Home South African 70,000 more classrooms needed, says Education minister

70,000 more classrooms needed, says Education minister

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A high-level preliminary analysis of growth in learner numbers has revealed that there is a shortage of classrooms in more than 8,000 schools in South Africa, with a total of 70,000 additional classrooms required.

A HIGH-level preliminary analysis of growth in learner numbers has revealed that there is a shortage of classrooms in more than 8,000 schools in South Africa, with a total of 70,000 additional classrooms required.

This was revealed by the Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga, in a written reply to questions in the National Assembly.

IFP MP Siphosethu Ngcobo asked the minister about the challenges, such as faulty and failing school infrastructure, teacher shortages and overcrowded learning spaces, coupled with the country’s ongoing electricity crisis, what measures her department has put in place to address the specified challenges, especially the issue of infrastructure and overcrowding in rural schools.

The high-level analysis of the backlog in classrooms was determined based on learner numbers from EMIS (2021) and existing classroom number provided by Provincial Departments.

It also stated that based on conventional implementation strategies, a capital investment of R44 billion may be required.

Motshekga pointed to the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) programme that was launched in 2012.

The ASIDI has an inappropriate material sub-programme that focuses on the replacement of schools made of inappropriate materials. At present, she said there are 331 schools in this sub-programme and that 315 such schools have now been replaced.

The water supply sub-programme of ASIDI had 1,272 schools, with 1,259 having progressed to practical completion.

The sanitation sub-programme of ASIDI focused on schools that reportedly had no toilets. Currently, Motshekga said there are 1,053 schools in this sub-programme, with all 1,053 schools now being served with appropriate toilets.

The Sanitation Appropriate For Education (SAFE programme), which was launched in 2018, focused on schools that are dependent on basic pit toilets. Between ASIDI and SAFE, about 55,000 appropriate toilets were constructed at schools.

The sanitation projects at the remaining schools on the SAFE programme are all scheduled for completion in 2023/24, the minister said.

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