- Honourable Chair and members, the MF agrees that COVID-19 has impacted the lives of Educators, learners and parents, hence we support this budget.
- Although this department has been adequately funded to manage this crisis, the department has been lack- lustre in initial planning. This has been proven by our oversight visits in June. The reason for school closures the second time was foreseen. On reopening, the missing PPE’s in Pinetown occurred. Currently the shortage of PPE’s in many schools in September is worrisome yet the department has stated that a further 3 months stock was delivered by the end of August. There are communication gaps or misinformation.
- Many teachers are teaching from home due to co-morbidities, others are ill and still some have died. Last week, a pregnant educator in Msunduzi became COVID-19 positive. Other educators are worried. How are these situations being handled?
- Many principles, Hon. members especially from Quintile 5 schools are desperate to manage their schools finances because parents cannot afford to pay school fees due to economic hardships. What is the department’s plan in this regard? The MF calls for the scrapping of outstanding school fees for this year.
- Hon. Chair, as we speak about monopoly as distasteful, yet in Education only one I.T company is broadcasting lessons on various media platforms at an astronomical cost, yet this does not include giving data to educators and learners. Has anyone questioned this company’s corporate social responsibility or costing. Hence, I called in the general budget debate for a report on the uniform pricing initiative by Provincial Treasury. If NCOP members are present, please question this at National.
- Hon. members, there must be a feedback mechanism directly to the department of Education of problems at schools on a daily basis, especially during this crucial period , as we approach examinations, as the template via districts is not working effectively, Hon. MEC.
- This is a stressful time for everyone but our learners need basic items to keep safe. There must be meticulous planning by officials to ensure social distancing, hygiene and prevention of contracting COVID-19.
- Thank you.
Hon. S. Thakur-Rajbansi
Debated by: Hon. Shameen Thakur-Rajbansi
Minority Front Leader (KZN Legislature)
Date: Thu 17 Sep 2020
Time: 09:00 to 13:00
Word Count: 352 Words