DEPARTMENT FAILS TO PAY SCHOOLS

No Section 21 schools in the Eastern Cape have received their second tranche allocations from the Department of Education and it remains uncertain if and when the payments will be made.

During a recent telephonic conversation the Education Department’s Chief Director: Institutional Management, Development and support, Nosipho Skenyana, she confirmed no payments had been made and that perhaps it would happen at the end of October, but “due to certain reasons” the matter was out of her hands.

All Section 21 schools in the Province were promised that their second tranche of the norms and standard funding for schools will be deposited into their respective banking accounts by 30 September 2009. The second tranche is equivalent to the balance owed by the Department of Education of the approved allocation to schools, based on the quintile status of the school. Section 21 schools manage their own financial status and have the money deposited into their bank accounts by the education department.

To make matters worse, I reliably learnt during a visit to schools in the Mthatha District, that by late August 73% of schools had not yet received their first tranche and are still struggling to honour their commitments to a point where they could be classified as totally dysfunctional. It is therefore no surprise that the second tranche was not paid either.

How can one expect schools in the previously disadvantaged areas to function optimally without financial resources when the Department of Education is not fulfilling their financial commitments? The Department must explain how they expect these schools to function and to be effective and produce the expected outcomes without the necessary funds.

The Democratic Alliance is deeply enraged by the lack of commitment and expediency displayed by an inept Department. It is absolutely clear that the Department of Education has once more horribly failed our schools.

The Democratic Alliance demands that the payment of the second tranche be finalized as a matter of urgency. Schools need these funds to exercise their constitutional responsibilities in offering learners a quality, effective and efficient education.

For further information, please contact Edmund van Vuuren, MPL on 072 184 7840