It comes as no surprise why parents in the Eastern Cape are choosing to move their children, albeit at great costs and financial sacrifices, to the Western Cape to complete their education.
The Eastern Cape education is on the verge of total collapse with the post provisioning of 2012 not fully implemented and educators on a go slow, resulting in a multitude of schools without their full complement of teachers.
While the Eastern Cape still boasts some of the country’s best schools (for example, Grey College, Theodore Herzl, Riebeeck College, Selborne College, Alexander Road, etc), the majority of schools, most particularly in the poorer communities and in the remote rural areas, are providing little or no education opportunities for our learners.
80 % of schools in the Eastern Cape, as per information supplied to the Portfolio Committee on Education, are dysfunctional with only 11 % of High schools responsible for 70 % of the Grade 12 learners that pass.
30 % of the students in the Eastern Cape have no textbooks and there are more than 500 mud schools in the province, although this number may be much higher.
In the Western Cape the majority of teachers are on time, in class and teaching, and unlike the Eastern Cape, which has the highest rate of absenteeism in the country, teaching time is not maximised. Research has shown that contact time in most of the schools in the poorer communities is only three and a half hours, whilst the seven hour school rule is not enforced, nor adhered to.
For the DA in the Western Cape, not even the right to a “basic education” is enough. It is this right – the right to a “quality education” – that guides every policy, action and strategy that the DA government takes. For in an Open, Opportunity Society for All, every child should be afforded the opportunity to realize his or her full potential through access to a “quality education”.
It therefore comes as no surprise that our parents in the EC are making the decision to relocate their children to a DA – run province.
If they as parents consider the uncertain future their children have in an education system in decline – who would blame them? It is opportunities that the parents of the Eastern Cape are seeking, the same opportunities that the open opportunity society provides.