Students scandalise MEC

2013-06-07 00:00

THREE KZN students were sent packing from Turkey after two were involved in a drunken brawl and another fell pregnant.

The disgraced trio flew back home. They were part of a group of 33 bursary students studying medicine and education qualifications at Turkish universities.

In all, 31 of the students, who left in batches in February and March this year, are pursuing a teaching honours degree.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education had partnered with a Turkish NGO, Horizon Educational Trust, to train science and maths student teachers in that country.

Education MEC Senzo Mchunu could not hide his embarrassment at the students’ conduct.

“It’s embarrassing … at the end of two months one child is pregnant”.

The department would not beg children to go and learn for their future, he said.

Mchunu has promised to conduct pregnancy tests before the department sends bursary students overseas.

“There are those who may not want those tests, but they will have to make their own means.”

Speaking at the legislature yesterday during his budget speech, Mchunu said most of these beneficiaries were from poor families and rural areas.

In the budget speech, the MEC stated teenage pregnancy at schools is one of his concerns.

“It should be a concern for all in the province when school-going children fall pregnant, more so when children as young as 10 years old fall pregnant.”

The MEC unveiled a R37 billion budget for the 2013/14 financial year.

The department has allocated R2,591 billion for infrastructure and will see 14 new schools being constructed.

Also on the department’s wish-list is to transform township and rural schools to operate and look like former Model C schools in previously white areas.

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