Gauteng education MEC warns of imminent turnaround in the province

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Friday said he wouldn’t preside over ‘tweaked apartheid schooling’ system.

FILE: Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi visited the Curro Foundation School in Pretoria after reports of racial segregation. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Friday said he was not prepared to preside over a "tweaked apartheid schooling system".

He told principals at a meeting in Kempton Park that there would be a turnaround in the province which will see teachers deployed from urban schools to township and rural schools or vice versa.

Lesufi said the purpose of the meeting with principals was to give them back the power to run their own schools.

He added that there had been too much interference in the past and that this has affected classrooms.

While Lesufi has promised teachers that he would support them, he has remained firm in his message that laziness, corruption and indecent relations with pupils would not be tolerated.

"That is why I'm saying principals much manage - they are my CEOs. Government bodies are board members, but we don't want the board to interfere with the day to day running of the schools."

Lesufi also said skin colour would not be used as a factor to determine where teachers were deployed.

He added Gauteng's best educators worked in smaller classrooms, which disadvantaged those in larger schools.


Lesufi also revealed that since he took office eight months ago, he has fired 61 teachers for indecent relations with their pupils.

He said he would not hesitate to terminate the contracts of teachers found guilty of exploiting children and that the process he would follow was very clear.

"If I get a report that a teacher has sexually molested a learner, and that teacher has gone through a disciplinary hearing and the chairperson for the DEC has recommended dismissal, I concur."

The MEC said the fact that 61 teachers have so far been fired in only eight months was concerning, especially by the number of young boys who had fallen victim.

"They call them Ben tens or something. They want the boys to accompany the teachers after school. If I get that report, I terminate."

Lesufi promised that teachers would be fired, regardless of their skills, qualifications and talent, should they touch a child inappropriately.