Pupils Demand Smoke Break At School

Pupils Demand Smoke Break At School


Roseville Secondary School in Umzinto, KwaZulu
Nartarl, had to be closed down last week, after pupils went on strike, demanding that
they be allowed to smoke at designated areas before lessons begin in the morning. In a video, recorded by the pupils, they demand
a smoke break from 8am to 9am in the morning. In another video, a pupil walks through the
staff room smoking. Kwazi Mthethwa, the spokesperson for the Provincial
Education Department in KwaZulu Natal, said smoking was not allowed in schools. However, neither the school nor the department
has instituted action against the pupils in the video. Vee Gani of the KZN Parents Association said,
the pupils’ demands were illegal and unacceptable. Gani said pupils were using the threat of
violence to hold schools to ransom, so their demands, such as smoke breaks, would be heard
or implemented. Allegations of r-a-c-i-s-m at the school have
also surfaced. The teaching staff at the school are mainly
Indian South Africans, while the pupils are mostly Africans. Some pupils have accused their Indian teachers
of being r-a-c-i-s-t. Meanwhile, staff seem deeply divided over
the recent appointment of acting Principal George Khumalo. On Sunday, parents were invited to a meeting
at the school to discuss the matter. Teachers were not allowed to attend. It was chaired by Krishna Reddy, the manager
of the district at the education department. One pupil told the meeting they were referred
to as “dom” and “s-t-u-p-i-d” if they did not understand their work. He further claimed that some teachers told
them they needed to be transferred to a special needs school. Another pupil claimed that teachers were using
pupils to get rid of the acting principal, Khumalo, so he could be replaced by an Indian
principal. They demanded Khumalo stay. Reddy told parents the allegations would be
investigated. Siyabonga Nyanda, the chairperson of the South
African Democratic Teachers Union, SADTU, said while r-a-c-i-s-m could not be tolerated,
the teachers could not be labelled r-a-c-i-s-t without a proper investigation. Niven Pillay, the SGB chairperson, said they
were concerned about the action taken by pupils on issues that they believed could be resolved
via discussions with relevant stakeholders. He said Sunday’s meeting was well attended
and a resolution that teaching and learning would resume on Monday was taken. Please check in the description box below,
for the links to the sources of this report. Thanks for watching. Please comment, like, share and subscribe.

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