Durban: An additional 150 new schools will be delivered to communities by 2015, Deputy Minister of Basic Education (DBE) Enver Surty said today.
Surty said the department has commenced its one-school-a-week handover schedule earlier this year.
He was addressing the Kwa-Zulu Natal National Conference 2013 of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) on Friday, held at Isibaya Casino Conference Centre, in Durban.
The Deputy Minister said since 2011, the DBE’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) has been making concrete advances against set targets for new school buildings, as well as, the implementation of water, sanitation and electrification facilities.
“Since 1996, the number of schools which had no running water dropped from around 9 000 to around 1 700. ASIDI has a target of 1039 water projects,” he said.
The number of schools without electricity dropped from 15 000 to 2 800.
He said in 2011 alone, 160 of these projects were successfully completed. “The remaining 879 water projects are to be completed by 2013/14”. In the same year (2011), ASIDI delivered, “131 of the 159 electrification projects and is expected to deliver a further 369 such projects by 2013/2014,” he said.
In 2012, Surty said ASIDI exceeded its sanitation project target of 186 schools by delivering 197 facilities; and he is confident that a further 448 sanitation facilities will be delivered by the end of 2013/2014.
He revealed that the government successfully launched the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) on 16 July 2013. The aim is to involve the private sector in the delivery of quality education. He said private companies complement the DBE’s ASIDI programme.
As an example he mentioned that Minister Angie Motshekga and ArcelorMittal Foundation unveiled the Mandela Park Primary school in Mthatha, on 17 July 2013, a day before Madiba’s birthday and international Mandela Day.
The NECT is according to the Deputy Minster, “arguably the most ambitious attempt yet to create a unity of purpose on education reform and development among diverse – but critically important – stakeholders.”
The collaboration, he said, is a civil-society initiative, established in partnership with government, “it aims to create unity and focus among stakeholders in order to achieve the education targets of the National Development Plan (NDP).”
Time and Attendance Monitoring
He stressed that teacher attendance and quality teachings are critical components of any effective education system.
“Systematic monitoring and analysis of teacher attendance is essential to ensure that informed and appropriate measures are put in place in order to maintain optimum levels of teacher attendance,” he said.
He announced that four main Time and Attendance systems used in the country had been researched and recommendations were then formulated for consideration by the Minister. “The most feasible system will be decided upon by the Minister after consultation with the Provincial Departments of Education,” he said.
Norms and Standards
With regard to the Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure, the Deputy Minister announced that the daft norms and standards for school infrastructure were published for public comment in December 2012.
“The DBE is in the process of considering the wide ranging comments that have been received and will again publish draft regulations for comments by 12 September 2013 and the final Norms and Standards before 30 November 2013, as per the order of Court.”