By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Spokesperson on Education:
The DA today met with education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe to discuss very pertinent issues affecting Limpopo’s education. We welcome this opportunity and the frankness with which issues were discussed.
At the top of the agenda was the schools’ nutrition programme which recently plagued our province when learners were fed poisonous food stuffs. The MEC conceded that there was a need to continuously vet all those who get tenders to feed our children to ensure that they maintain acceptable standards of food nutrition. There is also a need to regularize the manner where food is being stored in order to improve the quality of food.
We cautioned that the renewal of the existing contracts with the current school feeders is likely to lead to yet another negative outcome from the AG. Urgent steps must be taken to correct these irregular tenders whose sole aim was to benefit close political allies at the expense of our learners.
Limpopo department of basic education is shortchanging our poor schools with the provision of norms and standards funding.
National current provision is R 1116 per learner per term whereas Limpopo gives our learners a meagre R320 per learner per term.
This is utterly unacceptable and the MEC conceded that this needs to be fixed.
The MEC further agreed that there is an urgent need to evaluate the skills capacity of our educators so that they are fully and regularly equipped to meet the curricula competence in the subjects they teach.
The scholar transport is another chaotic factor where the provincial government is failing our learners. We will keenly monitor the MEC’s undertaking that all will be put in place to improve the safety of our learners to and from school.
Limpopo has been on the news recently with appalling toilet conditions our learners are subjected to. These clearly are far below the standards set by the nationally agreed to norms and standards.
We welcome the MEC’s open door policy. The DA takes the education of our learners very seriously and we will continue to monitor and engage with the MEC to ensure that the quality of our education is improved.
Our Vision 2029 envisages the provision of a quality education through which individuals are given the opportunity to get themselves out of the grip of poverty and unemployment.