Government must fulfill promise to provide scholar transport

Posted on:
15 Mar 2016
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Community, News, Public
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Ujuh Reporter

The Legal Resources Cen­tre (LRC) has taken up a course to compel the Min­is­ter of Basic Edu­ca­tion to pro­vide scholar trans­port for needy learners across the Eastern Cape.

The LRC has filed papers in the Gra­ham­stown High Court on behalf of the Khula Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment Project and the School Gov­ern­ing Body of the Tyityaba Pri­mary School.

The LRC explains the matter as an effort to com­pel the Min­is­ter of Basic Edu­ca­tion to pro­vide scholar trans­port for thou­sands of learn­ers across the Province.

The LRC explained in the statement that in 2014, the MEC took a deci­sion to close two small schools, Din­dala Pri­mary School and Hoyi Pri­mary School. “They under­took to trans­port the learn­ers from these two schools to Tyityaba Pri­mary School but have failed to do so. Thirty-one learn­ers at Tyityaba Pri­mary School, although meet­ing the cri­te­ria for scholar trans­port and promised that they would receive it in 2016, are still wait­ing for the pro­vi­sion of trans­port.”

The statement added that requests from the SGB for answers from the Depart­ment as to why there has been a delay have gone unan­swered.

“Par­ents are cur­rently expe­ri­enc­ing dire finan­cial con­straints due to the Department’s fail­ure to pro­vide scholar trans­port. Most par­ents rely on the monthly child sup­port grant of R33, 00 to meet the needs of their chil­dren.

“Par­ents are forced to spend the major­ity of their avail­able income on trans­port costs and this is not sus­tain­able. Some par­ents attest to hid­ing away when the vehi­cle comes to col­lect their chil­dren as they do not have the funds nec­es­sary to pay for trans­port,” said the statement.

Thou­sands of learn­ers have not been pro­vided with scholar trans­port even though they qual­ify for it in terms of the provin­cial scholar trans­port pol­icy, said the statement.

The LRC is also seek­ing to com­pel the Act­ing Super­in­ten­dent General of the East­ern Cape Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion (ECDOE) to pro­vide Khula Devel­op­ment Project and the School Gov­ern­ing Body of the Tyityaba Pri­mary School with a list of all learn­ers in the East­ern Cape who have had their appli­ca­tions for scholar trans­port refused.

The statement added that the ECDOE in breach of the Con­sti­tu­tion for fail­ing to com­mu­ni­cate their deci­sions on appli­ca­tions for scholar trans­port to those learn­ers effected.

“We are also seek­ing for the MEC of Edu­ca­tion in the East­ern Cape and Action Direc­tor Gen­eral, in con­junc­tion with the Depart­ment of Trans­port, to urgently finalise a new scholar trans­port pol­icy.”

news@ujuh.co.za

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