‘R5 food to feed learners for the whole day is not possible’ says School heads
Johannesburg – A “joke” of R5 is the daily maximum Gauteng is prepared to spend on feeding a learner. According to a directive written by Gauteng Department of Education head of department, Edward Mosuwe, schools are to cap the daily amount to feed each learner under the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) at a paltry R5.
Meanwhile, the Educators Union of SA (Eusa) has vowed to forge ahead with its court action, which was expected to be heard today in the North Gauteng High Court to interdict the country’s reopening of schools, which was now set for June 8.
Schools were closed nationally for two months after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a state of disaster and nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Last week, Mosuwe sent a directive, which The Star has seen, to school principals, school governing bodies (SGBs) and district directors on how the province expected to run the NSNP when schools were scheduled to reopen for Grade 7 and Grade 12 learners yesterday.
“The GDE directs that SGBs and school principals procure dry and perishable groceries for the NSNP for the period June 1 to 14, 2020, to feed the learners. Feeding will be capped at R5 per learner per day. Schools are directed to invoice the GDE for this period and the department shall reimburse the school,” Mosuwe directed.
Various principals and district directors lambasted the GDE’s feeding scheme, with one calling it “a joke”.
“Look at this (memo) and tell me if it is not a joke.
“How do you feed a learner for R5 for the whole day?
“Are we ready to open schools?” asked a frustrated official, who wished to remain anonymous. GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona required the department to feed learners at R3.49 a learner at secondary schools and R2.96 at primary schools.
“In essence, as Gauteng Education, we allocated more funds to schools, and requested them to temporarily procure food on their own, until such time we finalise our procurement process for our new service providers accordingly.”
Eusa, a union that represents more than 27 000 teachers, has, meanwhile maintained that it would attempt to interdict Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’splanned phased reopening of schools next Monday.
“For as long as the daily (coronavirus) infection rate is on the rise, no school should be reopened. The minister must share with the nation the number of infected teachers and learners to avoid mixing the negatives and the positives,” Eusa said in a statement to The Star.
Motshekga said yesterday that three reports from the National Education Collaboration Trust, the second on the state of delivery of water tanks and water supply by Rand Water, and a technical report from the Heads of Education Departments Committee had made it “clear that the sector was at different levels of readiness”.
“Provinces are now putting the shoulder to wheel to ensure that all prerequisites not yet fulfilled will be delivered within the week of June 1, 2020.“We, together with our partners, have agreed to another urgent meeting on Thursday, June 4, 2020 to continue to monitor and evaluate all outstanding compliance imperatives,” Motshekga added.
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