The DA has written to Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, to request the full details of how she intends to ensure the learners in Vuwani are not denied their right to education due to the ANC’s failure to adequately address the concerns of the community.

Learners have not attended school since Monday and matric learners have not been able to write their prelim exams due to a shutdown in the area due to a continuing dispute about municipal demarcation.

This is of serious concern as prelims are crucial in preparing learners for the final matric exams which start in just 45 days.

The DA will ensure that a full and detailed contingency plan is discussed to next meeting of the Basic Education Portfolio Committee’s meeting on Tuesday, where matric exam readiness will be discussed.

We also need clarity on the department’s medium and long-term strategies to ensure that learners continue to receive education as last time violence erupted in the area, the number of learners writing and passing matric declined by 10% after 30 schools were burned and damaged.

We call on Minister Motshekga to assist Limpopo Education MEC, Ishmael Kgetjepe, in making contingency plans including:

  • Securing schools as safe spaces for teaching to continue; and
  • Immediately arranging an alternate venue for matriculants to write their exams safely

The Minister must also ensure the exams are not disrupted.

While the right to protest is guaranteed by the Constitution, it cannot be at the expense of learners’ education. The future of young South Africans cannot be sacrificed to make a political point.

The Vuwani crisis is a result of the ANC government’s mishandling of community concerns but it cannot be allowed to rob more children of the right to learn and therefore the right opportunities for a better life.