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Education in Mpumalanga is in disarray.

Reference: Published by Tshwarelo Mogakane (Sunday World), 11 Jun 2023

The Mpumalanga department of education has come under fire from teachers, students, and members of the general public, who allege that it has neglected its duty to enhance the circumstances for teaching and learning in the province.

This happened when a strike broke out at a school in Mashishing and a ceiling collapsed on students at a school in Kwa-Mhlanga.

They charge that the department is feasting while Rome burns and that very nothing has been done by the authorities to address ongoing issues that have caused chaos in the educational system. Due to a strike by instructors who claim that the department has disregarded their concerns, kids at Estralita Special School in Mashishing have not been attending regularly for more than a year.

Since the staff at the boarding school has been unable to come to work, parents have been forced to send their children home. At Dumelani Primary School near Kwa-Mhlanga, a ceiling fell on students in a separate event toward the end of last month.

A schoolteacher in a state of terror recorded the chaos on her iPhone. School children may be seen running for their lives and yelling in terror.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Makhosi Ntuli, a social activist, demanded immediate action.

There are several classes without windows. As a result of the department’s appointment of more signatories who don’t provide any assistance to the school, [they] have broken desks, no doors, and no access to school cash, according to Ntuli.

Sanele Freedom Ngema, a Twitter user, claimed he had been warning about the mischief taking on at the school for months before the ceiling collapsed.

Hello, Minister. I work as a teacher at Dumelani Primary School in Moloto, KwaMhlanga, in the Nkangala region of Mpumalanga. In order to get your help with the misappropriation of monies in the school, our SGB has [wrote] to your office, the Mpumalanga department, and the Mpumalanga department HoD.

The provincial head of the Democratic Alliance, Jane Sithole, stated: “The leaders should be held accountable for the ceiling collapsing on top of students at Dumelani Primary School since the Mpumalanga department of education neglected to spend money allotted for infrastructure repair. Enoch Godongwana, the finance minister, recently said that the Mpumalanga department of education would forfeit R300 million from an underused infrastructure allocation for the fiscal year 2022–2023. MEC Bonakele Majuba was accused of making empty promises by Sithole.

The old, crumbling building is still standing, and students are now using it as a smoking area and engaging in other undesirable activities, she claimed. “Two years ago, the honorable MEC Majuba promised them that the old building would be demolished, but the old and cracked building is still standing,” she stated.

An unknown provincial assembly insider claimed that a sanitary pad scandal is imminent in another alarming development involving MEC Majuba’s department.

“I was invited to a particular gathering a week ago where beneficiaries and monitors of government programs gathered to address their problems. When I heard one monitor explain that in some schools, the service provider sent sanitary pads that were giving the schoolgirls rashes and rushes, I almost fell out of my chair.

“They spoke with the service provider about it and were given directions for the exit. They contacted the department of education, who advised them that they needed evidence that the sores and rushes were being caused by those sanitary pads. The results from three independent labs where they were submitted revealed that the pads were not suitable for human use and warned that potential negative effects included the possibility of cancer.

The identical sanitary napkins are still being provided by that service provider in the same location.

Majuba and his communication staff have yet again ignored media requests for comment. The spokespersons, Jasper Zwane and Gerald Sambo, don’t appear to have put in any effort to openly address issues pertaining to education throughout the years.