Service delivery gap narrowing in SA schools: Minister Motshekga
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Monday said that significant progress has been registered in providing infrastructure and basic services such as water, sanitation and power in schools across the country.
Addressing the media, in Pretoria on Monday, on advances made in delivering school infrastructure, Minister Motshekga said as at October 2014, about 474 schools without any form of sanitation were identified. By the end of September 2016, some 408 schools were provided with sanitation.
Minister Motshekga said according to the norms and standards for the three-year target, all schools must have access to some form of water supply.
“With regards to progress in addressing the schools without any form of sanitation facilities, out of the nine provinces, seven have achieved the three-year target and these provinces are already addressing the seven-year targets.”
In the same period, about 604 schools without any form of water supply were identified. As at September 2016, about 523 of those schools were provided with water.
Making school buildings better
With regard to inappropriate school infrastructure, Minister Motshekga said the department has built state-of-the-art schools through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) programme to eradicate these inappropriate structures.
The objective of ASIDI is to eradicate the backlog of schools built with improper material (mud, planks and asbestos) so learning and teaching can improve.
“Anyone who has been to one of these beautiful schools will certainly agree that there is no doubt that as government, we truly are restoring dignity to education for our children. All of these schools comply fully with the norms and standards,” Minister Motshekga said.
As at October 2014, about 510 schools built entirely from materials such as asbestos, mud, metal and wood were identified. In May 2015, an additional 189 schools were identified.
Minister Motshekga said as at September 2016, about 217 new schools were completed.
The Minister said only two provinces, Limpopo and North West, have achieved the three-year target. The rest of the provinces, the Minister said, will not achieve the three-year target.
“DBE has put in place mechanisms to support the provinces to ensure that there is efficient utilisation of existing funding resources through collaborative planning with other departments.
“It must also be noted that some of the schools identified in the original number are not considered viable schools and are forming part of the rationalisation and merger process,” the Minister said.
At the Council of Education Ministers meeting held last Thursday, all Basic Educatin MECS agreed to prioritise plans around infrastructure.
With regard to backlogs and in a bid to fast track the provision of school infrastructure, Minister Motshekga said a multitude of programmes, specifically targeted at the provision of infrastructure, have been undertaken by government.
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