Eastern Cape Education MEC Mlungisi Mvoko says it’s imperative to create an effective public-private partnership to address school infrastructure challenges in the province. Mvoko visited schools in the Buffalo City Metro to assess readiness for 2019 academic year. After his visit, he expressed his concern about the infrastructural challenges at some schools.

“For us to be able to deal with this challenge it will need a collective approach. The schools must use their maintenance budget as well. The Department must enter into some kind of agreement or approach private sector to assist. But the departments themselves must collaborate. The department alone will not be able to deal with infrastructure backlog that we have. But if we do it collectively it will make things easier. It needs all hands on deck.”

Mvoko also says he will be engaging all principals of under-performing schools to account and come up with a turnaround plan.

“We will do our homework as a Department to come up with a plan to assist those schools that have challenges with regards to performance. Fortunately, we can see the performance of schools from Grade 1 to 11. So, we must also concentrate on that because that under-performance comes from previous grades. So, now that we have a system that has reflection, we have to come up with turnaround strategies for the schools, but with the involvement of schools and management in those schools.”