Please find attached a soundbite in English by DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Nomsa Marchesi MP.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) visited two zero % schools in Limpopo over the past two days in order to determine why none of the learners at these schools passed their 2018 matric exams.
3 of the 12 schools with a zero % pass rate this year are in Limpopo. Limpopo MEC for Education, Ishmael Kgetjepe, has excused this by saying these are non-viable schools, so the department can’t provide proper resources for them. This excuse means that these schools are simply forgotten by the Limpopo Department of Education and the national Department of Basic Education – sabotaging the futures of learners with no other alternative.
“Yesterday, myself and DA Limpopo Premier Candidate, Jacques Smalle, visited Senwane Secondary School. In 2016, the school had a 60% pass rate. Today it has a zero % pass rate. This came as no surprise as the school is in an appalling state. We found dirty classrooms and rundown buildings. It is no wonder any of the learners at this school are succeeding as they are being taught in undignified conditions. It is simply a crime against these children”, said Marchesi.
The conditions at the schools speak to the lack of leadership at Senwane Secondary School. The previous principal was moved to the circuit office, receiving a salary but not fulfilling duties – leaving the school leaderless until September last year. The school is short on teachers, one of whom has now become the acting principal.
Today, the DA inspected Letshega-Malokwane Secondary. We met with one of the learners who failed at the school and they told us that there were only three teachers last year. The principal resigned this month. The teachers were also hardly at school, meaning teaching and learning was not happening. One of the other teachers is now acting as principal and would not talk to us.
“School leadership is essential to providing quality education to learners. But school staff are being undermined by a lack of resources and terrible conditions, while the MEC celebrates the provincial pass rate. How can we expect to produce successful and quality matriculants when the ANC government has chronically failed to provide these learners with adequate resources?”, said Marchesi.
The Limpopo Department of Education has washed its hands of these schools, and the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, has failed in her obligation to hold the provincial MEC accountable.
The DA is of the view that no learner should be left behind, and a school being rural and small is simply not an excuse for the Minister and the MEC to allow their constitutional rights to education and to a safe environment to be trampled.