Safety in the country’s schools has yet again come under the spotlight for the Gauteng Department of Education. This comes after Palesa Malatji, a grade 12 pupil from Ntsako Secondary School was raped and murdered.
Her body was found next to a secondary school in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria in the early hours of Friday this past week. The 17-year-old reportedly did not return home from attending extra classes at her high school on Thursday afternoon.
While speaking at a school in Soshanguve Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane stated that the department has identified 275 schools in the province that it considers a high-security risk. The MEC further stated that the majority of these schools are located in townships.
Chiloane added that a case of Murder has since been opened. Meanwhile, Gauteng crime wardens and other resources will be dispatched to these schools to protect learners.
Gauteng Education Budget Vote
The MEC recently tabled the GDE’s 2023/24 Budget Vote on Friday last week, and with a total R63.4 billion for this fiscal year, he revealed the department’s plans to prioritize the safety of learners and teachers in schools.
With the 2023/24 conditional grant budget amounting to R3.2 billion, the department made the following allocations. R1,7 billion was allocated to the Education Infrastructure Grant. R36,3 million has been allocated to the HIV and Aids (Life Skills Education) Grant.
Furthermore, R1,0 billion was allocated towards the National School Nutrition Programme Grant, R60,7 million will go towards the Mathematics, Science and Technology Grant. Learners with Profound Intellectual Disabilities Grant would receive an allocation of R36 million.
R2.7 million was allocated to the Expanded Public Works Programme Incentive Grant. The Social Sector Expanded Public Works Programme Integrated Grant would receive an allocation of R9,5 million.
And lastly, R246 million was allocated to the Early Childhood Development Grant. An additional R3.6 billion was added to support the department on its duties, which adds 6,2% to the provincial department.