Learners denied access to everyday schooling as GDE fails to prepare for the return of all primary school grades

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is very concerned that all primary school grades across the province will not be able to return to school this week as the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has failed to prepare the necessary resources for these schools.

This is unacceptable, as learners will continue to miss out on the much-needed every day schooling, as the current system of rotational learning that was adopted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is ineffective and simply not enough, with learners having fallen behind in the curriculum.

By so doing, the department is denying primary school learners their right to access basic education.

This is further widening the inequality gap as learners from no fee-paying schools are highly affected while private schools are progressing with daily schooling.

Furthermore, the fee-paying schools have access to adequate resources such as online learning and teaching options to continue with schoolwork, while learners from no-fee schools sit at home and wait for their allocated school day.

The department is aware that many schools had challenges of overcrowded classrooms of more than 50 learners per class, yet they failed to plan in terms of resources allocation to ensure that additional classrooms and teachers are provided to meet the required health protocols to maintain social distance.

The DA calls on the department to reprioritise resources and ensure that all primary school learners return to school so that learning and teaching can take place in a conducive environment.

Department senior officials were quick to feast R431 million on decontamination of schools but very slow to provide additional resources to assist schools to catch up on lost time to cover the curriculum. We will continue to hold GDE MEC, Panyaza Lesufi accountable for failure to provide school resources. The future of our children will not suffer due to the department’s incompetency and failure to reprioritise resources accordingly.

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