By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education:
The DA has noted the insurmountable challenges faced by teachers which is crucial to quality education in Limpopo. In line with the World Teacher’s day , the DA has written parliamentary questions to the MEC for Education , Ishmael Kgetjepe , seeking a comprehensive report outlining his plans on how to address some of these issues such as teacher training , vacancies rates as well as subject allocations in the province.
The quality of education in our province is constantly compromised by shortage of teachers and many are expected to educate our children without the necessary resources or training.
The department has not only failed to indicate ‘when’ will money become available for training , it has not even allocated any amount of money for teacher training particularly within Maths and Science fields in its Annual Performance Plan for the 2015/16 financial year.
Only 141 teachers from 3915 schools received maths training in the 3rd quarter of the previous financial year. This continues to happen despite Limpopo having the highest number of indigent schools at 3631, with 28.2 percent of its schools in quintile one.
The provincial department’s inability to plan for teachers has contributed to schools needing additional teachers to SGB -funded teaching posts.
Furthermore, the Stats SA report on schools in Limpopo (2013) shows that only 21,2% of schools in the province have access to computer laboratories and 16,2% have access to the internet. A further 10,8% have access to libraries and 7,8% to a laboratory.
It is unfortunate that Vhembe, Mopani, Polokwane and Sekhukhune had the highest number of schools in the top 200 most deprived schools in terms of learning environment in the Province. This highlights the increasingly difficult the circumstances facing this province’s educators .
As we commemorate this day , the DA calls on the department to publicly commit itself with deadline driven targets which will increase financial resources in the improvement of infrastructure as well as ensure the quality training of teachers especially in maths and science. This will ultimately ensure that teaching becomes a pleasant experience for both educators and learners.
The DA believes quality educational outcomes can only be realised when we have happy and healthy teachers who ensure daily that our children receive the best education they so desperately need.