NAPTOSA laments over 2018/2019 DBE's budget speech - 9 May 2019
THE 2018/2019 DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION (DBE) BUDGET SPEECH – 9 MAY 2018
NAPTOSA is of the view that the 2018-19 Department of Basic Education’s budget speech is a missed opportunity for South Africa to fulfil its commitment to realise government’s mandate to make access, redress, equality, efficiency, inclusivity and quality educational opportunities a reality. NAPTOSA president questioned if indeed government and the DBE is truly committed to realising UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 in particular.
Those who cannot speak for themselves, the children and teachers of South Africa, are paying the price of a government that allowed state looting under its watch. Mr Ntantala lamented the fact that the burden will once again fall on the teacher to do more with less.
NAPTOSA acknowledges that tough fiscal trade-offs needed to be made to strengthen the economy, but cuts in education is short-sighted. Children and teachers are subjected to deplorable conditions of learning and teaching. Have we forgotten that it was grade R learners who have paid with their lives, because of infrastructure deficiencies? “This budget trade-off will only result in the delivery of poor quality service by the department to our educators”, said Mr Ntantala. “When the sun was still shining on the department and education enjoyed substantive budget allocations, the department failed to seize the opportunity and address problems faced by the education system of our country”.
NAPTOSA has on numerous occasions alluded to challenges in the current education system and called on the DBE to address the fundamental problems in the foundation phase. “But instead our cries fell on deaf ears and monies have been spent on intervention programmes on learners who are exiting the system”, said Mr Ntantala.
Whilst NAPTOSA finds the budget cuts deplorable, we nevertheless believe that the impact can, to some extent, be alleviated by more efficient utilisation of funds. There is just too much wasteful expenditure in the education system. Proper, more robust, oversight over education expenditure is required.
“It might be true and commendable that the ISIDI project has delivered state of the art facilities for learning and teaching and that the department is on track to deliver its objective of equality, but NAPTOSA believes more should be done to address the inequality that still persist in education”, said Mr Ntantala.
NAPTOSA is of the view that the DBE should have prioritised proper sanitation at the dawn of the democratic dispensation. ‘The department’s failure to provide schools with safe ablution facilities has robbed learners and teachers of their basic human dignity’, said Mr Ntantala.
NAPTOSA school principals know first-hand what the implications of the budget cuts will entail. Whilst the hope to at least receive sufficient funds to pay the water and electricity in their schools , they are under no illusion that the situation with regard to much needed LTSM, that is already of poor quality and at best insufficient, will deteriorate even further, said Mr Ntantala.