PROVINCE TO GET 15 NEW SCHOOLS: DAILY DISPATCH

Angie’s intervention to replace mud structures

THE Eastern Cape is to benefit from 15 new schools which the Department of Basic Education is to start officially opening from July.

Departmental spokeswoman Hope Mokgatlhe said the schools, which have already been completed, form part of the 49 inappropriate schools which were built through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative (Asidi).

Asidi an intervention headed by Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga aimed at implementing basic safety norms and standards in school infrastructure.

Mokgatlhe said the schools are situated in Libode, Lusikisiki, Qumbu, Mount Frere, Ntabankulu and Cofimvaba.

On average each school cost R13-million.

They will replace mud schools which are still prevalent in the province.

“The Department of Basic Education’s Accelerated Schools Delivery Initiative continues to bear fruit in its quest to replace mud schools so heroically built by local communities in defiance of the apartheid regime which denied their children an education,” Mokgatlhe said yesterday.

“The schools will boast a multimedia centre for library and IT services, multi-purpose classroom, ablution blocks, administration block, nutrition centre and separate Grade R facilities with their own sanitation in addition to the seven or 14 classrooms depending on enrolment per school.

“We will start handing them over officially from July.”

When contacted for comment, the provincial education department spokesman Loyiso Pulumani said he was out of town and referred questions to an official in the communications department.

The official in turn referred the Daily Dispatch back to the national department.

Earlier this year, the ministry also promised that hundreds of Eastern Cape schools would have electricity, water and sanitation before the end of March next year.

This was met with enthusiasm by the provincial education portfolio committee chairman Mzoleli Mrara, who said the opening of the new schools was highly appreciated.

DA MPL Edmund van Vuuren said it was wonderful, despite the delay in the renovations.

Van Vuuren hoped the rest of the schools would be completed and handed over on time.

Asidi has in the previous months come under fire from lobby group Equal Education (EE), who publicly criticised the ministry’s under-expenditure.

EE criticised under-expenditure totalling R624-million, which resulted in the department failing to meet a court-ordered deadline of August 20 last year to build 12 schools within the Eastern Cape.