Issued by Dr. Allan Grootboom, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Spokesperson on Education
Cell: 071 682 6806
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will continue following up with schools in the province which have reached the point of desperation because of a shortage of educators. The Northern Cape Department of Education appears to be fumbling in the dark whilst schools across the province are pleading for the teachers needed to get the new school year in full swing.
Normally after the first ten days of the school year, a snap survey is conducted to establish the needs of schools in the province after pupil intake in a new year. It guides the Department on where to allocate the additional resources needed by schools. Even though the report has been finalized, little action has been taken by the Department.
The Department has made too few allocations because it simply does not have any more money to pay teachers. However the question must be asked, how a Department anticipating the start of a new school year, not budget adequately? Why has Education MEC, Grizelda Cjiekella, not provided the leadership which is so clearly needed in her Department?
The DA has received complaints from schools across the province, and we have noted just how widespread the problem is, with schools ranging from Richmond to the Pixley Ka Seme, Siyathemba, and Siyanda regions all citing a shortage of teachers and other challenges related to equipment. Some of the schools we spoke to, in pure desperation, had even sent the Department an ultimatum demanding it honour its duty. A school in Phillipsdown indicated that the silence from the Department had seen it fall into a complete state of disrepair, making teaching and learning conditions extremely challenging.
The DA will be submitting parliamentary questions seeking to gain clarity on why the situation got to this stage, and what action, if any, the Department is taking to rectify it. It is high time Senior Managers and the MEC are held accountable for the blunders the Education Department seems to constantly stumble into, as the future of thousands of learners in the province cannot continue being placed at risk any further.