The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education today wrapped up its three-day visit to Limpopo. During this time the Committee visited several special schools, full-service schools and farm schools.
Committee Chairperson Ms Nomalungelo Gina said the national Department of Basic Education has prioritised special education. “Gone is the time that our learners with learning disabilities are made to feel worthless or inferior. They must enjoy all the benefits that other learners have. The sector has been neglected for so long but has thankfully been declared a non-negotiable by the Department of Basic Education.”
Ms Gina said the message that came out strongly during the visit is shortages of staff. “There has been an outcry about staff shortage, be it educators, nurses, specialist like therapists, hostel staff or administrative staff.”
Today the Committee also met with organised labour. Questions raised during the meeting included staffing, the National School Nutrition Programme, stipends for gas and wood and the question of an exit certificate for such learners.
At the start of the visit, Committee met with its provincial counterparts and the Limpopo Department of Basic Education. Various challenges were highlighted during the visit and in most instances financial constraints were highlighted as a challenge.
The Provincial Department has since made various commitments with time frames. The Committee indicated that it will closely monitor these time frames to ensure learners receive the education due to them.
Ms Gina said although the need is great and not all learners are in schools, this meeting was start to see what can be done to open the doors of learning to all.
The Committee will tomorrow start its oversight visit in Mpumalanga.
THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION, MS NOMALUNGELO GINA.