Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has promised to bring the challenges of an Eastern Cape school to the attention of Cabinet.
Motlanthe, accompanied by Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet and Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty visited Lutshaya Senior Secondary School in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape, today.
This was part of government’s school-readiness monitoring programme on the first day of school for coastal provinces.
Matanzima Mweli, acting deputy director general for curriculum, policy, support and monitoring in the department of basic education – who was part of the delegation – said Motlanthe’s visit was aimed at encouraging learners to study hard, encouraging teachers to do their jobs and also to interact with school management and school governing bodies.
“The deputy president also wanted to monitor progress at the school as this was his second visit. He was happy to find there are no textbook problems here. However, he noted new challenges, such as teacher shortages and dilapidated infrastructure. He undertook to take the matter to Cabinet as he viewed it seriously,” Mweli said.
He said one of the biggest challenges facing the school, which delivered a 55% pass rate in 2012, was a shortage of teachers.
“The school qualifies to have 36 teachers but has 21, which means they are 15 teachers short,” Mweli said.
Principal Monwabisi Dinwayo said he was pleased that government had taken the initiative to focus on rural schools.
“We are hoping this visit by the deputy president and his delegation will bring change in this school and into this impoverished community,” Dinwayo said.
He said the school was in desperate need of more teachers, basic infrastructure, such as roads to the school, and extra classrooms.