Budget Debate Vote Speech
By Hon. Xolani Ngwezi MP
Spokesperson on Education
Delivered at Parliament in the National Assembly
A quality basic education is a fundamental non-negotiable if we are to create the future South Africa we wish for ourselves and for our future generations. The stark reality is one cannot be free if one is uneducated in South Africa.
Yet this government continues upon a trajectory that consigns this essential portfolio to one of some, but of no real importance, and it would be by no stretch of the truth or imagination that one could state that South Africa has one of the world’s worst and most unequal systems of education, and this is despite a large portion of GDP being spent on education.
Why is so little then being achieved with so much?
Such failure traverses the entire scope of basic education, from infrastructure through to quality of education and teaching.
The sad fact is that unless parents of learners can afford the prohibitively expensive private school fees they must accept the fact that there is a strong likelihood that their children could receive inferior quality tuition, and this is especially so in our rural areas.
Government must take immediate and appropriate steps to firstly, repair the dilapidated infrastructure that exists at many or our schools around the country.
There are many Infrastructure projected that are partly completed, and here I speak primarily of schools in the provinces of rural KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape. Why is it that children are still being taught in schools made of mud?
And if the infrastructure challenge was not enough of a challenge to our learners, then the quality of education delivered would strike the crippling blow.
Teachers are in many instances teaching in subjects in which they are not qualified. General literacy and maths literacy are at appalling levels. Science and mathematics are being neglected and the country is falling further and further behind in competitiveness in these most important fields.
SADTU which nothing more than a front for the ruling party should be disbanded as it is clearly not about education or providing learners with access to quality education but rather all about jobs for card carrying members of the ruling party. Our teaching profession must be professionalized and should be vocational rather than unions looking after teachers rights.
With the nearly 23 billion rands being allocated to basic education for the 2018/2019 period the IFP hopes that more attention will be paid to programmes dealing with Early Childhood Development, and in improving the quality of Grade’s R and its pre-grade as well as the rolling out of ICT programmes for both learners and teachers.
Chairperson, Basic Education begins with early childhood development as is stated in the National Development Plan.
Why then is ECD still being run by the failed department of Social Development!
In the interests of the learners of South Africa, the IFP will support this Budget Vote Debate.
I thank you.