Zuma upbeat over E Cape education woes
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma is upbeat the beleaguered education system in the Eastern Cape will soon be improved.
"I am very happy that the biggest stumbling block has been removed, that of delineating roles, responsibility and accountability," Zuma was quoted by the presidency as saying in Cape Town on Tuesday night.
Zuma was meeting a presidential task team, set up to look into the problems in education in the province.
"Now that these have been clarified, all teams must get down to serious work."
However, there was "a lot" that still needed to be corrected, Zuma reportedly told the meeting.
Among other things, poorer students deserved better quality service, like all other children. "They must not be further disadvantaged," Zuma said.
The task team said problems facing the province included the need to prepare Grade 12 students for their final year exams, and decentralising the nutritional plan.
Solution in sight
This would require facilities for feeding, cooking utensils, acquiring the correct quality and quantity of food, as well as financial management and accountability.
The team found the shortage of stationery, textbooks and furniture a "matter of extreme urgency".
Getting children to schools, when many of them lived in remote areas with no access to alternative transport, was a bugbear that needed to be dealt with.
Other problems involved filling vacant posts at schools with special needs students, reversing irregular salary increases and filling substitute posts on time.
Zuma said: "We wish the province well in this mammoth task. Education in the province has faced challenges over a long period of time, but finally a solution is in sight and we will succeed, working together."
The task team set up to deal with the crisis would include ministers: Angie Motshekga (basic education), Pravin Gordhan (finance), Jeff Radebe (justice and constitutional development), Blade Nzimande (higher education) and Richard Baloyi (public service and administration).
Provincial MECs would also form part of the task team, which would meet again in six weeks.