ANC targets Education MEC Debbie Schäfer over thousands of unplaced learners
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Cape Town - The ANC in the Western Cape has vowed to approach the SA Human Rrghts Commission, the Public Service Commission and the Public Protector to hold the Education MEC Debbie Schäfer accountable for the alleged failure of her department to place learners.
This after the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) revealed during a briefing to the standing committee on Education in the Western Cape legislature yesterday, that there were more than 6 500 unplaced learners as of March 8.
ANC provincial spokesperson on education Khalid Sayed said it was sad that thousands of learners have missed out on the first quarter of the academic year, saying that was an infringement of the basic right to education.
Sayed said that has been happening every year and there was no will by the WCED to address the problem.
"It is also very troubling that district offices are many times closed to parents, they can't access them," he said.
Schäfer agreed that "it is sad". She said it was a direct result of the ANC's pillaging and mismanagement of the national resources.
"I welcome the referral to the HRC and will happily work with them to hold the national government to account for failing to provide us as a province with the required resources to execute our mandate as well as we would like."
She said over 2 500 of those unplaced learners were very late applications.
The standing committee for education chairperson in the Provincial Legislature, Lorraine Botha, said while the ANC in the Western Cape seeks to portray an inaccurate picture of learner placement, the reality was that every district office has staff working tirelessly to address the matter of unplaced learners.
Botha said it was also to be noted that the number of unplaced learners also includes those who applied after the reopening of schools in 2021, so that even as learners were successfully placed, more applied, thus increasing the number of unplaced learners again.
"Given that the ANC fails learners in other provinces, it is of no surprise, then, that nearly 18 000 learners from other provinces have been placed at Western Cape schools. This speaks to the quality of education and support our schools receive from the provincial government," she said.