DBE: Lack Of Funding Becomes A Challenge For Learner Transport

PICTURE: The Souther Cr

Wednesday the basic education Department along with the transport department gave instructions on the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Appropriations (SCOA) with the progress made in provision of learner transport and listed insufficient funding as one of the challenges faced.

In a statement revealed by the department of basic education, some provinces have been able to allocate additional funding for the service, there is a need to comprehensively evaluate the programme performance in terms of its efficiency and to determine funding requirements and mechanisms.

The department said on June 2015, it approved the policy of the learner transport in realisation of a policy gap relating to the provision of the service, while challenges experienced in the implementation of the policy included no services at all, unsafe and insecure methods that were used, uncoordinated services, unscrupulous operations and non-standardised operations.

National Learner Transport Policy stated that learner transport planning and implementation required multi-sectoral coordination and approach where various government departments played significant roles.

“Another major challenge is that the function resides in multiple departments. The provision of learner transport function is shared by Department of Transport and Education”.

The Department added that the data will be reviewed from the year 2011/12 to 2016/17 financial years.

According to the department, it has stated that the General Household survey revealed that, a lack of transport was commonly reported as the reason for learners, of school going age, not attending school.

The survey found that, nationally pupil still walk to school and only 11 percent walk longer than 30 minutes.

“Walking long distances to school is most prevalent in [the KwaZulu-Natal] KZN province. Both Departments are confident that the evaluation report of the programme will assist greatly in addressing some of the current hurdles in implementing the policy fully as well as the possible ring fencing of the budget for scholar transport.”