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Learners’ lives placed at risk as schools overcrowded, lack sanitation

May 10th, 2021
Yusuf Cassim

The call for learners to return to full-time classes comes at a time where the lives of our learners, teachers and staff are being put at risk daily, due to the mismanagement of the Department of Education in the province during the Covid-19 pandemic. Overcrowded classrooms, inappropriate sanitation and even the removal of temporary toilet facilities are all adding to the unsafe environment at schools. In response to parliamentary questions, …

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Education Department shifting blame by criminalising pupils over tablet scandal

April 21st, 2021

The Eastern Cape Education department’s woes are deepening, as they are still trying to get back tablets distributed to Grade 12 learners under the highly irregular Sizwe Africa IT contract, now valued at more than R538 million. These tablets should have been retrieved from learners in October last year, following the court interdict, when the learners were still at school, but now they have created a mess. The Department is …

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Principal’s vile act shows pit latrines not a priority for EC Education Department

March 17th, 2021

The disturbing revelation of a principal lowering an 11-year-old learner into a pit latrine to retrieve his cell phone has once again cast the spotlight onto the dire lack of proper sanitation facilities in the Eastern Cape. The Democratic Alliance is calling for the Eastern Cape Department of Education to explain the delays in the eradication of pit latrines, and provide a comprehensive plan to address this once and for …

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167 EC schools have their water disconnected

March 11th, 2021

The water supply to 167 schools in the Eastern Cape has been cut because the Department of Education has failed to pay an estimated R8 million in historic water debt owed to the Amathole District Municipality. Despite being informed nearly a month ago that this crisis was looming, the Department has done absolutely nothing to stop it, and as a result thousands of learners are at risk of further interruptions …

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Provincial Treasury hamstrings Education over overtime

March 4th, 2021
Yusuf Cassim

The Provincial Treasury is withholding R15 million in authorised overtime from departmental staff involved with examinations, who have subsequently downed tools, bringing critical services to assist recent matric graduates to a complete standstill. I have reliably learnt that roughly 360 staff, including examination staff at a district level and provincial level, Human Resources and Salaries as well as internal control, have downed tools. This will have a devastating impact on …

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Eastern Cape’s shocking learner drop-out rate

February 24th, 2021

Over the past three academic years, 221 626 Eastern Cape learners have disappeared between their Grade 10 enrolment and their final matric exams. That’s enough to fill the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium five times over! In an increasingly competitive world, a solid educational foundation is a necessity, and even more so in the jobs scarce Eastern Cape, where the latest unemployment stats have risen to 47,9%. How can the Eastern …

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Education Department kills future of EC Matriculants

February 22nd, 2021

The dismal performance of the Eastern Cape matriculants should in no way rest on their shoulders, but rather on those of the Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDoE), which has consistently placed greed and self-interest above the needs of its learners. This year the Eastern Cape’s results dropped from 76,5% to 68,1%. The Democratic Alliance commends all learners who, despite one of the most difficult academic years on record, have …

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DA wants answers from Education Department after thousands abandoned without payment

February 21st, 2021

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has submitted Parliamentary Questions to the Department of Education (DoE) after thousands of youths did not receive remuneration after being appointed under the Education Employment Initiative (EEI). The EEI was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April 2020, with National Treasury committing R7 billion for the EEI project. The EEI announced that 300 000 job opportunities were to be created for young South Africans and School …

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Schools fail to open due to lack of sanitation facilities

February 17th, 2021

At least 72 schools in the province were unable to open at the beginning of the week, due to a lack of safe and appropriate sanitation. It is unfathomable that the Department does not prioritise the dignity of the learners of this province. Human dignity lies at the heart of a capable and caring state. I will be reporting the Department to the Human Rights Commission as they are denying …

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Education Department desperately ill prepared for opening of schools

February 12th, 2021
Yusuf Cassim

Even with three extra weeks due to lockdown measures, the Eastern Cape Department of Education has not been able to prepare schools for the opening of the 2021 academic year. Based on a school readiness report presented to the Education Portfolio Committee yesterday afternoon [Thursday, 11 February 2021], only 63% of schools have received their textbooks and grade reader deliveries, with around 20% of schools still awaiting the delivery of …

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