The Templeton Secondary School in Bedford is so desperate for funds that a teacher is making braai stands and drums for sale for R300 to pay creditors. Next to go will be the school’s tractor and the school bus. A donation of nartjies is being sold to pay for paper.
This is a heart-breaking example of the agonising struggles faced by schools in the province as result of the collapse of the Eastern Cape Department of Education.
An investigation by the DA has revealed not only the dire financial situation at Templeton High School but has exposed the plight of seven schools in Bedford and Adelaide where basic subjects are not being taught and where many classes are without teachers.
The DA’s investigation found that:
- Templeton Secondary School is bankrupt. It is owed R300 000 by the department for School Governing Body (SGB) posts for educators who were supposed to be paid during the 2011/12 financial year.
- Adelaide Primary School is owed R771 596 which dates back to 2011, 2012 and 2013. These are monies which the school had to pay for allocated posts and for which the department did not provide educators.
- At Adelaide Primary School no Grade 6 subjects are taught and there is no Grade 6 teacher.
- At Bedford Primary School no Grade 3 subjects are taught and there is no Grade 3 teacher.
- The Elandsdrift Farm School is not teaching any Grade 4, 5 or 6 subjects.
- The Lonwabo Secondary School in Adelaide is unable to teach Maths Lit for Grade 11, Life Sciences for Grade 11, Life Orientation for Grade 10, Arts and Culture for Grades 8 and 9 or Technology for Grade 8.
- At the Richard Msutu Primary School in Adelaide no teaching is taking place for Grade 3
- The Sipho Camangu Secondary School in Adelaide is unable to teach Maths and Accounting for Grade 10, 11, and 12, nor are there classes for English for Grade 10, Life Orientation for Grade 10 and 11, Economics and Management Sciences for Grade 8 and 9 and Technology for Grade 9.
- Templeton Secondary School not teaching Geography for Grade 10, 11 and 12, Social Sciences for Grade 8 and 9, nor can they offer Foundation Phase English for Grade 1.
Quality education is the key to improved quality of life. Those with a quality education can fulfil their potential. Those without it are destined to remain excluded from opportunities and dependent on the state to survive.
It is clear that many schools in the Eastern Cape are not able to offer learners the opportunity of a better life due to the failure of the department of education.
I have passed on the information about the shocking state of these schools in my constituency to my colleague in the legislature, DA Shadow MEC for Education, Edmund van Vuuren, to demand answers and solutions in the next sitting of the portfolio committee on education.
Ross Purdon, MPL
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