State of education in Western Cape hopeless – COSATU

Federation rejects claims that schools are ready for 2017, calls for Schafer's head

Cosatu rejects DA claims that schools are ready for 2017, and calls for MEC Schaeffer removal

11 January 2017 

Cosatu is concerned about the desperate state of education in the Western Cape in the working class areas. The crisis in schools is reflected in the state of disrepair of so many schools on the cape Flats. 2 schools that have been in the papers recently are the Uitsig School and the Weltevreden School in Mitchells Plain, where the lack of facilities make effective teaching impossible.

The metric results are a poor reflection of the state of schools as the learners would have fallen out of the system in the poorer schools already, where effective education is not taking place. So the results really just reflect the schools that are relatively well resourced and where learners have many extra classes. The system must be fixed to ensure that all the schools provide all the learners with the opportunity and the resources to get a proper education. The amount of learners that are falling through the cracks in the school system and not making metric is unacceptable in the Western Cape.  

The learners at Voorburg Prison have not been provided with transport for them to get to school, by either the Western Cape Education department or the department of Correctional services. This attempt at playing petty politics is threatening the educational future of the learners who were stuck without transport today.

There are many reports coming in of schools that do not have the required facilities, or teachers or materials to ensure that education starts from day one in the working class schools. The tale of 2 Cities in the W Cape is clearly illustrated in the education system, where the wealthy mainly white schools are well resourced, whiles the poorer mainly black schools are in a state of Crisis.

The restoration of the communities on the cape Flats and the rural areas must be led by the education facilities as the family and church structures are in crisis. But the Government refuses to resource the areas that require the greatest interventions financially, so that effective education is executed. The poorer schools need to be urgently funded and the additional teachers provided to bring down the learner teacher ratio. The children from these communities must be given an educational experience that restores their hope in the future. But we see no coherent plan to address the educational and societal challenges by the Provincial education department. This is why Cosatu is calling for the removal of MEC Scheafer, who is clearly only concerned about the schools in the wealthier old white areas, whilst she neglects the poorer schools.

Cosatu calls on the National Minister to institute an investigation into the state of education in the Province in poorer schools. As this inequities and inequalities inherited from Apartheid and perpetuated by Government in unacceptable.  Cosatu calls on poorer schools to approach Cosatu and Sadtu for assistance in addressing the structural problems at the schools, as the WCED is clearly not concerned. The WDEC has a conscious plan to close poorer schools and make it difficult for those learners to stay in the system, by their campaign to undermine the confidence of communities in the schools future.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 11 January 2017