by Fiona Carlise

Improved education

Campaign to secure infrastructure could benefit thousands

A lifeline for students
Education improves for thousands

Basic Education Minuster Angie Motshekga had agreed to promulgate regulations to create binding minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure.

Each school in South Africa should meet a minimum level of school infrastructure conducive to learning and teaching. The norms and standards for this will be available for public comment by 15 January 2013 and should be finalized by no later than 15 May 2013.

“What is good about publishing the norms and standards is that everyone will know what resources they are entitled to,” said Equal Education chairwoman Yoliswa Dwane.

Dwane said it was hoped that an implementation plan would be put in place with set targets for provinces.

Equal Education has outlined that of the 24 793 public schools in SA:

* 93 percent have no libraries.

* 95 percent have no science labs.

* 2 402 have no water supply.

* 46 percent use pit latrine toilets.

* 913 schools have no toilets.

The group said its campaign was not over yet: “Vigilance is necessary to ensure that the minister now passes very serious norms and standards and not a substandard document. And beyond that we will need to ensure that implementation happens countrywide – which won’t happen without mobilised communities.”

Professor Maureen Robinson, dean of the faculty of education at Stellenbosch University, said the settlement was important from an educational as well as a political point of view.

“Acknowledging that we need healthy, safe environments conducive to learning and teaching is a step in the right direction,” she said.

Robinson said Equal Education was an organisation that was serious about education and it was encouraging that the minister was willing to engage with this stakeholder.

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This edition

Issue 58