The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education has commended KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Education officials for the delivery of Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) that seems to have been delivered adequately.
The committee wrapped up its oversight visit on Friday, with a meeting with the provincial department to reflect on its week-long visit to the province.
The committee noted that at some schools, small shortages were reported mostly due to the lack of or no retrieval policy by the school.
Committee Chairperson, Nomalungelo Gina highlighted several good performing schools despite challenging conditions in deep rural areas with no running water or electricity, where discipline and cleanliness are not compromised.
We saw some excellence that warmed the heart. It just confirms that the conditions you live in should never determine your destiny.
We found pockets of gold where you least expect it. If only they could be replicated over the province, quality public education will be within reach of all our vulnerable children, said Gina.
The committee also commended the National Department of Basic Education, who accompanied them on the visit, for stepping up and pledged a computer laboratory, a library and will be supplying readers to a deserving primary school.
The provincial department indicated that it will assist with uniforms for learners.
This is important as it will inspire the school to perform even better and also send a positive message to other schools to better themselves, Gina said.
She however, raised the issue of a leadership vacuum in some schools by which the principal and senior management teams cannot manage the schools.
It is in schools like these that the committee found under performance even though these schools were resourced well. We were disappointed in some areas. It was clear no teaching and learning were taking place.
It was clear from the logbook of some school that they have been supported by the education circuit and education district, but still the school is not performing. Sometimes we need to look at what is the intention of the visit.are schools benefiting from the visit or is it just the mere appearance that officials were there, she said.
The committee further highlighted the issue of lack or maintenance of toilets, water, delivery of furniture, National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP), consequent management and asbestos in schools.
The MEC for Education, Mthandeni Dlungwana said that the department will be engaging heavily with partners on learner transport and that NSNP will be addressed urgently, as it is a non-negotiable.
We cannot have our government spend so much money and services are not provided. Consequent management will kick in for those poor performing schools, said Dlungwana.
Although he could not elaborate on the matter, Dlungwana said decisions have already been taken on three districts, but as processes still had to be followed.
Sanitary Pads Programme
Dlungwana announced the introduction of a programme to provide sanitary towels to learners and appealed to the committee to assist in the increase of its budget to ensure that the programme grows even further.
Currently, the department has reached 550 000 learners monthly, but wants to reach 1.8 million learners in the new financial year.
Source: Government of South Africa