Dr Jaya Viranna (Fellow Deputy Principal at Havenpark Secondary)


The author takes us on a nostalgic tour about his experiences as an educator and manager in the pre- and post apartheid eras of his career. It is because of this that “When the chalk is down” assumes its relevant significance in current Diaspora’s educator experience. Future educators will discover that their common experiences in the classrooms are no different from those that he went through.

Very little has been written previously about the educator experiences before and after the democracy [1994]. Therefore the experiences encapsulated in “when the chalk is down” will provide an invaluable contribution to contemporary non fiction educational literature.

B.P Singh (BP) has drawn from his childhood and youthful recollections over a period of four decades to tell the tales of some of his real experiences, as he remembers them, spanning the apartheid pre- House of Delegates days to the current democratic Department of Education KZN period. The author has savoured the flavour of the times of both poor and effective education management styles, sumptuous promotion debacles and the intricacies of bureaucratic processes affecting educational organization and administration.

B.P Singh has quite remarkably captured in his book the essential spirit and the colourful culture of the experiences of a unionist and educator to a Deputy Manager, notwithstanding how he was exploited and to some extent victimized and abused by senior officials.