KZN encourages schools to invest in generators amid load-shedding crisis
The KwaZulu-Natal education department is hamstrung in dealing with the threats of exam disruptions caused by the rolling blackouts in recent weeks.
MEC Mbali Frazer has advised schools who have the means to procure generators.
She was speaking on the sidelines of the National Teachers Awards in Durban North on Friday. Frazer said her department did not have money to buy generators for schools, and was relying on Eskom to take into consideration the schools' looming end-of-year exams.
This year there will be more than 174,413 full time and 23,730 part-time pupils writing matric exams in the province.
KZN is vying to ramp up its overall national senior certificate pass rate to an ambitious 80%.
“Load-shedding is beyond our control. We urged Eskom to work around the school schedule in rolling out load-shedding. We are hoping that they do not in any way clash with the time we need,” said Frazer.
She pleaded for the support of educational stakeholders, which would ensure the integrity and smooth running of exams.
“Protesters who want water and electricity but resort to closing the schools ... We have been experiencing these types of leaders who are not patriotic. No child should miss an exam because of a service delivery protest or thugs who say schools are playgrounds for criminals,” said Frazer.
She paid tribute to teachers who went beyond the call of duty in ensuring that teaching was not disrupted in the three difficult years that hit the education in the province.
The challenges included Covid-19, the July 2021 unrest and the flooding which displaced many and claimed about 400 lives.
“It was during these years that our educators showed unmatched resilience, tenacity and persistence. We owe you for your courage and determination,” said Frazer.
The awards held under the theme, “Transformation of education begins with teacher,” aimed at directly highlighting the critical role of educators as the backbone of education.
“We want our schools to be the epitome of excellence, but that cannot be realised if we don’t have dedicated teachers like you who drive the curriculum delivery every day,” said Frazer.
She said the transformation and empowerment, which the nation yearns for, starts in the classroom.
“You as the educator are the champion for equity and fairness. You have to show your learners that excellence is always rewarded,” she said.
She added that while teachers held much power, the power comes with responsibility, of moulding young men and women who would one day lead the nation.
Frazer hoped that by the time learners exited the basic education system, they would be empowered to apply what they had learnt in the classroom to real situations.
“They must be critical thinkers who are able to come up with innovative solutions to challenges, whether it is climate change, an ailing economy or load-shedding” said Frazer.
She conceded that to realise the vision, the work should not rest solely on the shoulders of secondary education teachers, but also with the intermediate phases of grade R.
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