Children being robbed of vital learning time – Khume Ramulifho

DA MPL says it is unacceptable that 33 000 learners in Gauteng will not start their academic year today

Placing learners at the end of February robs our children of vital learning time

17 January 2018

The DA in Gauteng finds it regrettable that many learners are denied access to basic education. It is unacceptable that more than 33 000 learners will not start their 2018 academic year today.

This is mostly due to poor planning from the department. More than half of these learners applied on time. The online registration created a picture of schools in demand and schools without pressure. The department should have used this opportunity to plan and allocate resources accordingly.

The DA is calling for MEC Lesufi to engage with independent schools to place the more than 33 000 learners in the province. The constitution guarantees individual rights to establish and maintain independent educational institutions that uphold standards that are comparable with public educational institutions. The state also has the options of subsidizing independent schools to ensure equal access, providing state-funded scholar transport and deploying more resources to poor schools to make them more competitive. Many schools will open today but they lack basic resources like functional laboratories, sporting facilities and desks and chairs.

MEC Lesufi must approach Finance MEC Barbara Creecy to access the R12 billion provincial reserve funds to ensure that educational needs are funded. There should be no child of school going age sitting at home because the department has failed its obligation to provide basic education.

The DA will continue to visit schools to ensure that they have the necessary resources to ensure learning and teaching. Education is the key to redressing the imbalances of the past and to create a better future for the next generation of employable adults. The department must not be allowed to fail our learners.

Issued by Khume RamulifhoDA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, 17 January 2018