Education is key

2017-03-16 06:03

THE future of our country is reliant on an investment in the education of our children.

Funds allocated to educational resources must be fully utilised for this purpose. The slightest thought of defrauding or stealing this money amounts to a betrayal of trust by the elders in the form of principals, teachers and the school governing body members who are meant to take care of their interests.

The department budgets a specific amount in the form of a teaching and learning material (LTSM) fund, which is ring-fenced for textbooks and stationery. Every cent of this money must be used for its intended purpose, which is to negotiate the best prices for, and quality of, the educational resources.

The temptation to manipulate the system for one’s own benefit is a definite reality. Manipulation of the system manifests itself because the rules and procedures are not clear cut. They are ambiguous and open to interpretation. This flaw in the system can be a breeding ground for corruption, which has a detrimental impact on our pupils. Once unsavoury and illicit practices begin to manifest themselves in schools, they soon become a cancer that is difficult to monitor. A sad aspect of white collar crime is the fact that by the time it is detected and acted upon, many pupils’ lives will have been severely compromised and even completely destroyed.

The checks and balances by the Department of Education may not be the best. However, this must not be reason to bleed the system of life-saving funds. The ultimate judge will be your conscience to which you will have to answer.

Our youth fought for the emancipation of their education in the 1976 Soweto uprising. They sacrificed their lives fully believing that education would give them a better life. If their efforts are disregarded because of greed, future generations will judge us as destroying their lives. It is the duty of every role player to help our pupils reach their full potential by giving them all the educational resources possible. Stealing from the most vulnerable in education is considered an unpardonable act of criminality because it can destroy generations of children. So before being selfish and digging into the cookie jar, think about the many pupils who will be affected by your inappropriate behaviour.

VIJAY SURUJPAL

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