HON MRS TP MTHETHWA MPL, KZN LEGISLATURE
1. INFRASTRUCTURE IN SCHOOLS, WATER & ELECTRICITY
The IFP was perpexeled to discover that in an age where we are championing for the department to implement E-learning and IT in our schools to equip learners for the 4th jndustrial evolution some schools are largely dysfunctional due to scarcity in basic needs such as water and electricity. How are we going to push for a 100% pass rate in such harsh conditions?
In year 2013, education officials were provided a deadline to ensure all South African schools have access to running and clean water, electricity and basic sanitation after the department had published the Norms and Standards for school infrastructure regulations.
These legally-binding standards set a standard for provincial education departments to work towards, and against which to be held accountable, and enable communities to hold government officials accountable. Norms and standards are therefore a mechanism for top-down and bottom-up accountability.
Although the KZN Provincial Government has identified numerous areas of intervention as far as education is concerned, the role that infrastructure development plays in the upbringing and development of school going children must never be overlooked. Lack of proper educational infrastructure is an anomaly that is reducing the quality of education in KwaZulu-Natal and most importantly the motivation for pupils to excel and see the positivity of remaining in school and avoiding dropping out. This goes against the ethos of the Bill of Rights that guarantees quality education to all learners.
An investment in the school’s infrastructure for rural communities must remain government priority and an investment worthy committing towards achieving good results. Rural students across KwaZulu-Natal require motivation and proper infrastructure to meet learning needs.
2. RURAL ALLOWANCE
IFP policies sees teaching as a calling, whereby teachers identify themselves as servants of the people, committed in changing lives through the principles of Ubuntu Botho. The party promotes incentives meant to assist all teachers teaching critical subjects at hard to teach schools. The department have started discriminating teachers in the poorest schools by politicizing these allowances. It is absurd that teachers in the same area working in similar poor conditions did not get the incentive, while a neighbouring school did yet we discovered that there is an outcry on this issue during school functionality visits.
The department is continuously destroying the prospects of the rural areas attracting, maintaining and retaining the quality teachers for critical subjects. It is also promoting migration in rural schools as teachers would apply for transfers if they did not get the incentive. This is the main contributing factor towards bad quality on perfomance since migration of quality teachers leave the rural areas with unqualified teachers.
It’s concerning that government uses its own policy that perpetuates unfairness, promote divisions and compromise the KZN average performance nationally. The IFP recommends a proper implementation that is not only sustainable but effective throughout the province.
3. POOR MONITORING AND EVALUATION
To this end, it is hard to understand why the department fails to conduct monthly visits to District offices and to schools for better enforcement of curriculum teaching, accountability and to identify problems at an early stage. The geographical setting of some of the districts cannot be used as scapegoat by this department for failing to properly run effectively to achieve better results.
4. ACTING EMPLOYEES
The IFP noted with concerns that most employment post were on acting contractual capacity in the Education District offices. Not only does this prevent employees on top positions to make decisive decisions but also push for weak management skills that deploy fear, favour and intimidation. How are then expecting for the department to take this province to another level if influential positions are compromised?
I thank you