The Eastern Cape Department of Education MEC , Fundile Gade addressed media on the level of preparedness regarding the upcoming academic year.
This follows the completion of the 2020 Matric marking. He went on and addressed the media on what the department of education is doing and what it is planning to do cover a number of issues.
There has been progress made as far as ensuring that schools address the water challenges. Funds have been released to buy water tanks for the schools that were in need of them.Even though the provision of the water tanks is not 100 percent, there is real progress that has been made by the department.
Still moving on , there is great need for all schools including those in the rural areas to have this issue addressed. The MEC highlighted that they have benefited from an initiative introduced which is called the Presidential Sanitation appropriate for education. He revealed that there are plans to install 232 facilities in 2021, and 30 have already started .
The Sanitation Appropriate for Education is an initiative that is aimed eliminating discomfort, danger and indignity when using unsafe facilities in schools .
The Eastern Cape Department of Education is working in collaboration with the department of water and sanitation to ensure the success of the project.The project was however halted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another issue that was talked about by the Education MEC is that of furniture. It was revealed how furniture plays a role in the determination of the type of Education learners or teachers get to have. Furniture is there to instill dignity and confidence and ensure that a good learning environment is created .
He added that the school authorities have to communicate if they are in need of assistance in terms of furniture as it is abundant at the department's warehouse facility. There is no crisis for the Eastern Cape province.
Nutrition is another issue that is of importance that the MEC touched on.Schools nutrition programs are there to ensure that learners have access to nutrition as it is their basic right.
Education , which is another right that a child is entitled to can't be possible when a child is not well nutritioned , hence the introduction of the initiative so that the children that come from poor households can have access to food and education at school.
The funds have since been dispersed to different schools in the Eastern Cape so that they can get groceries in order to provide food to the learners. Many children in South Africa benefit a lot from the school nutrition programme and when schools reopen, all will be ready.
The MEC went on to touch on the issue of learner transportation as playing a pivotal role in education. A 2020-2021 transportation tender was issued by the transport department. It is responsible for the transportation of more than 100 000 learners to schools. He said that about 20000 were yet to have access to the transportation facilities offered by the department.
There is also set to be continued monitoring of hostels when schools reopen in order to avoid the spread of the Covid-19. The MEC highlighted how important it is to ensure that there is adherence to basic Covid-19 protocols such as social distancing and other healthy practices .
The MEC highlighted that the issue of vaccant posts is being worked on as the principals communicated with the Heads of Department. There are some teachers who may have died as a result of the Covid-19 or other causes, but assurance is that when schools reopen, there will be no problems as far as teachers that will not have been replaced.
The Education MEC for the Eastern Cape touched on the availability of the Learner Support Material which will be available when schools reopen.As far as the protective gear for learners , the schools were provided in 2020 and the department of education will only come in to provide as from the second quarter of the 2020 school calender.
Source: SABC News
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