BIG BEND: Dr Boy Khumalo, the Principal of U-tech College is accused of exploiting the teaching staff, demanding last year’s school fees from parents and victimising teachers who joined the Swaziland National Association of Teachers(SNAT).
Insiders within the school administration, told this Swaziland News that teachers who were employed to teach the Eswatini General Certificate of Secondary Education (EGCSE) syllabus are forced to also teach the National Senior Certificate (NSC) also known as Matric and also to teach at the Further Education and Training (FET )College, those who joined SNAT were allegedly threatened and victimised.
“Government has hired 42 teachers but there are only 220 students who are learning the EGCSE syllabus, these teachers are being used for U-tech’s private projects during government’s time which is to teach the matric syllabus and at the FET College. They are paid a stipend of about E 2000 for these extra duties, the College is making a lot of profit at government’s expense since there are over 400 students who are enrolled for the matric certificate, paying a minimum of E 20 000.We believe the college should have at least hired its own teaching staff specifically for its private projects in order to justify their high fees. We have also learnt that the College has forced parents to pay for last year’s online lessons, which we believe its daylight robbery since the online classes were not effective at all”, said the insider.
When reached for comments, Dr Boy Khumalo,the Principal of U-tech College said the teachers were engaged by the college fully aware of their extra duties.
“Each time when we advertise a vacancy at the college, we also mention these extra duties and discuss them with our employees during interviews.We give them a stipend on top of their salaries they receive from government.Government is fully aware of this arrangement and its not true that we are making huge profits out of this. Parents were made to pay for last year’s school fees due to online classes that were conducted during the partial lockdown”, said the Principal.
Bertram Stewart, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Training said the teachers should report their grievances through the right channels instead of the media.
“We are not aware of the matter, the teachers know where to report their grievances so I cannot comment on this through the media until we get a formal report from them”, he said.
Mbongwa Dlamini , the President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) said this was an unfair labour practice and the affected teachers should report the matter to the union.
“This is an unfair labour practice and we strongly condemn it, these teachers should only be assigned duties that they were initially engaged for.These extra duties should be negotiated with the employees in the presence of their union.I would like to urge the affected teachers to register their grievances with the Big Bend branch of SNAT so we can address them as a union”, said the SNAT President.