Bicycles not the answer for scholar transport issues - Equal Education

2017-09-15 14:01
Bicycles. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Bicycles. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - Advocacy group Equal Education says the provision of bicycles is not an answer to the call for the roll-out of efficient and safe learner transport in KwaZulu-Natal and SA.

The comment came just days after KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane handed over bicycles to 975 learners from 14 local schools from Ladysmith and surrounding areas this week.

In addition to this, learners were also provided with helmets, pumps and locks on Tuesday.

"We acknowledge the efforts on the part of the KwaZulu-Natal education department in providing bicycles, helmets, pumps and locks to learners in the uThukela District, who must walk between 6km and 10km to reach their schools," said Equal Education's Mila Kakaza.

READ: Equal Education deplores conditions in some WCape schools

She said while bicycles were welcomed, they only provided partial relief; they did not protect learners from rain, extreme heat or from the perpetrators of theft and sexual violence.

"Equal Education's call is for safe and adequate scholar transport to be provided to learners who walk long distances to school - and so it must be asked whether the bicycles appropriate for the terrain which these learners travel?"

Kakaza cautioned that without a maintenance plan, bicycles quickly fall into a state of disrepair.

She pointed out that problems such as frequent tyre punctures would require learners to buy new tyres or material to patch the tyre and that this was unaffordable for many households.

The advocacy group recently published a report which indicates that 10 learners have been killed and 113 injured in seven major accidents in KwaZulu-Natal this year.

Read more on:    equal education  |  durban  |  education
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