Catholic Bishops express deep concern at the current education problems in the Eastern Cape Province

Children are the hope and future of the nation. Consequently, the Southern African Catholic Bishops, express their deep concern about the current crisis effecting schools in the Eastern Cape Province. Access to education is a matter of simple justice for each child - and it is incumbent on Government to provide it without fail.

The lack of infrastructure and the rundown state of schools as well as the ‘go slow’ by teachers is putting the future of many of our children at risk. The Eastern Cape Provincial Government must take appropriate action to rescue the floundering education system, which is denying children their right to education. Otherwise the government will be responsible for perpetuating the second class ‘bantustan’ education system, and contributing to the wide divide between rich and poor.

Education plays a crucial role in building up a democratic society. Teachers as key role players must put the children first and teach them by example to be engaged and responsible members of society, who give meaning and purpose in life by being agents of change for the good of all.. In order to achieve this, teachers must make teaching a vocation that is marked by conscientious work, professionalism, care, love and a breadth of vision.

We acknowledge the efforts that are being made to end the ‘go slow’, as well as government's attempts to arrest the slide to chaos. Nevertheless we call on national and provincial government to take full charge and control of the situation, work together with SADTU (the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union) to end the impasse as soon as is practically possible. They owe it to the future generations of the Eastern Cape to ensure that the doors of learning are open to all the children in the Province.

(Press release from SACBC. Used with permission.)