‘priority schools’ needing assistance

Published Apr 11, 2012


CLEARING the infrastructural backlog in South Africa’s public schools will cost more than R80 billion and take close to 30 years if the task is left to government alone.

“We’ve done an evaluation of what needs to be done, let’s not wait for (the department) to do something,” she said.

In line with celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday, the 94+ Schools Project for Madiba is an initiative by the foundation, the Department of Basic Education and other partners, that has identified 94 “priority schools” that are in need of assistance.

“We have identified schools that have performed well with nothing, schools that get 100 percent pass rates with no laboratories. We’ve identified rondavel schools where the teacher teaches and cooks in the same room …,” Motshekga said.

The department has compiled a package of what each school needs specifically. Individuals and organisations can choose, based on their areas of interest and capabilities, which needs they wish to fulfil.

Some of the main areas needing attention include nutrition centres, administrative blocks, fencing, labs, libraries and computer centres. Motshekga said some companies had identified needs that the department hadn’t put forward, and that was also welcome.

Motshekga said the initiative is not just about providing monetary or material needs.

“Unemployed parents have an asset – and that’s time.

“We’re mobilising parents to come on board and do things like landscaping.

“Professionals can go to schools and give motivational talks. A CEO can talk to learners about career prospects,” she said.

Motshekga said those who want to be involved must liaise with the department so that their plans don’t clash with work the department already has in place.

The department’s director-general, Bobby Soobryan, said it’s important for other parties to come on board because unlike other developing countries on a similar level as South Africa, “very few have achieved the level of participation in schooling we had”.

Motshekga said that apart from improving quality education and ultimately, academic performance, the project will also create skills development and employment opportunities.

In Gauteng five schools stand to benefit. They are Japie Greyling, Nomnekane Primary School, Orange Farm Primary School, Sithembiso Primary School and Zikhethele High School.

Related Topics: