@AnthonyBenadie: Department ditches planned schools for new boarding school

By: Anthony Benadie MPL Spokesperson on Education The provincial department of Education has decided to ditch plans for new schools and opted to rather build a new boarding school in the Nkangala district in the new financial year 2015/2016. In the department’s Annual Performance Plan (APP) for the 2015/16 financial year, it clearly shows that this new boarding school will cost no less than 300 million rand of which R160 million will be spent in this financial year. However this new plan does not come without its sacrifices, Aerorand Primary, which was planned to cost R42 million, will not be built in this financial year and does not appear on the department’s APP for the next three financial years. The establishment of the new school comes as a great surprise to the DA, asduring a recent visit to the school site, there was evidence that the clearing of the site had commenced. Given the ever increasing demand for quality English medium education in Middelburg, primarily as a result of the increased development of the town, this decision by the department is a devastating blow to education in Middelburg and will place a severe burden on current schools to accommodate learners. At the same time the proposed boarding school will do little to ease the pressure on the education system as it merely replaces a range of rural schools. The Departments APP does not say where in the Nkangala district this new boarding will be built. The DA has posed parliamentary questions to the Education MEC, Reginah Mhaule questioning the reason for this about turn, where the boarding school will be built and in what academic year Aerorand will be opened. The DA, working with the community will launch a mobilising initiative to petition the department of education to review its decision to ensure that the Aerorand school is built as a matter of priority. While the province is desperately in need for new schools to accommodate the growing number of learners, the department of education must urgently prioritise the construction and establishment of more schools. [END] ##################################################################################### Scanned by MailMarshal – M86 Security’s comprehensive email content security solution. Download a free evaluation of MailMarshal at www.m86security.com #####################################################################################