Education head praises private sector

KZN DoE Head of Department, Dr Vusi Nzama, praised business support

THE KZN Head of the Department of Education (DoE), Dr Vusi Nzama, has hailed the role of the corporate sector in improving the standard and quality of education in the province.

Speaking at the DoE King Cetshwayo District Achievement Awards function held last week at eSikhaleni TVET College, Nzama said his department was pleased with the healthy relationship between corporates and public sector, which he said was bearing fruits.

‘While we congratulate this district and the province for the improved matric performances, we are mindful that we are where we are today because of the business support, who are always keen to drive education programmes.

‘As we applaud the involvement of the private sector, we also encourage our teachers to take up short courses to develop themselves further,’ he said.

Nzama’s sentiments were echoed by Stakeholder Relations Specialist for Tronox South Africa Nick Bulunga, who challenged school managers to ensure that they create an environment conducive for private sector investment in their schools.

Guest speaker Nick Bulunga expects total commitment from school managers

‘To attract private sector support, school managers must show total commitment by executing their duties with diligence.

‘I interact with various school principals in the district who come to my company for business support, but when I ask about their schools’ visions and plans, they cannot show it. Some don’t even have websites, something that can market their schools in the world.

‘As a school manager, one must have a group of people to draw strength from, and where possible a network should go beyond people who are in education.

‘If you are in an institution of learning, you must be a friend of technology. We commit ourselves that we will always be on your side,’ he said.

Bulunga also raised concerns about the budget allocated to most schools, which he felt was inadequate.
‘There is no way that a school with an enrollment of 900 learners can survive on a R400 000 budget allocation. At least a R10-million budget is needed to run a school.

‘We are also concerned about the under-performing schools in our district. The reality about such schools is that parents there don’t attend school meetings.

‘In many instances school governing bodies are chaired by illiterate people. I know this from my own mother, who left school in STD 1, but was made a chairperson of a school governing body, executing duties including signing cheques. This matter needs to be looked at,’ he said.

Wiseman Mthiyane

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