No food for primary schools

Bame Piet
HUNGRY STUDENTS: Primary school pupils

As Mogoditshane experiences migrant influx

Mogoditshane, the country’s fastest-growing village, is facing a surge in rural-urban migration, welcoming 3115 new pupils into its schools during the current academic year.

The Assistant Minister of Local Government, Mabuse Pule, confirmed this trend while addressing a parliamentary inquiry on Friday.

Responding to concerns raised by the MP for Thamaga-Kumakwane, Pelaelo Motaosane, regarding shortages of food, stationery, and furniture in schools, particularly in the Mogoditshane/Thamaga District, Minister Pule acknowledged the challenges faced by the peri-urban center.

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“We don’t know where they are coming from, but the fact is that Mogoditshane is a peri-urban centre and witnessing a serious movement of people hence presenting a challenge to its budgets and forecasts,” he explained.

Motaosane expressed concerns about the lack of feeding in primary schools, stationery shortages, and the need for parents to purchase chairs and books for their children without prior communication from authorities.

He highlighted instances of pupils walking long distances on empty stomachs, only to be sent home around 10 am due to the lack of food.

While noting a slight improvement in examination results after a revamped feeding program, Motaosane feared a potential decline in results due to ongoing feeding challenges.

He questioned the allocation of funds, pointing out that Mogoditshane, with a population of nearly 300,000 residents, received P110 million, whereas smaller districts like Sowa Town and Jwaneng Town Council, each with 3000 residents, were allocated P160 million.

Motaosane called for the separation of Mogoditshane and Thamaga into independent District Councils, highlighting their distinct cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and challenges.

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Minister Pule acknowledged nationwide issues with the feeding program, citing factors such as delayed tenders, poor management by District Council officials, and the supply of subpar products.

He assured MPs that the situation would improve by April, with a task force established to address supply challenges.

Recognizing the shortage of furniture in schools as unacceptable, Pule pledged urgent action, stating that 22 out of 31 district councils had received all their furniture.

He expressed a lack of knowledge regarding the budget formula for district council funds and called for a more detailed response to be provided.

In conclusion, the parliamentary session shed light on the complex challenges facing Mogoditshane, prompting discussions on funding allocation, cultural differences, and the need for swift solutions to address the educational and infrastructural needs of the growing village.

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