The Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi said on Monday that he was taken aback by the Democratic Alliance’s(DA) decision to conduct weekly sporadic visits to different schools under the pretext of “inspections”.
“This is a clear indication that the DA is losing the plot on education matters in our province, and they will do everything to clutch at straws as the steam train of education and service delivery pulls away, as they remain behind and lost,” Lesufi said in a statement..
“It is unfortunate that as they try to find their footing, they will do everything to discredit the good work done by the province, as contained in our midterm report delivered by the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura, three months ago. A million dollar question would be why they would want to do an assessment, when we presented our midterm report recently. Their silence on the said report has reached a deafening crescendo.”
Lesufi said that it was important to note that the Portfolio Committee on Education, which consisted of members from different political parties, had already embarked on more than three assessments on ICT rollout, infrastructure and school readiness.
“We wish to welcome them back from their local government engagements, which has kept them so busy, neglecting their Legislature commitments. We welcome their inspection, as we have nothing to hide; however, it must not be to the detriment of smooth teaching and learning.”
The department advised anyone who intended on conducting any inspection not to selectively choose to ignore the positive changes they had made, including visiting the new state-of-the-art schools built since 2014, the first school for learners with disabilities in a township, the Nokhuthula LSEN School in Alexandra, and schools of specialisation in the townships, especially the Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation in Soweto, and the Magaliesburg School of Specialisation in Magaliesburg.
The department said they were willing to share reports on the successful Matric Readiness Programmes, how sanitation programmes had been improved in all the no-fee-paying schools, and the successful election of SGBs in virtually all the province’s schools.
“We are proud to also make the DA aware that we have answered all questions they have asked in the Legislature without fail, hence our openness to engage with them,” the MEC added.
The department urged all schools to open up to political parties and welcome them on their premises, as they conducted their “inspection”.
“We will not be distracted from our work to deliver quality and equal education for all. Our focus now, is to implement the Constitutional Court judgement to finally bury the apartheid spatial planning by ensuring all our schools are opened for all. We will accelerate our desire to eradicate all asbestos and mobile schools with our One School per Month Campaign,” added Lesufi.