teachers pay for no-fee schools

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Delays in promised government funding is hampering teaching at no-fee schools in Mpumalanga.

The provincial education department has set aside more than R7million to implement the no-fee policy that would benefit 91228 pupils.

But yesterday Sowetan was told that a number of schools in the province had not been funded in the past two years, prompting teachers in the affected schools to donate money to buy the much needed materials.

Education authorities, however, insist that Mpumalanga had made strides in implementing the no-fee schools policy and that only the schools which did not submit the required documents had not been funded.

A teacher who spoke on condition of anonymity said: "In order to buy school needs such as plain paper, we are forced to donate among ourselves apparently because the education department is broke."

The affected schools include Gobolibi Secondary in Matimpule village, Malatse High in Lefiso, Sthembisile High in Kuduspoort and Khamane High in Marapyane.

A source said the lack of materials had an adverse impact on the schools.

"Even when we attend departmental workshops and meetings we are not compensated for using our private cars and we lose because some of us travel as much as 300km there and back," said another disgruntled teacher.

The teachers claimed that for the past two years they had been donating R200 each every month towards school trips, electricity and other materials.

"About 200 teachers from different parts of the province who came to mark Agriculture papers 1 and 2 as well as English, Economics and Accounting in April were forced to use their own vehicles and despite the department's promise that our money would be deposited before the general elections we are still waiting," said the teacher.

Department spokesperson Jasper Zwane said he would consult with his colleagues and get more details on the claims but later switched his phone off.