DA calls for halt to school merger plans: Daily Dispatch

THE DA in the province yesterday called on education MEC Mandla Makupula to put a moratorium on his plan to merge all small schools in the Eastern Cape.

Makupula announced the plan to “rationalise” more than 2 000 schools which had less than 200 pupils two years ago, saying the best thing was to close small schools and move the pupils to the next nearest school.

But the DA’s Edmund van Vuuren said his visit to some schools in the Komani area last week suggested the Eastern Cape education department was not ready to roll out the plan.

Van Vuuren said pupils from Phakamani Senior Secondary in Mtwakazi village had been moved 10km away to Mzamomhle High in Hackney due to a shortage of teachers.

The report he received was that there were only three taxis available to ferry the pupils, and as a result 16 would be left without transport.

The school was also in a poor condition with not enough classrooms.

Contacted for comment, education spokesman Loyiso Pulumani said they would follow up on the Komani case. — By ZINE GEORGE, zineg@dispatch.co.za