IFP KZN Expresses Concern Over State of Readiness for School Reopening

Jan 11, 2024 | Press Releases

As learners, parents and teachers prepare for the reopening of schools to kick-start the 2024 academic year, the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is raising critical questions regarding the state of readiness of schools in the province.

Moreover, the current state of the Provincial Education Department is in shambles, this despite numerous instances highlighting the incompetence of the current MEC for Education, Mbali Frazer.

MEC Frazer grossly neglected to address critical staff shortages, leaving vacancies for principals, teachers, and departmental staff unfilled. This is occurring at a time when numerous qualified teachers in the province are unemployed.

Just last year, a significant number of pupils in KZN experienced disruptions to their exams due to a go-slow and subsequent strike by teachers, yet again, under MEC Frazer’s leadership, the department failed to fulfil its obligation of paying schools their full budget allocations. Shockingly, some schools lacked basic resources such as ink and paper for pupils to complete their exams.

In addition, a distressing number of schools, particularly in rural areas are earmarked for closure, jeopardising access to education for many residents who reside in rural nodes.

Eight months have now passed since, the initiation of an investigation into the school nutrition tender, which failed to deliver services to schools the previous year.

The delayed release of the investigation’s report and the lack of accountability raise concerns about transparency within the Department.

The IFP questions the Premier’s apparent protection of MEC Frazer and her officials regarding the nutrition tender debacle.

KZN Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has yet to take decisive action and remove the underperforming MEC from her cabinet.

As schools prepare to open next week, the IFP is vigilant and anticipates whether potential challenges, such as delays in food servings and stationary deliveries to schools, will be addressed effectively.

The IFP emphasizes that education is not a privilege but a fundamental right for the children of the province.

The provincial government must uphold this right, as articulated by the late IFP Founder and President Emeritus Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who advocated for “Education for Liberation.”
The future of the province rests in the hands of the educated young people, and it is imperative that the government ensures their access to quality education to break the chains of poverty and unemployment.

Furthermore, the IFP in KZN acknowledges and commends the selfless dedication demonstrated by IFP members and volunteers in uMlazi. They have voluntarily invested their time and resources in cleaning school premises, including clearing overgrown grass and bushes surrounding the schools in preparation for the upcoming academic year.

This proactive initiative becomes crucial as the KZN Department of Education, remains plagued by neglect.

The IFP extends this call to action, urging all its structures in different constituencies to emulate this commendable effort and contribute to the improvement of our schools in the province, by ensuring that conditions are conducive for teaching and learning.

Cllr Thami Ntuli
IFP KZN Chairperson
072 585 5000

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