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We need to do things differently if we want to improve the lives of learners in the province

January 22nd, 2020

Education is a constitutional right, a basic human right, a strategic priority and the best possible vehicle to empower South Africans and develop our country. Quality education is the key to improved quality of life. It empowers individuals to obtain a fulfilling job, contribute to the economy and utilise their talents to the full. For this reason, at the beginning of the new academic year, our public representatives conducted oversight …

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DA calls for full forensic investigation into Jubilee Park Primary construction

January 22nd, 2020

The Democratic Alliance will be calling for a full forensic investigation into the construction of new classrooms and school hall at the Jubilee Park Primary School in Uitenhage. Today I, along with shadow MEC for Public Works, Vicky Knoetze, and shadow MEC for transport, Marshall von Buchenroder, conducted oversight at the school as part of the DA’s School Readiness Programme. What we have seen here today is simply unacceptable! This …

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DA wishes teachers, learners success for the new school year

January 14th, 2020

The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape wishes all teachers and learners well for the 2020 school year. We hope that you will continue building on the success achieved by the Class of 2019, who improved on the matric pass rate in the province from 70,6% in 2018 to 76,5% in 2019. The number of bachelor’s passes also increased from 27,4% to 32,3% in 2019. Education is a passport to …

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Scholar Transport must be returned to Education Department

December 11th, 2019

The Eastern Cape Scholar Transport programme should be removed from the Department of Transport and placed back under the Department of Education as a matter of urgency. The Transport portfolio committee report tabled last week revealed that the Department had failed to account for R55.5 million for Scholar Transport, as there were inadequate supporting documents to substantiate the expenses incurred. It cannot be that millions of rands go unspent, while …

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Unemployed youth could help overburdened teachers

December 6th, 2019

Unemployed youth, that are appropriately qualified in Maths, Science and Languages could assist with a tutoring programme in the Eastern Cape, along the same lines as in the Western Cape. These tutors would provide much needed assistance by helping schools battling with teacher shortages and overcrowded classrooms. These youths could provide valuable additional tutorage to learners in the Eastern Cape, thus improving on overall learner performance and reducing drop outs. …

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Criminal elements in Education Department must be rooted out

December 5th, 2019

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the precautionary suspension of the Education Department’s Chief Financial Officer, Jason O’Hara, following allegations of administrative misconduct. However, the Education Portfolio Committee can no longer be kept in the dark on this matter. O’Hara’s suspension follows the arrest of an Education Official last week, who is alleged to have stolen money from the School Nutrition Programme. The DA understands that the suspension is by no means …

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Education Department continues to mislead Legislature with impunity

November 7th, 2019

The Education Department seems intent on misleading the Legislature and avoid being held to account, by submitting blatant untruths in response to parliamentary questions. Today it has become apparent that the Department has once again submitted untruths to the House. Earlier this year I was contacted by a disgruntled parent pleading for assistance in obtaining her son’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) which has been outstanding since he wrote his NSC …

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Education Department infrastructure backlog is failing Eastern Cape Learners

November 4th, 2019

The Department of Education is clearly failing to address infrastructure backlogs and in so doing, is failing to provide learners with conducive places of learning. This was blatantly apparent during an oversight conducted at the Lutateni Senior Secondary school, in the Alfred Nzo municipality, which I visited last week along with constituency leader, Baxolile Nodada, MP. The school, which was established by the community in 1987, has severe infrastructure challenges, …

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Education MEC misleads parliament about Grade R learners’ plight

October 31st, 2019

Grade R learners at the Sonwabile Primary school in Ncera Village, in the Buffalo City Metro, have been denied their right to education for an entire term, because the department failed to repair the roof of their classroom. However, when questioned about this through a parliamentary question, Education MEC, Fundile Gade, denied that this was the case, saying no classes had been missed. Today, 31 October 2019, I, together with …

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Eastern Cape had R2,1bllion in outstanding invoices in 2018/19

October 25th, 2019

The Eastern Cape was the second worst preforming province in terms of outstanding invoices older than 30 days in the 2018/19 financial year, owing suppliers in excess of R2,1 billion. Statistics recently released by the Auditor General showed that the Eastern Cape had the second highest outstanding invoice total in the country, behind Gauteng which owed suppliers just under R2,6-billion. This is a sad indictment on a province which has …

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