Department insists it is mandatory for schools to supply stationery

By Bridget Mpande for Mpumalanga News

In a management plan towards schools opening and being ready for the 2022 academic year, the Mpumalanga Department of Education has stated that it is mandatory that all learners must have the stationery in their possession by January 12.

According to the Mpumalanga MEC for education, Bonakele Majuba, learning/teaching support material was distributed to all schools in November and December.

“The schools are expected to hand over the material to all learners equally before January 12 to enable teaching and learning to start in earnest from the first period of the school year. This includes stationery, workbooks, stationery for new schools/ grades, special schools and e-learning. The department has spent R266m to achieve this.”

Some parents have raised their concerns and they are facing challenges, saying they do not understand how some schools can refuse to comply when they are public schools.

According to them, they had sent their children to these schools to collect their stationery, however, they returned empty-handed. According to a person who wished to remain anonymous, her Grade 11 sibling was told that she would not receive her stationery until her fees were paid.

“This is not easy for us as a family, because our mother is unemployed and we do not have money. We were told that she needs to pay R450, but my mother managed to raise R300. We had hoped that the school would allow her to get school material. Our worry is that it is a public school and from what we know, they are not supposed to demand school fees before handing out stationery.”

The department said it has developed a deployment list for public representatives to visit various schools today to monitor the opening, to welcome all role players and to support the teaching and learning process.

The department remains adamant on its position that it is essential that all learners should have stationery in their possession by January 12. It had not given its response to the parents’ concerns by the time of going to press.

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