Jan 27, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Eastern Cape education department ‘violating pupils’ rights to education’

An association of school governing bodies has complained to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) about the Eastern Cape’s Department of Education’s failure to provide stationery and textbooks in time for schools to reopen next Wednesday.

Jaco Deacon, CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools (Fedsas), which represents 2,000 governing bodies nationwide, confirmed that the complaint was filed with the SAHRC on Friday.

This follows a January 12 circular sent by The provincial education department contacted the schools and asked them to use some of the stationery provided last year.

Thembani Mtyida, Acting Deputy Director General for Institutional Operations Management, informed the schools that “the unprecedented budget shortage is making the Delivery of LTSM [Learner Teacher Support Material] both in relation to compliance with nationally required en deadlines as well as in relation to the timely determination of LTSM amounts per class and child,” he said, after consultation with the Ministry of Basic Education and the provincial Ministry of Finance, funds were made available in December.

“This meant that the procurement processes could only be resumed at this point, as some key stakeholders were already ready for the December holidays and thus for the completion of the project, the department was able to fully start the processes in January.”

Mtyida said that due to budget constraints, the department cannot provide textbooks previously ordered by schools.

The department will prioritize the delivery of textbooks for new schools and new grades, with math and English textbooks first additional language and supplementary textbooks for high school students.

Textbooks will be available between March and March according to the circular Delivered to all schools in May.

A total of 1,614 schools will receive their stationery from January 12-25, while 3,196 schools will receive their stationery later in January and February.

Fedsas called on the SAHRC to urgently investigate the complaint and “Officials at the Eastern Cape Education Department stop committing unlawful acts and violating students’ rights to education by failing to fulfill their constitutional duties.”

Juané van der Merwe, head of legal affairs at Fedsas, said the department has a long history of incompetence and a lack of understanding of the duties of a provincial education board.

“To top off the breach, the department also called on the schools to use stationery from last year. This is despite the fact that last year’s scholarship was barely sufficient for the 2021 school year.”

She said the right to basic education is not a right that depends on the availability of resources or other determining factors.

“It is a duty that must be carried out regardless of the circumstances, least of all the inability to set up an adequate budget.”

Van der Merwe said it is the schools that will suffer the most , the “free” schools.

“These schools have no other funding than that provided by the state. They depend on the provincial Ministry of Education for everything from pens and paper to water and electricity.”

Fedsas has also written a letter to the Eastern Cape Ministry of Education requesting that all schools Adequate supplies of teaching and learning support materials will be provided in the province before schools reopen.

“If this is not the case, Fedsa’s will initiate legal proceedings that could result in officials being held liable in their personal capacity.” become.”