Sadtu has called for unions to mobilise to bring a stop to the unfair reallocation of funds. The union hopes to make the government aware of the importance of education.
General-secretary of Sadtu, Mugwena Maluleke said the budget cuts that have been faced by the education sector show that the government does not prioritise education.
“We think this budget is very scandalous but also it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the importance of education in terms of how it can help economic recovery,”
The education budget has been cut more than once this year.
In June, the National Treasury cut the Basic Education budget by R2.1 billion. This reduced the department’s budget from R25.3 billion to R23.2 billion.
“We have seen R2.1 billion taken away at the beginning of Covid and now an additional R1.6 billion is being taken away from education when in actual fact, we need more teachers, we need more facilities in our schools in terms of refurbishment as well as the consumables,”
These budget cuts have affected nearly 2 000 school infrastructure projects, leaving many schools with little to no money for textbooks and school furniture.
The budget cuts have even affected the National School Nutrition Programme, a feeding scheme that provides learners with meals.
The budget for the programme will stay the same, and this is worrying because the department said providing learners with meals while they are at home is more expensive than when they are at school.
If schools continue using a rotational timetable, the department might not be able to feed all learners who rely on meals at school.
Maluleke said many schools are still in need of PPE because the pandemic is not over, and many teachers still need training but they have no funds for it.
He is concerned that a lack of funding, as well as the many changes that schools have faced adjusting to Covid-19, will make the teachers lose morale.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé