South African School Suffers Teacher Shortage After 100% Matric Pass Rate

Enrolment numbers have doubled at Coselelani High School and teachers can’t cope. By Mkhuseli Sizani

About 50 parents protested outside the Eastern Cape Department of Education’s district offices on Thursday morning because of a shortage of teachers at Coselelani High School in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth.

Photo of protesters
Coselelani High School parents protest in front of the Eastern Cape Department of Education District offices in Port Elizabeth for more teachers. Photo: Mkhuseli Sizani

They blocked the entrance, stopping vehicles. They waved placards: “Expecting 100% pass rate in a school with no educators. In your dream.”

School principal Langa Tshangana said, “In 2019 we had 344 learners and we achieved a 100% matric pass rate. These good results increased our leaner numbers to 672 this year.”

“We can’t cope under these conditions, we need six more teachers; 12 teachers for 19 classes is too much,” he said.


“Our school was nearly closed when I took over in 2016. The building was completely vandalised with no doors and windows. Toilets and electricity were damaged. But we fixed them through the support of sponsors.

“Five classrooms were burnt down and we have not been able to fix them yet. But a collective of hard working, dedicated parents and teachers turned things around. We are a no fee school but we look like a Model C school in the township,” he said.

School Governing Body Chairperson Zamile Futa said, “Since last year we had this problem of a teacher shortage in all subjects. We had to improvise and focus on grade 12s …

“Then the Department said we should recruit the teachers and submit their CVs. We have done that and submitted the names on Tuesday. We told the Department that this is an urgent matter.”

Yoliswa Tyabule said, “I came all the way from Joburg to get a better education for my daughter … We are here to say to the Department don’t kill our best school. Give us the teachers.”

Grade 11 learner Unathi Zumani said, “The last time we were taught English and Maths literacy was in January … A teacher sometimes teaches eight classes. Most of the time we are just playing at the school. We are supposed to write the first quarter exams, but what are we going to write?”

Provincial Education spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said, ”The district director Enerst Gogonzola has confirmed that he has indeed dispatched a circuit manager and other officials to meet with the school management team of Coselelani to discuss the issue of growth posts and other grievances. They are currently there right now in a meeting.”

Published originally on GroundUp | © 2020 GroundUp.