A fundamental basic necessity in any community, in fact country, is education. In a developing country such as ours, it is essential that education for the youth be provided. In the Eastern Cape we endure reluctantly a dysfunctional Education Department.
One must be aware of the fact that youth in the townships are being denied education due to the fact that the schools in there vicinity are full and cannot accommodate any more pupils. This overflow of rejected youth creates a situation where their only alternative is to go on the streets, something we have been addressing for many years as an unacceptable predicament!
The Education Department, in cases I am familiar with, take up to a year to register the claimant school and don’t finalise the application with a registration number, which results in financial assistance not being provided by the government to the individual school.
The school in question in Heath Street, Sydenham provides an opportunity for the young pupils to pursue their education at the Dr Viljoen Primary School, Sydenham that is bursting at the seams. Incidently at this school, Dr Viljoen Primary, only 40% of the pupils pay school fees and much support from the private sector is forthcoming. They receive 81 plates of food from various charities and schools daily. They have textbooks but no stationery which consequently, they must purchase with funds they must raise.
At present Dr Viljoen Primary School is serving the community by providing a good education in a loving and extremely affectionate atmosphere created by the dedicated staff. The Heath Street school was designed to provide young pupils access to Dr Viljoen Primary who could not be accommodated elsewhere, providing them with the opportunity to complete their studies and contribute in the future to the betterment of society and this country in general.
I realise it is not in the interest of the ANC to educate, as they rely on the uneducated masses to vote for them!
The Education Departments financial indebtedness to the 10 schools I visited in my Ward amounts to a sum of R8.35 million. These schools provide education for 6204 pupils of which 32.75% do not pay school fees and subsequently these schools are responsible for raising the shortfall from the private sector.
The future wellbeing of our country depends on the majority enjoying a reasonable education which is obviously not available to all at present. When I read that about 310 schools have been gazetted for closure in the Eastern Cape, I question the sense of this action that will only result in even less of our young people getting the education they deserve and are entitled to!
Part of this dysfunctionality is in some cases due to the lack of dedication by the principals.
I had the privilege of visiting Emzomncane Primary School in Zwide. I can but describe it as a progressive school with wonderful and attentive staff. The learners all in uniform were extremely well behaved and most grateful for the donation of stationery items we delivered, thanks to the wonderful and caring Healing Hands Foundation in Havelock Street, Central.
Cllr Jeremy Davis
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