Free State Education Department unable to fund schools

Basil Alexander MPL

Free State Provincial Legislature

After the principal of Jimmy Roos School was forced to close the school’s doors, then forced by the Free State Provincial Department to reopen, without funding, conditions at Jimmy Roos are deteriorating rapidly. The department only paid over part of the funding for the fourth quarter last year and to date this year not a cent has been paid over to the school.

This is another indication that the provincial department of education’s finances are in a complete mess.

The DA opposed the education budget last year because we felt that not enough funding had been allocated for this department to be able to achieve its goals. Now the chickens have come home to roost.

The department is set to over spend its budget by 1,2 billion rand.

At the finance committee meeting where the budget was discussed last year the committee requested that when the department present their first quarter financial report as well as a plan on how they would bring the department in under budget. That plan never came. When the department presented their second quarter financial report there was still no plan. The department said that they were having discussions. To have discussions halfway through the year is a bit late too late to address their massively inflated projected expenditure.

The ANC has laid a solid foundation which will cripple the Department of Education financially for many years and lead to poor education results in this very critical sector of the Free State.

The DA will write to the national minister of basic education, Ms Angie Motshekga, to urgently intervene in the provincial department.