KZN Education budget shift coming back to bite ANC

By: Mbali Ntuli, MPL DA KZN Spokesperson on Education Truth be told, the state of education in KwaZulu-Natal is dismal. We have no leadership. The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. The recent schools’ functionality programme has once again highlighted just how dysfunctional the province is when it comes to education. Many schools did not open on time. We had and still have a matric cheating scandal hanging over our heads – the outcome of which seems to be proving difficult to table. We have officials at every level who are not fit to be in the positions they hold as a result of, amongst others, nepotism, fraud, union duties taking priority, cheating, cover-ups and plain laziness. This is incredibly sad. It also shows just how much Ubuntu we have lost under ANC rule. If we get one thing right during this five year term it must be to clean up of the functionality of our schools. Madam Speaker, we are facing disaster when it comes to education in KZN yet the department seems to be in denial. Instead of facing up to poor education standards, we were given the feeble excuse that curriculum changes were behind the biggest drop in our matric results last year. Madam Speaker. The reality is that many of our learners are receiving a sub-standard education. At some schools in our province, less than 10% of matrics passed. There is no good story to tell in that. How is it possible that this is happening so many years into the ANC being in government? And yet there is no plan to fix it. Teacher unions that continue to dictate the terms of education, officials who do not deal with issues and the many principals who make little effort to improve their schools for the sake of learners – the future leaders of our country – are to be blamed. Madam Speaker, the tragic deaths of so many learners in KZN – simply because there is no reliable and efficient public transport system -is inexcusable. It cannot be that difficult to put a system in place. It is not rocket science, in fact thousands of companies across South Africa perform far more difficult logistical undertakings and get them right. Add to this are the many children who go to school with empty stomachs thanks to a nutrition programme which is a source of fraud and corruption. Then there are the many children who walk to school every day. KZN has the highest proportion of learners in the country who walk to school with the National Household Survey published by Statistics South Africa, in 2013, stating that more than 2 million learners walk to school. Madam Speaker – KZN’s ANC -led government is failing our children. Our province doesn’t need yet another back to basics programme. We need leaders who will break the unhealthy grip unions and their factions within our schools. We need leaders who will reward officials that are doing their jobs well, teachers who are teaching in classrooms everyday like the teachers at KwaNyuswa schools. We do not need an Education department that removes such teachers and replaces them with those the Unions want, leading to frustrated parents and communities resorting to kidnapping Education department officials to make their voices heard. We need leaders who will fire principals like the one at Mlokothwa high school – where learning and living conditions of children are possibly the worst entire province. Madam Speaker – I end with the following. It is increasingly clear that the decision to divert funds from the infrastructure budget to instead pay salaries of ghost teachers, absent employees and even sexual offenders is coming back to bite the ANC. [END] ##################################################################################### Scanned by MailMarshal – M86 Security’s comprehensive email content security solution. Download a free evaluation of MailMarshal at www.m86security.com #####################################################################################