MPs hear Limpopo pupils' pleas

2012-08-07 21:53

Cape Town - A series of poignant letters from Limpopo school children to President Jacob Zuma was read out in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

"We need more educators... we need more books because the learners are suffering. Now, at my school, things are not okay because the learners and teachers are crying," one pupil wrote.

Another letter writer called for better security and school transport.

"Dear President, we need safety at our school because people who are not attending [here] come to steal our computers. We need more transport to our school because other students come to our school in wet clothes on rainy days, and they end up not concentrating because they feel cold."

Yet another called on Zuma to speak to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga about the textbook delivery disaster that struck their province.

"Dear Mr President, please will you communicate with the [education] minister about our educational textbooks because we are short of them at our school."

The same pupil also called for more teachers "so we may be able to study and [be] able to become what we want in life".

The unedited letter ends: "Lastly, can you please send our school some money so we can get more resources, so that we can learn hard and also practice our talents."

Democratic Alliance MPs read out the letters, using the time allocated to them for statements in the National Assembly.

Responding, Deputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty appeared moved by the pupils' appeals.

"Let me unequivocally convey my heartfelt apologies to those learners in Limpopo for the late delivery of textbooks. We neither wish to defend it nor condone it."

"Let me also take heart and empathise with those learners who have written these... eloquent letters to the president. At least we can take comfort from the fact that they are literate and have a good command of the language," he said.

He vowed that his department's failure to deliver textbooks on time would not happen again.

"We have learnt some hard lessons... and, indeed, the appropriate and necessary steps are being taken to ensure that never again do we repeat or let this failure to deliver textbooks in time return.

"What has occurred in Limpopo was not correct, we cannot condone it... and certainly we are going to learn lessons from it and ensure it does not repeat itself," said Surty.

His remarks come as calls continue for Motshekga to resign over the Limpopo textbook debacle.

  • JanGrimbeek - 2012-08-07 22:27

    Why did the Deputy minister answered to this issue and the letters in parlaiment and not the senior minister herself ???? Absent as usual I guess, and too flippen scared to face the truth from children. Shame on you you pathetic thing called a human being, you don't deserve any position else than in a correctional service institute, or maybe in a bottle in a university lab.

  • tommo.too - 2012-08-07 23:29

    Zuma couldn't give a sh*t. He's in London at the Olympics partying.

  • hein.huyser - 2012-08-08 01:42

    20 years too late

  • piet.boerie - 2012-08-08 05:19

    Dam disgrace. The Alliance should be ashamed not helping those it promises so much too. These kids parents fought for you and you pay them back by screwing their futures. Hyenas!!! I think the Apartheid creators have now bought out the Alliance and are still intent of keeping the masses poor, uneducated and down trodden. What a waste of a struggle if the system stays the same and super wealthy still benefit and run the country. It’s only a change of government but not the system.

  • tw2066 - 2012-08-08 05:53

    The last youngster who pleaded with JZ was Irvin Khozas daughter, and be sure he and his spear put he up the pole... She also learnt a hard lesson.

  • bless.boswell - 2012-08-08 08:49

    They don't wish to defend it? Goes this mean they don't feel responsible? How disgraceful that government does not regard itself accountable to its youngest and most vulnerable citizens. If these were their own children, the picture would have been different. Every child has a right to an education - it is not up to government to mess with that. It is up to government to uphold that and, if necessary to fight for it. Instead, government plays fast and loose with the lives of its people and their children. The ANC is a disgrace and must step down. Stop pretending, you cannot do this.

  • justin.massyn - 2012-08-08 08:55

    You are an absolute disgrace to us all!! You neglect them now, but be warned, they will retaliate in ways you could never imagine. It is REALLY so difficult to understand that if you all did your jobs as expected, even just a fair portion of it, you would stay in power and gain the favour of more. You guys really are faaking everything up for yourselves. Me, i wont go lay down, i will carry on with my little business, plying my trade, ethically and honorably, you however are on a downward slope, soon to hit the bottom, and all this will be your own doing. May you receive as you give, comrades.

  • ChrisMashimbyi - 2012-08-10 17:54

    Do you really need to hear children's pleas in order to clean the mess?, just do your damn job!. when titanic went down, the captain went down with it. angie mutshega and other education officials be wasting our time playing the blame-game,trying to figure whom to blame and staff,you robbing young kids off their rightful future. damn it i'm not in anybody's side, DA be going around claiming to fix the wracked education system in limpopo, last time i recalled you could even get your things right in the western cape.

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