The Gauteng social development department has launched a programme to donate school uniforms to assist needy learners, Centurion Rekord reports.
The Bana Pele/Children First programme targeted orphaned and vulnerable children for assistance “to make the province fit for children”, according to MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza.
She said children who had uniforms attended school more regularly and performed better in class.
Mayathula-Khoza said the programme would help reduce the stigmatisation of children who did not have uniforms and “ease the financial pressures on parents”.
According to StatsSA, Gauteng’s share of the population living below the poverty line had declined from 32 percent in 2004 to 16 percent in 2016.
“However, the intensity of poverty in the province remains high at 44.1 percent in 2016. Households in poverty have higher levels of deprivation in terms of indicators relating to health, education, living standards (access to services), income, decent work, and crime. Children, as it is often the case, are hit the hardest,” read the survey.
Mayathula-Khoza said the country improved access to education for girls.
“From the 2014 budget, education and training received the lion’s share of investment. This has resulted in an increase in the enrolment of girls and young women in learning institutions.”
She said although there had been an increase in opportunities for the girl children, many still drop out of school or are forced to stay away because of hunger, lack of a school uniform, no access to sanitary packs, teenage pregnancy and abuse at school.
Mayathula-Khoza said provincial campaigns ensured children had the right to quality, safe and equitable education to reduce their vulnerability and enable them to complete their education.