Safiyia Stanfley, MPL
DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education:
The Democratic Alliance has alerted the MEC for Education about the dumping of textbooks and workbooks meant for the Kha Ri Ma Gude Mass Literacy programme. The books were found by a footpath next to the N12 in Warrenton, close to the proposed development of the Warrenton mall.
How does the department of Education hope to achieve its literacy targets when books are dumped in a field?
We have established that the books were dumped there last year. The books are unused and in a good condition. Some books are actually still wrapped in protective plastic. Subjects include English, Setswana and Setswana guides on numeracy.
We have further established that facilitators have been appointed for the Kha Ri Ma Gude campaign. However, it seems that training has not been taking place as the textbooks are rotting away unused in a field.
Despite the fact that work is not being done, the facilitators are still receiving their monthly stipends. We are concerned about the coordinator of the programme in Warrenton. We are told that anybody who approaches him with questions about the efficiency of the programme is threatened and chased away.
The Kha Ri Ma Gude campaign can play a pivotal role in improving the economic prospects of adults. The Magareng community is one of the communities in the Northern Cape that really needs to be empowered through education. More than 16% of the population older than 20 in Magareng have no schooling. This is significantly higher than the district average of 10%. Furthermore, only 24% of Magareng have completed grade 12. The Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy campaign aimed to have 4.7 million adults fully numerate and literate by 2015. It is disappointing and unacceptable that the Magareng community will be excluded from this target.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely. In 2014, the department reported an adult learner retention rate of only 50%. Could this poor retention rate be related to the dumping of books in other communities?