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Education MEC condemns torching of classrooms, says Dept to engage stakeholders

Aug 2, 2019
Education MEC condemns torching of classrooms, says Dept to engage stakeholders

Bhisho - Eastern Cape MEC for Education, Fundile Gade, on Thursday condemned the destruction of public property saying it is not only illegal, but also transgresses the rights of others.

"I want to take this opportunity to vehemently condemn the burning of 10 prefabricated classrooms at Atwell Madala Senior Secondary School 30 July 2019. In fact, whether its illegal closure and burning of roads, and any other destruction of property, it must be condemned in the strongest terms," he said.

"I want to state publicly and reiterate the position that the Department invites the public on all issues affecting education, whether it be related to LTSM, Infrastructure, or any others issues, that we are committed to working towards urgent resolution through robust and constructive engagement.

"Where the department has not fulfilled its promises, we will admit our shortcomings and provide a credible way forward. Where it can be proven that we have erred in not fulfilling our promise, we will admit and take full responsibility towards resolving all issues at hand.

"Our communities will appreciate that our 2018 Grade 12 performance has improved resoundingly, as we achieved 70% for the first time in the history of our province."

Gade said that despite the challenges that the province is faced with, a lot of work has been done.

He added that the Department's improvement has gone beyond only overall grade 12 performance, as in terms of DBE analysis of performance per subject, from 2015 to 2018 the East Cape Department of Education was number one in the following key Grade 12 learning areas:

1. Mathematics,
2. Physical Sciences,
3. Engineering,
4. Graphics,
5. Hospitality Studies,
6. Agricultural Management Practices
7. Civil Technology and
8. Design.

"We have managed to stabilise the schooling system and have made sure that all our schools are working hard to make sure there is commitment to improve the overall performance at the end of the year," the MEC said.

"On the 17 July 2019, I declared the 2020 Post Provisioning Norms, thus beating by 2 months the September deadline.

"Our core business is teaching and learning as the Education department; hence the move to transfer Infrastructure to the department of Public Works. We therefore plead with our people to journey with us on doing what is expected of us - teaching and learning; while ensuring that we deal with the backlogs of infrastructure of many years that have left many of our schools unsafe spaces to learn in."

Gade said that in this month of August, he will spend time visiting all the districts on a program of Infrastructure hearings to address schools with infrastructure challenges.

"My office will publicize a schedule confirming meeting venues and times per district once District Directors confirm; the plan is to visit three districts per week in this fashion:

· Week 1: OR Tambo Inland, OR Tambo Coastal and BCM
· Week 2: Alfred Nzo West, Alfred Nzo East and Chris Hani East
· Week 3: Sarah Baartman, Nelson Mandela Bay and Amathole West
· Week 4: Joe Gqabi, Amathole East and Chris Hani East.

"I therefore invite school principals, SGB executives, District Education Forums and representatives of learner formations without disturbing teaching and learning to attend these hearings at the confirmed venues to engage with me on our infrastructure plans and school management topics. These confirmations will be publicized in all media platforms by Wednesday 07August 2019."

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