StatsSA to count East Cape pupils

By Drum Digital
25 April 2013

The Eastern Cape education department has hired Statistics SA (StatsSA) to do a formal count of pupils, teachers and schools in the province, it was reported on Thursday.

Education MEC Mandla Makupula announced at a portfolio committee meeting in the Bhisho legislature on Tuesday that StatsSA would be paid R28 million for the job, the Daily Dispatch reported.

This followed reports that the department was funding thousands of "ghost pupils" at "ghost schools".

Makupula said StatsSA had indicated it would finish the job in two months and would report back with "credible data" by June.

"It's quite expensive, but we think let's bite the bullet in order to get quality information that will give us a lasting solution to our challenges," he reportedly said.

Committee chair and ANC MPL Mzoleli Mrara told the newspaper the committee viewed the expenditure as wasteful.

"However, we are in dire need of a credible database in the department, because all the wrongs there are on the basis of assumptions and not credible information," Mrara said

"So if StatsSA will correct that, then we will have to support the move."

Democratic Alliance MPL Edmund van Vuuren said the department should be given the benefit of the doubt.

-Sapa

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