Trollip slams lack of proper education as Northern Areas schools remain closed

BY CHARL BOSCH - JANUARY 27, 2016

Democratic Alliance (DA) Eastern Cape leader Athol Trollip has accused the African National Congress (ANC) of showing little interest in making quality education available to areas hardest hit by unemployment in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Speaking in Bethelsdorp on Tuesday evening as part of a public meeting on the Bay’s education crisis, Trollip stated that the provincial department of education’s ongoing promises of delivering proper tutelage has failed year after year, and that plans to amend it had resulted in the “progressive degradation of an already broken system”.

“Last year, this Nelson Mandela Bay government allocated a punitive 6% of the budget to this community. This is why our streets are piled high with rubbish, why gangsters and drug lords roam freely, why our streets are falling to pieces and why many of our people are still forced to live in informal housing,” he said.

“Education is the key to opportunity. Without it, our young people face an uncertain future. In a country with spiralling unemployment, it is ludicrous that this ANC government continues to get basic education so terribly wrong”.

Referring to the closure of schools in the troubled Northern Areas, Trollip said only the department’s accepting of demands by angry parents would prevent the matter from escalating further, adding that the party would not tolerate anything but good education.

Last week, a number of schools were forced to close after disgruntled parents took to the streets in protest against teacher shortages and overcrowding in classrooms.

In a statement days later, Education MEC Mandla Makupula said it had made 1 665 level one teaching positions available in the province’s 23 districts, with 173 being allocated for the Northern Areas.

The announcement was however shot down with both the DA and ANC laying charges against the department for failing to keep the schools open.