Nkonyeniin greener schools campaign

2014-07-21 00:00

EDUCATION MEC Peggy Nkonyeni wants KwaZulu-Natal schools to adopt the green concept and start using green energy to pay their electricity bills.

“We should gradually introduce green energy at schools to reduce energy consumption,” Nkonyeni said after a two-day workshop with the department’s senior managers in Durban.

She said principals complain to the department about schools being unable to use some of their government funding towards paying municipal bills.

Nkonyeni said schools and the department should liaise with the private sector and the Minerals and Energy Department on how they can be assisted with greening schools.

She said teacher retraining would be a priority with the former Dokkies (Durban College of Education) Teacher Training College in Durban — now used by the Office of the Premier as an academy for public servants — being earmarked as a teacher development institute.

The MEC plans to write to Premier Senzo Mchunu and ask that the college be returned to the department.

Nkonyeni has ordered her officials to rework a business plan for the college’s refurbishment that was declined in the previous financial year.

Also high on her agenda is gender representation in management.

“I will ensure we adhere to the principles of gender equality,” said Nkonyeni.

The MEC’s department has just 28% of managerial positions occupied by women despite women being the majority of employees.

Department head Nkosinathi Sishi said their workshop recognised investment was needed to achieve effectiveness in the delivery of quality services on a declining budget.

Sishi said the department needed to fill 2 194 vacant posts, but there would be a process to determine which were critical.

Just 328 posts are budgeted for and 1 884 are without funding.

Sishi also said the department would in the next two to three years focus on the provision of school infrastructure, especially water and sanitation.

• mayobongwe.maqhina


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