School for deaf and blind is 2 years delayed as learners remain in unfit buildings

By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Limpopo Provincial Leader:

The department of Education in Limpopo has delayed the move of Setotolwane Secondary School for the Deaf and Blind, to safer classrooms and buildings for an unacceptably long period of two years.

The DA has learnt that the department has targeted October 2015 as deadline to relocate the special school to its new facilities in Mankweng, over 30 months since the dangerous school premises at Setotolwane came to light.

Although the DA welcomes a promised date, the department’s slow response over 30 months in this urgent matter is a cause for concern. It is also a clear indication that the learner’s interests were never prioritized by the ANC government.

Over two years ago the DA exposed the plight of the learners of this school. The department’s solution was an aborted new building project which was abandoned before completion while the deaf and blind leaners remained in unfit classrooms. The project consists of several classrooms, hostels, two residences, laundries, and more than 20 mobile classrooms, but has been abandoned.

The DA will demand a probe in the accountability of the costs as a result of the aborted and subsequent vandalism of the school

Last year, the DA wrote a letter to the Auditor General, Thembekile Kimi Makwetu, to probe the cost of the abandoned school project meant to house the school in Mankweng outside Polokwane.

The DA now calls on MEC Kgetjepe to publicly declare October 2015 as the final date of inauguration of the new school, and to stick to it.

For far too long, children’s needs in various special schools have been ignored and the DA believes they too deserve a fair opportunity to learn in proper and safe environment.