Limpopo schools struggling as funding dries up

Jacques Smalle MP

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

Schools across Limpopo are struggling to stay afloat five months into the school year because the Education Department has not sent them basic funding required by law.

A 2 month investigation by the DA has found that schools serving the province’s poorest learners are receiving as little as R30 per child from the Department. The national standard set by Minister Motshekga is R1010 per learner for 2013/14.

This basic funding, known as Norms and Standards funds, is paid to schools to cover electricity and water bills, photocopying, phone calls, school maintenance and other everyday demands of running a school.

In Limpopo, these funds are meant to be paid quarterly to schools, but most schools surveyed have received very little funds since January 2013.

Parents of learners at low-income schools in Mankweng visited by the DA are being asked for money to buy toilet paper and make photocopies as schools struggle to stay afloat.

Many schools are also struggling to cope with exam preparations under difficult circumstances.

Further examples of the severe impact the with-holding of funds by the Department is having on school communities is as follows:

 

School’s Name (All schools are Quintile’s 1 – 3)

 

Area

Amount of Norms and Standard Received per child since Jan 2013 (R1010 is the gazetted minimum finding for 2013/14)  

Impact on the school

 

 

Sego High school Matlala Krantz R40 per learner No printing papers, no printing machine,
Nthema High School Moletjie Fairlie R100 per learner No printing machine and papers. unable to pay electricity
Westernburg High Westernburg R50 per learner Printing machine broken, electricity and water bill is more than R300,000
Raselete High school Moletjie Rammobola R67 per learner No faxing, photocopy nor printing machine and papers
 

Sekati High School

 

Moletjie Ga Sechaba

R107 per learner No electricity, no papers, fax, printing and photocopy machine

 

Seokeng High school Moletjie Ceres R39 per learner Printing machine broken, no papers
Agishanang primary Lonsdale R30 per learner No printing , fax, photocopy machine and paper. Owing electricity bill
Bahlaloga High

 

Lonsdale

 

R39 per learner Printing machine broken.
 

Where the DA governs we pay R1010 per learner to poor schools. We also budget R43 million, the highest in the country, to cover school-fees for parents who can’t afford it. We want to do for this learners in Limpopo too, but people must vote for this to happen.

There is no reason why learners at schools in poor communities in Limpopo should not get the same service from the Limpopo Education Department and its national administrators.

In Limpopo, 77% of all learners are taught at the poor schools (Quintiles 1 -3). When there is a funding crisis in poor schools, its impact is felt across poor communities province-wide.

The DA has sent a formal demand to Limpopo Provincial Administrator Mzwandile Matthews to transfer the funds owed to these schools without delay. He must also explain within 48 hours why schools are being short-changed.

No learner should have to go to a school without basics like lights or toilet paper. This suffering is unfair and unnecessary

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