Deputy Minister of Basic Education Dr Reginah Mhaule joined KwaZulu-Natal MEC of Education Kwazi Mshengu, to conduct monitoring and oversight visits in Pietermaritzburg schools as coastal schools started the 2022 academic year.
According to the department, the visits are to assess the readiness of schools for the 2022 academic year in the province.
The minister delivered a message about the importance for schools to comply with Covid-19 protocols to ensure the safety of learners and teachers.
The Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Dr @ReginahMhaule, is on a school monitoring visit at Izwilesizwe Primary School in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, as the sector welcomes coastal provinces #BackToSchool.@ElijahMhlanga @HubertMweli pic.twitter.com/vXxSJ7ABmT— Dep. Basic Education (@DBE_SA) January 19, 2022
Mhaule and Mshengu started their visit ath Izwi Lesizwe Primary School and Georgetown High School in the UMgungundlovu district.
At Georgetown High School in KwaDambuza township, one of the district’s top-performing schools obtained a 100% matric pass rate in 2020.
They were met by desperate parents at the school gates, eager to get their children enrolled.
We are now at Georgetown High School, one of the top performing schools in the Umgungundlovu District to support and monitor the opening of schools in coastal provinces @MshenguKwazi @DBE_SA @GovernmentZA @DBE_KZN pic.twitter.com/hA5cTthM0J— Dr Reginah Mhaule (@ReginahMhaule) January 19, 2022
“What we have observed, as we were driving to the schools, is that learners are eagerly walking to schools.
“We received a report from the circuit manager, who has indicated that he has been in contact with all the principals in the circuit.
’And all learners are at schools, and learning is taking place today,” Mhaule said.
The minister says that 41 schools in the UMgungundlovu district were affected by the recent storms which battered parts of KZN, and 11 were severely affected.
“It is not necessarily the schools themselves that have been affected, but the roads to the schools and rivers which learners and teachers must cross are the ones stopping learners and teachers.
“The KZN Department of Education then felt that those 11 schools should not open until the water subsides.
“There are programmes in place to help those 30 other schools, .
“Constructors are on site right now trying to fix roofs,” she added.
The total amount for damage repairs to the schools in the province is said to be estimated at R200 million.
“The national department is helping KZN because from the conditional grant of infrastructure, KZN is allocated.
“So we told KZN to let them reprioritise the implementation of the entire infrastructure budget so they start with the recent storm damage and address the storm damage that happened even in the prior year.
“While we are waiting for the money to be available, we will provide mobile classrooms.
“Everything that the storm has damaged, we will prioritise as the Department of Education and KZN,” Mhaule said.
The department says that another 11 schools in the uMkhambathini municipality could not resume classes because of conflicts with the leadership, which has resulted in community members shutting down schools and threatening teachers.
“We are aware of these disputes with the traditional leaders, and it has affected 11 of our schools.
“We are going to let the law take its course.
“We are also engaging the security cluster, including CoGTA, as it is a security and CoGTA matter,” she added.