By Cllr Muso Kubheka, DA Youth Mpumalanga Chairperson:
The ANC government in Mpumalanga is failing learners in ensuring that schooling is accessible.
The Infrastructure Backlogs implementation plan report signed off by Education MEC Reginah Mhaule on 7 April 2015, gives an overall confirmed condition of schools in the province. The report states that 92% of all schools in Mpumalanga need between 11% – 100% of their structures replaced, and could cost approximately R20 795 018 000.
It is evident that the department has many challenges to deal with classroom backlogs. There are schools whose amount of learners have increased rapidly and are in dire need of classrooms, there is currently a need for 3369 classrooms in this province.
Construction of a school worth R44 Million in Middelburg which was scheduled to begin in April this year has also been delayed. This is not the only project that has seen the department dragging its feet.
A boarding school in the Nkangala District is behind schedule. For this project, the department has only managed to spend 12% of the first quarter’s infrastructure budget for the 2015/16 financial year, and although the term ends in March 2016, it is unlikely that this project will be completed as planned.
Education is an important vehicle to ensure opportunities exist for the youth to empower themselves, yet the department is excluding learners form the opportunity for a better education. Under the ANC government, the doors of learning has become shut for learners with not enough classrooms and schools being built to provide accessible education to all learners.
A DA government in the province would ensure that more schools and classrooms are built to ensure accessible education to all learners.