Concerns around school recovery plans

Safiyia Stanfley, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education

On the 11th of August I, in my capacity as provincial spokesperson for Education, together with my colleague Annette Lovemore laid criminal charges against the protesters shutting down schools in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district. The charges were laid in terms of the South African Schools Act, as learners who are subject to compulsory school attendance are being kept out of school illegally. The matter was transferred from the Kimberley police station to the Kuruman police station, where the incident took place, on the 22nd of August and the investigation is still ongoing.

We are thrilled that the department of Education instructed teachers to report for duty. However, we are extremely concerned about the implementation of the school recovery plans. On Tuesday, during the tabling of the department’s quarterly report, officials from the department clearly stated that there is no funding for the implementation of recovery plans in the form of a matric camp. The chances that we will see a matric camp, like the one hosted in 2012, is very slim.

We also need to ask if there is enough time left before the National Senior Certificate examinations for the implementation of a meaningful recovery plan. On the 20th of August, the department’s spokesperson indicated that their plan is drafted for 28 days. With the National Senior Certificate examinations scheduled to start on the 27th of October, the department has about forty weekdays left.

If schooling does not resume soon, the recovery plan will fail and our children’s futures will be damaged beyond repair.