While the Democratic Alliance welcomes the decision of the Eastern Cape MEC of Education to crack down on principals and hold them accountable for non-performing schools and especially those who had a zero pass rate percentage in 2009, we would also like to remind the MEC that the buck does not stop there.

The MEC should also take the blame because – whilst we believe that it is a step in the right direction – the DA places most of the bad EC matric result blame at the door of the Eastern Cape Department of Education.

It is this very department who took powers to exercise authority away from principals, yet the department does not render any support to principals when faced with challenges. The department tied their hands completely when it came to taking disciplinary measures against learners as well as educators. If the necessary authority is not given back to principals or the necessary support given to them, effective teaching and learning will remain a challenge at poor performing schools.

The Eastern Cape Department of Education should take a hard look at its infrastructure and work towards being of better service and support to principals, educators and learners alike. Manpower at district offices should be re-evaluated and put to better use. In final analysis the DA feels strongly that the department should bring back the subject advisors who have been removed by this department. They should be brought back without delay to assess the quality of work done in the classrooms. With some of these measures in place next time round there can only be an improvement in the matric result.

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