Transformation has come knocking on the door of a Cape Town school which has been entangled in a racial controversy after forcing the school’s only black teacher to resign four months ago.
Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School has now appointed Belinda Peterson as its new principal, owing to her vast experience as an educator and the various leadership positions she has held throughout her career, Briefly.co.za found.
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The selection panel comprised teachers, trade unions and Department of Education officials. The panel were impressed with Peterson's vision of creating a space that where diverse cultures could exist in harmony and where everyone’s voice would be heard, reported Times Live.
Peterson has an impressive resume, which comprises a Master’s degree in Mathematics and 16-years’ experience in education. She has also served as a councillor.
Four months ago, the school’s first black teacher, Nozipho Mthembu, 26, was forced to resign due to persisting and unwarranted harsh treatment, as Briefly.co.za previously reported. The principal at the time, Gavin Downward, issued her an ultimatum to either resign or face disciplinary action, which left her no choice but to vacate her position.
She had taken her case to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), demanding that she be compensated for how she was treated by the school.
The school’s discriminatory tendencies were felt by parents of learners who took action by forming Parents for Change, a group advocating for transformation. The group is happy with the new appointment, which they believe is an important first step in making the school an accommodating environment.
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