MEC Lesufi warns haters of Education Transformation not to test his patience

It is quite clear that those who continue to benefit from remnants of segregation and colonialism to the exclusion of the majority of our people are hell bent to put up a fierce fight to close out our people in accessing quality education.

The disturbing noise directed towards the Education Amendment Bill is tantamount to regrouping of those who would like to exclusively keep these benefits to themselves.

It is important to remind them, that the days of apartheid and colonial education are long over, and as such amendments of the South African Schools Act (SASA) is just the beginning to finally bury the outdated education.

We, remain resolute and steadfast in our quest for quality, equitable and inclusive Basic Education system in our Country. These, we owe to previous, current, and future generations of South Africa.

Any insults by those who are very nostalgic about the past era, will not infuse intimidation to us and all those who embrace transformation of our education. Actually they deserve no sympathy or support from any progressive South African. These, haters are shaken by our recent move of radical Socioeconomic transformation hence restless. It is concerning that they also mobilised non existing or fictitious organizations to stop the movement towards an all-inclusive nonracial and quality education system.

Their opposition to the introduction of additional languages in the education system affirms that, is only their languages that matters and as such other languages must continue to be marginalized and undermined.

When we declared that the doors of learning and culture should be opened for all, we meant, it should be as such.

The Country cannot afford, economically and educationally, a single language school when the demand for education is so huge. We are proud that in our previously disadvantaged communities people have embraced all languages in majority of our schools. This must also find expression within other communities as the demographics around these schools have changed drastically.

We are further taken aback by those who are opposing the review of powers of SGBs, our people have raised serious concerns on the conduct of some SGBs especially on the appointment of senior managers of schools as well as the management of school finances.

The leadership in the Basic Education Sector is extremely disturbed with the fact that in the majority of former model C schools about 80% and more of the learner population is black whilst the teaching staffs remain white.

SGBs and some School Management Teams misappropriate public resources and charge sky-scraping school fees to impede access to quality education, hence these amendments.

The last report of an organization called Corruption Watch has lifted corruption within schools as worrying. Sadly, beneficiaries of corruption want to dictate terms to authorities on how not to stop their wrong doings. This is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

The administration of admissions of learners in our schools is a serious cause for concern. Many parents have registered their displeasure on how SGBs are undermining their Constitutional right to education and we will challenge same.

We are further worried with the 'rent a complainant ' attitude adopted by verkrampte organizations who have flooded the inbox of the National Minister rejecting the amendments. This conduct, coupled with unfounded statements planted in various media houses must be condemned and rejected.

We urge the National Minister to extend the deadline for the submissions and to push ahead with the changes. The Minister must remain resolute and not be intimidated to withdraw these amendments.

We cannot be held at ransom by non-progressive and self-centered beneficiaries of the past and haters of transformation, who think that education of majority of our people must continue to be ignored.

We further urge progressive people to submit the concerns immediately around the following issues:

- Rejection of single language schools
- Review of the administration of admissions in public schools
- Professional appointment of principals, deputy principals and heads of departments
- Review of the home schooling Programme
- Promotion of African Languages
- Promotion of social, cohesion amongst learners
- Rejection of a race based education system
- Opening of doors and learning to all our people
- Access to quality education

Gauteng Department of Education’s Spokesperson, Steve Mabona on 072 574 3860.

Issued by the Gauteng Department of Education

For media releases, speeches and news visit the Gauteng Provincial Government's portal at www.education.gpg.gov.za

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