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The DA in Phokwane is concerned that the Hoër Landbouskool in Jan Kempdorp is not being utilised to its full potential while the agricultural industry is coming under growing strain.
Since the reopening of schools, DA council members have performed several oversight inspections, which have proven that the Frances Baard district office of the Northern Cape Department of Education has neglected its responsibility to the school. Our first concern is the criteria employed for learner placements.
Learners are abruptly sent to the Hoër Landbouskool if the nearby schools are full without giving their subject preferences any thought. Placing learners without an interest in agriculture at an agricultural school simply because other schools are full, does a disservice to both the child and the school.
The state of hostel facilities at the Hoër Landbouskool makes it difficult to attract learners with a passion for agriculture from other regions.
Vandalism of the boys' hostel, which is currently being repaired, means that only girls can be accommodated. There is space for 144 hostel learners, but there are only 6 enrolled at the moment.
I have requested the DA’s provincial spokesperson on education, Priscilla Isaacs, to ask for an urgent investigation by the portfolio committee on Education of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature into the school. We have to determine why tools and equipment is broken, what happened to poultry and livestock, why there are currently no crops under irrigation, and why the school's vehicles are broken down. It is especially worrying if one considers that the school has good security.
The Hoër Landbouskool plays a crucial role in securing future food security and leaders in agriculture.
Issued by Cllr Annette Van Wyk - Phokwane Municipality
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