How SANTACO Taxi Strike Affected Western Cape Learners
As a result of the SANTACO-WC minibus taxi strike, 728 247 learners stayed home from school today, which is 60% of the learners in our schools in the Western Cape.
In addition, 12 026 staff members (21.5%) were also absent and 48 schools were closed (3.1%).
While these numbers are still devastating, it is positive to note that attendance has increased from Tuesday (8 August 2023), with 124 012 more learners and 5 699 more staff members attending school today. The number of schools closed also decreased from 92 on Tuesday, to 48 today.
This is why we are keeping schools open. We want to ensure continued teaching and learning for our children, as far as possible, and today over 124 000 more learners got that opportunity, which would not have been the case if there was a blanket closure of schools.
The schools also ensure a safe space for those that would have otherwise been left unattended, and a meal for those that rely on the feeding scheme as their only means to a meal each day.
We are hopeful that absenteeism figures will continue to decline. While there has been no resolution to the taxi strike, education must continue if safe to do so.
I would like to thank all the teachers and staff members in areas directly affected by the strike who have rallied together to ensure that learners are being accommodated on arrival at their schools.
While there are circumstances in which teachers and staff cannot safely get to school, there are those that fortunate to travel safely to their place of work. It has been wonderful to hear stories of teachers genuine and real concern for their learners over the past week, particularly for our matriculants, who will be writing mock Matric exams soon.
We simply cannot afford to compromise our children’s futures by losing any more teaching and learning time when we are still trying to reverse learning losses from the Covid-19 pandemic.