Saturday 2019-04-20

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FPE GRANT DELAY HALTS LESSONS

By Sabelo Majola | 2019-02-05

SCHOOLS have not yet received the Free Primary Education (FPE) grant from government and principals expressed dismay over the situation, which has resulted to some schools halting lessons.

The FPE is a constitutionally mandated initiative which entails that the government foots the bill for the first few years of a child's education.

The biggest letdown, according to the principals, is lack of working material at the schools which makes it hard for teachers to get on with their duties. The material includes chalks, dusters and typek, among other things.

The FPE grant, which the schools are yet to receive, is used to acquire working material, lack thereof has resulted to lessons being drawn to a halt at some schools.

“It is very hard to get by without the FPE grant because we heavily rely on it for working material. We haven’t just run out of material but we don’t even have funds to buy electricity which is a necessity at school.

“Lessons have come to a halt because we can’t help the situation. When schools opened, we used the material that was left from the previous year but it was not en-ough to sustain us for long and we have exha-usted it,” said one principal.

The principals said they had not heard anything from government concerning the FPE grant.

However, they mentioned that the Minister of Education and Training Lady Howard-Mabuza did engage them on the matter and that they were told that the money would be available but some schools were delaying in submitting the claim forms. The principals said each year the situation worsens as they had endured such over the years.

“There is no improvement on government’s part concerning the FPE grant and we end up in debts as we negotiate with suppliers because we can’t function without equipment. However, the suppliers are no longer considering our pleas because government has not come through hence lessons are disturbed,” added another principal.

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