Thu Dec 08 16:23:36 SAST 2016

Not surprising Angie too busy to receive damning report

The Times Editorial | 2012-07-17 00:03:11.0

The Times Editorial: Education Minister Angie Motshekga did not turn up yesterday for the results of professor Mary Metcalfe's investigation into the Limpopo textbook scandal.

Instead, she sent her spokesman, while she launched a school project to celebrate former president Nelson Mandela's birthday.

Perhaps it is not surprising that Motshekga chose not to receive Metcalfe's report, which is a scathing indictment of the Limpopo education department and its lack of delivery to pupils in the province.

That the minister thinks she is above such trivial issues is clear, particularly in light of her remarks last week that she cannot be expected to know what happens at schools; she is merely responsible for policy.

Moreover, it would have been too much for Motshekga to accept personal responsibility for her department's disregard in delivering to children what the constitution demands: access to basic education.

Failing to take responsibility for failure to deliver is, unfortunately, something that far too many government officials are guilty of.

Why, then, should we expect Motshekga to behave any differently from her colleagues and admit that education officials have miserably failed the children of Limpopo?

Metcalfe's report offers dismaying insights into the problems in the province and they go far beyond the delivery of textbooks.

Her diagnosis speaks of a severe lack of capacity to deliver services, from connecting schools through land lines and fax communication to ensuring that district offices function properly.

In spite of what Motshekga believes, ensuring that education in Limpopo runs smoothly is most certainly her job.

Washing her hands of her responsibility to the nation's children is nothing but a shabby excuse that no minister should be allowed to hide behind.

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