By Jane Sithole MPL, DA Spokesperson on Education:
More than a week into the 2016 school year, learners from Nokuthula Primary School in Mkhondo municipality are still without transport to get them to school.
Last year, the provincial Department of Public Works Roads and Transport (PWRT) withdrew its scholar transport programme to the area leaving nearly 200 learners stranded.
For over six months, concerned parents along with the School Governing Body (SGB) and the school principal have been trying unsuccessfully to compel the department of Education to intervene.
The actions of the department of PWRT under the leadership of MEC Dumisile Nhlengethwa coupled with the continued silence of Education MEC, Reginah Mhaule on this matter is actively denying the children of Nokuthula Primary School their constitutional right to quality education.
With the country’s ailing economy, it has become even more important for the government to ensure that no learner is left behind by the schooling system.
Quality education will ensure that our children have better access to opportunities for higher learning and gainful employment.
The Department of PWRT and the Department of Education must provide answers to the Nokuthula Primary School learners on why they have been abandoned, why the departments have remained silent on the matter and what plans are in place to ensure these learners return to school and catch up on all the work missed. Both departments must provide the parents, learners and the school with a plan to combat the problems facing the scholar transport system.
The DA will continue to fight for quality education for all learners in every school. Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their potential through access to quality education which also requires a reliable transport mode to school.