By Khume Ramulifho MPL, DA Gauteng Education Shadow MEC:
In the budget book report to the Gauteng Legislature, the provincial Education Department tabled its 2015/6 budget with at least R2.5 billion allocated for administration.
Not only has the budget increased, but there have been alarming cuts made to funds directed at personnel for public ordinary schools and early childhood development programmes.
In fact over 3500 people will lose their jobs in this sector while MEC Panyaza Lesufi directs more funding to employing people at district and head office level.
The MEC has already conceded that the department is failing to meet basic policy requirements, including teacher-student ratios of 40:1 and 35:1 in classrooms.
The move is nothing more than blatant cadre deployment to ensure that the MEC’s office administration is prioritised over the needs of desperately overcrowded schools.
Quality education is key to accessing freedom in South Africa; the MEC must publically explain his decision to deny vulnerable communities this opportunity.
I will follow up with the MEC and the Education Portfolio Committee to request a review of this skewed administration budget, which obviously does not put the interests of the learners of this province first.