Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education:
The failed merger of the Megatong and Sediba-Thuto primary schools in Soweto needs to be urgently addressed.
Megatong was meant to be merged with Sediba-Thuto in 2008 and then shut down as a legal entity. However, parents alleged the merger was forced and resorted to protests to oppose it.
According to investigations by Harris Nupen Molebatsi Attorneys, the district office allowed the schools to be run as two separate entities.
Of further concern is that Department of Education records indicate that Megatong Primary received an annual budget allocation until the end of 2011, despite the fact that it was supposedly merged with Sediba-Thuto in 2008.
Poor leadership, lack of public consultation on the part of the Education Department and opposition to the merger has caused the poor education of Megatong’s learners.
The school has two teachers for 123 pupils, forcing it to combine grade 1 and 2 as well as grade 4 and 5 classes into single classes.
The school has no electricity, no budget for operating costs, and outstanding teacher salaries backdating to April 2014.
Quality education is critical to develop the young people of Gauteng, but this can only happen through consultative decisions between the Education Department, schools, parents and school governing bodies.
Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi needs to pay urgent attention to this failed merger, and address the lack of resources and teacher salaries at Megatong.