SPEECH ON THE DEBATE ON PREMIER’S STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS BY MR. KHUME RAMULIFHO DELIVERED IN THE GAUTENG PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE ON 26 FEBRUARY 2015.

February 26, 2015

We need to invest in knowledge and skills.

 

The MEC for education has done a great job in facilitating placements of learners considering the demand of learners who were expected to be placed in January this year. Indeed, in terms of access to learning institutions the government has done well.

 

However, the battle to afford many young people with an opportunity to access quality basic education is still a huge challenge. It is difficult to experience real changes in many schools especially in townships. For instance, how will this be possible when 3 learners at Rebongwe primary school in Meadowlands are still sharing 2 chairs?

 

At the same school, kids sit on a “bankstoel”. This is depriving innocent children from conducive learning environment. Imagine 62 learners in one class! The department seems to have paid all the attention to paperless classrooms which they are only seven and forget other real challenges.

 

Another typical example is Buyani Primary school in Finetown. Grade 1 class has 80 learners in one classroom. On average classes have between 50 and 70 learners per class. I’m told that teachers bunk classes more often than at an acceptable level. Surely this is not what we are expecting. Where are the districts responsible for these schools?

 

It is regrettable that only 44 schools in Gauteng managed to get 100% pass in 2014. Quintile 1 has 3 schools, 26 of these schools are from Quintile 5. This is an indication of inequality in our education system. The DA believes that these schools in quintile 1,2 & 3 should be rewarded with more resources as recognition for excellent performance. This is good guide to fund learners from low-income families to receive most support from government.

 

The DA congratulates these schools as they achieved 100% pass from quintile 1,2 and 3 schools. Thuto Pele, Ramusukula, Dalpark, Phomolong and LG Holele secondary schools.

 

30 schools performed below 60%, the biggest concern is that many technical schools in quintile 4 performed badly. The quintile system is skewed, it needs to be reviewed.

 

There will be developments in our province, but the job will be done by outsiders as we aren’t producing scarce skills required.

 

Who will build all these projects you mentioned?

 

Manage the government’s money better. What we have been witnessing from schools through hidden forensic audit reports tell us different picture. Premier – I doubt your commitment with regard to fighting corruption.

 

You have the information about 159 schools where forensic audits findings confirm that principals committed fraud, corruption and there were maladministration or financial irregularities. At least 29 principals are implicated on the reports. Annual reports indicates that all cases are completed, so take action!

 

Why constitutionally constituted body, school governing bodies mandated by the constitution are denied access to these reports. Including the public, if you are found guilty why are we ashamed to let the public know?

 

You hide the forensic audit reports. Elected school governing bodies have no access to forensic audit reports about their own schools where they are entrusted with responsibility to look after. We then asked parents to be involved. I doubt if this is in line with clean government.

 

Fight fraud and corruption in our schools. Many schools in this province are cited as the highest in terms of corruption where some SGB members and principals are alleged to be the beneficiaries.

 

The DA has been questioning government commitment to fight corruption. Forensic audit reports conducted confirm that there is corruption and fraud being committed using state resources but no actions against the perpetrators. Why we can’t name and shame them?

 

How do we encourage schools to share resources and facilities, between schools and communities when individual schools aren’t held to account. SGB elections are coming next months, the DA is urging parents to take active stand and be agents in their children’s future through informed participation in we’ll run school governing bodies.

 

School infrastructure

 

We need better resources to ensure that our schools environment is conducive for learning and teaching. The approach adopted by this government to attract, retain, up-skill retrain teachers is weak considering that many teachers received shoddy education and the country is in desperate need to produce certain skills.

 

Many schools in township still lack libraries, laboratories, sporting fields and ICT infrastructure. The paperless classrooms are encouraging developments but all learners deserve opportunities. The new six schools to be made paperless, can they be in other municipality not Ekurhuleni alone.

 

Meadowlands, Dobsonville, Soshanguve, Sharpeville, Diepsloot, Orange Farm, Attredgeville, Kagiso,  Munsieville learners deserve paperless classrooms too! There is a need to reconsider the utilization of Gauteng on line facilities, they can’t be neglected as is the case in many schools to date.

 

Better resources require proper planning and infrastructure spending. Unfortunately there is poor planning and insufficient capacity to spend the budget.

 

Thank you!

 

 

 

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