Africa's real blackboard jungle

13th May 2005 at 01:00
It may be wise not to hold your breath for the promised crackdown on low-level classroom disruption, but spare a thought for teachers in the Dukuduku Forest in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

According to the local newspaper, passed to the Diary by former history teacher David Evans, Engweni primary school staff have their own mischievous monkeys to deal with, as well as cobras and green mambas.

"You can't leave your teaching aids in the class because the monkeys run in and destroy everything. They steal our lunchboxes or play on the roofs while we are trying to give lessons," despairing head Anastacia Mhlongo told the Mercury.

Mr Evans, who makes regular trips to South Africa to research the ZuluBoer Wars, says that former colleagues, who apparently "moan a lot" about behaviour, should take note. "Old fogies like me couldn't cope with some things teachers have to put up with today," he concedes. "But this might help them put it into perspective."

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