Eastern Cape to eradicate over 800 mud schools

By Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Bhisho - The Eastern Cape Department of Education has prioritised the eradication of 860 mud schools over a period of three years.

Tabling his department's Budget Vote in the provincial legislature on Thursday, Education MEC Mahlubandile Qwase said the department has allocated R981.837.000 to complete the projects.

He said construction is already underway. "Three hundred and sixteen schools are under construction and 258 of these will be completed in 2009 and handed over to communities," he added.

According to Mr Qwase, 12 of these schools are model schools of excellence built in the rural and township areas.

"It is my plan that the eradication of mud schools must be fast-tracked by utilising alternative infrastructure technologies in the 2010/11 financial year," Mr Qwase said.

He said as part of disaster management, 112 renovated schools will be handed over to communities. The schools were rehabilitated after having been struck by tornadoes, torrential rains and other unavoidable natural disasters.

The MEC said the demands of school infrastructure have proved to be more than the resources at the disposal of the department.

"This scourge necessitates appropriate planning which will enable us to wipe out the scourge of unsightly mud schools. The planning session for school infrastructure delivery will be organised before the end of the second term of the financial year," Mr Qwase added.

Outlining his plans for the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) implementation, Mr Qwase said his department will strengthen planning, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and support for the implementation of NCS from Grade R to 12.

He said this policy required the transformation of teaching, learning and assessment throughout the entire schooling system.

"The training of educators for 2009 will be prioritised to increase their knowledge base and confidence in the classroom," he said.