Defective planning cause of overcrowded schools

Henry

The FF Plus says the latest revelations that gr. 8 learners from an overcrowded high school in Kempton Park being transferred to primary schools in the area is another example of how the Gauteng education department’s “defective planning to build enough schools in the province has a boomerang effect”.

“The FF Plus cannot approve this ill-considered decision,” says adv. Anton Alberts, chairman of the FF Plus in Gauteng.

It came to light earlier this week that some English-speaking learners from Birchleigh High School are now being admitted to Afrikaans parallel medium primary schools. Elementary schools were notified late Tuesday evening that mobile classrooms would be dropped off at the schools for these high school students.

According to Alberts, the lack of adequate schools for the growing population in Gauteng is an annual trend.

“The FF Plus has asked several times during the department’s annual planning submissions to the Gauteng legislature’s education committee why not enough schools are being built. Especially because the department seems to have enough money for building schools,” he says.

“The core of the problem is simple: The education department simply puts the blame on the infrastructure department.”

Alberts argues that it is well known that the Department of Infrastructure does not get its projects off the ground or complete due to, among other things, the appointment of contractors who cannot fulfill their contractual obligations.

“However, the Gauteng education department itself is not innocent when it comes to mismanagement, as evidenced by several scandals, such as the unnecessary cleaning of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 during which R430 million was wasted and paid out to numerous incompetent service providers,” he says.

“The Department of Education has already indicated that it wants to be responsible for building schools. The FF Plus supports the idea in principle, but is not convinced that it will eliminate the problems so that schools are built faster.”

The FF Plus says the only solution to this problem is to get the “inept ANC government” out of Gauteng.

“The only sustainable solution will come when the FF Plus, as part of a coalition government, takes over the management of the Department of Education in 2024,” says Alberts.

“It will be ensured that all pupils get access to decent schools in the language of their choice.”