The Minister of Basic Education Mrs Angie Motshekga together with KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana met to discuss various challenges that the province is facing. The meeting took place today (Tuesday, 15 May) in Umhlanga in the north of Durban where senior officials of DBE and KZN DoE were also present.
The Minister and MEC deliberated on the issues that had been identified by the Minister as part of her oversight function. Some of the items on the agenda had already been raised in the public domain by some teacher unions. The unions had also requested meetings with the Minister, where some concerns were raised.
Minister Motshekga and MEC Dlungwana agreed on a process to address all the issues as a matter of urgency.
“KwaZulu-Natal is an important province because 25% of the basic education sector’s learners are in the province. It is for that reason that we are here on an oversight visit to support the province to make sure that all the challenges that have been identified are dealt with. The performance of this province has an impact on the results of the entire country which is why we need to must make sure that it is assisted to function at the right level,” Minister Motshekga said.
The status of the National School Nutrition Programme in the province also came under the spotlight and officials provided an update on the way forward for the department.
Other issues dealt with included textbook delivery, school furniture, undocumented learners, the procurement of sanitary pads and vacancy rate which, the Minister said, was very high in critical positions.
“If needs be, let’s clean up all the disciplinary cases using outside help. We need to make sure that we finish all of them so we can appoint people to fill those posts,” she said.
The Minister also urged the province to mend relations with social partners such as School Governing Body associations and teacher unions.
“Make sure to meet unions and SGBs on a regular basis. Nurture and protect the relationships. If we do that we will be able to avoid unnecessary protests that disrupt learning and teaching in our schools,” Minister Motshekga said.
MEC Dlungwana welcomed the support from Minister Motshekga saying the cooperation between KZN education department and DBE was important.
“The support that the Minister is giving the province is important for the sector. We will work together to address the issues that have been identified. The visit by the Minister is an important one and we accept her support because it will assist all of us,” said MEC Dlungwana.
He said the issue of sanitary pads procurement and supply is being given attention to the extent that deliveries had been suspended and that a verification exercise was being done.
“We want to ascertain that deliveries are made to the right place and that there are no incidents of over-supply as reported in some parts of the province,” he said.
Minister Motshekga will visit the North West province on Thursday (17 May) and next week she would go to the Eastern Cape as part of her oversight work in all provincial education departments.
Enquiries: Elijah Mhlanga – 083 580 8275
KZN Education Department - Muzi Mahlambi: 082 519 1420
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION