Parliament, Wednesday, 30 March 2022 – The Eastern Cape’s permanent delegates to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) have called upon the Eastern Cape Department of Education to improve the quality of support it provides to schools in rural communities.

The delegates visited OR Tambo District’s Caguba and Tekwini secondary schools as well as Alfred Nzo District’s Mncwathi and Lundini secondary schools to assess, among other things, infrastructure and scholar transport. The delegates who were accompanied by their provincial counterparts (Members of the Eastern Cape Legislature) received briefings from the Eastern Cape Department of Education’s district officials.

During the briefings, the delegates heard that besides the basic infrastructural challenges the schools in the OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo villages are experiencing, there are other challenges that include the supply of limited stationary to the rural schools in January. The delegates heard that some schools were supplied with only 10% of the stationary they required. According to the Members of the Eastern Cape Legislature, the department assured schools about the delivery of 100% stationary at schools in January.

School principals and members of school governing bodies also complained about the unavailability of water at schools, a challenge they said is historical and have lost hope on the department that it will ever resolve it. Although transportation of children is still a challenge, but the delegates heard that the department is beginning to provide transport to children who stay far away from schools.

The delegates heard that Mncwathi and Lundini Secondary Schools were built with improper building material by communities. The schools are currently overcrowded and have health hazard pit toilets. Members of their governing bodies told the delegates that they were happy that Members of Parliament came to the schools to see for themselves the situation under which the schools exist.

The leader of the delegation, Ms Nokuzola Ndongeni, has urged the senior officials of the provincial department of education to ensure that assistance is provided to schools. She said such assistance is not a privilege to schools, but a constitutional responsibility of the government.

Ms Ndongeni said: “Please officials ensure that all the support that the department is constitutionally responsible to provide, is provided before the parents of children who are at schools go to their graves with bitterness that you didn’t do what you were supposed to do.”

The delegation appreciated the progress that has been achieved in other areas such as the good matric results which some of the schools achieved notwithstanding their situation.


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