TEACHERS at Ngololweni High School were made to run for it by pupils who had locked them within the school premises before assaulting them with all sorts of missiles yesterday morning.
Police had to be called to maintain peace and order after the over 300 pupils ran amok.
The pupils were infuriated by the school’s decision to cancel their participation in school games.
Principal Mbongeni Dlamini together with his teaching staff had to duck the missiles launched at them by the enraged pupils who demanded an explanation on the decision to block pupils from competing with their counterparts in the varying sporting activities.
It all started in the morning where the 300 pupils were found in groups apparently devising a strategy to launch the attack.
They later locked all the school’s gates, staff room as well as the administration block where they used superglue to block the padlocks.
The teachers had to show their athletics prowess when the berserk pupils showed no mercy on anyone of them as they were determined to finish them off. None of the teachers sustained serious injuries even though others were unfortunate to have bigger stones hitting them as they ducked the volley of other objects thrown at them.
The pupils were determined not to have any teacher left within the school premises as they moved from door to door at the same time vandalising classrooms and other buildings.
Like they were demon possessed, they chanted slogans and toyi-toyed as well as shouting on top of their voices the grievances they wanted addressed. It was a scary situation even to passers-by.
The teachers had to flee by jumping over the fence surrounding the school and dashed to the nearby mountains to hide.
It was after the teachers had spent two hours on the mountains when they were relieved by the arrival of the police as some were seen resurfacing but still not sure whether it was safe for them to come anywhere closer to the school the pupils had already taken over.
The less than 10 police officers had no problem taking control of the situation and advised the rowdy pupils to start behaving. The police realised the gates were locked and forced them opened to gain entry and later met with the teachers who still looked shocked as the pupils issued unpalatable statements and curses.
The school was closed down pending a parents meeting.
Later, four officials from the regional education office led by senior inspector Collin Xaba arrived and held a meeting in camera which lasted for close to three hours.
The principal, who has been in the school for over 13 years, said he was not at all ready to make comments as the matter was now handled by the ministry’s officials. He, however, confirmed there would be a parents meeting on Monday.
Pupils not happy with new teacher
THE other reason that led to Ngololweni High School pupils going wild is their unhappiness with a new teacher at the school who is a disciplinarian.
Some of the pupils confided to this newspaper that the teacher introduced changes they did not agree with thus yesterday’s class boycott that resulted in the school being closed indefinitely.
They also complained that the way some teachers administer corporal punishment was like they were settling scores with them. They said at times they were made to lie face down on a bench and whipped heavily with teachers taking turns.
“The major grievance is that of being refused to participate in sports despite that our parents paid for this activity. We have been allowed to do the practice sessions but when we were supposed to participate in competitions, that did not happen,” one pupil said.
Further, the pupils argued that they pay for computer study but such lessons do not take place.
They feel making their parents pay for the sports fee and the computer studies was daylight robbery. However, the administration clarified that computer lessons in the school would take place stating that the reason this has not been happening, was due to the fact that there was still no post for the teacher supposed to take the computer class.
Principal’s car ‘polished’ with dirt
AS the riot spread throughout the school, including to the teachers’ quarters, the principal Mbongeni Dlamini’s car was ‘painted’ all around with something that looked like human waste.
The car, a Mazda Familia parked under shelter at the teachers quarters, was found ‘polished’ all over including on the windscreens by something which many people thought was human waste. However, Dlamini claimed it was sand the pupils took from the nearby water tank.
He said he was sure it was not human waste his car was ‘polished’ with by the rowdy pupils who went on to tamper with its tyres. The wheel caps were destroyed but the lights were spared.
“I cannot state how much damage has been caused to my car,” said the soft-spoken Dlamini.