We were expecting to hear something better about this school. Recommendations from their own team have not been implemented," Dube-Ncube added.

She put the staff and department official on terms, insisting that the matter be resolved within the week.

Last week it was reported that police were stationed at the school to prevent any disruptions or fighting. 

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