Fill us in on school twin­ning pro­ject

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - John R Whit­lock

WHEN the “school twin­ning pro­ject” was in­tro­duced in Fe­bru­ary 2015, it was said to be the only way to bridge in­equal­i­ties in South Africa’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

The pro­gramme was to see “well re­sourced schools merge with their less for­tu­nate coun­ter­parts, mean­ing there will be one prin­ci­pal, one gov­ern­ing bodyand one bank ac­count for each twin pro­ject”.

This was to be a model for “non-racial­ism”, and to put pupils on an equal foot­ing.

Panyaza Le­sufi, Gaut­eng MEC for Ed­u­ca­tion, at a me­dia brief­ing at Lyn­d­hurst Pri­mary School said: “From 2017, there will be no school in Gaut­eng that will not be twinned with an­other school. There will be white teach­ers in town­ship schools, and blacks in sub­ur­ban schools”. Has this taken place? On May 14, 2015, Le­sufi said: “We are build­ing a non-racial ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem to em­brace Madiba’s vi­sion of a rain­bow na­tion.” Have we? Only con­fu­sion reigns. How­ever, for all this won­der­ful rhetoric, the idea met with strong re­sis­tance. Schools were not in­ter­ested in the pro­ject.

Of the seven pairs of schools se­lected for the pi­lot pro­gramme, only three pairs were twinned.

Peter Gon­salves wrote in The Star: “Twin­ning schools is an ill-con­ceived con­cept, as it is an at­tempt by gov­ern­ment to shirk re­spon­si­bil­ity for the pro­vi­sion of ad­e­quate fa­cil­i­ties re­quired in or­der to prop­erly ed­u­cate a large por­tion of school chil­dren”. Too true. In De­cem­ber 2014, the MEC for Ed­u­ca­tion said: “If I fail to do it (break down racial bar­ri­ers) I will re­sign.”

What has hap­pened to his much vaunted pro­ject, and if un­suc­cess­ful, will the MEC carry out his prom­ise to re­sign? An up­date please Mr Le­sufi. Ger­mis­ton

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