Zuma must address education issues - EE

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Johannesburg - Equal Education wants President Jacob Zuma to address challenges facing education in his State of the Nation address on Thursday night.

“As government approaches the 2014 elections, they will be asked what they have done to improve the quality of education and close the gap between former model C schools and former black schools,” it said in a statement on Thursday morning.

“Former President Thabo Mbeki and President Zuma both promised that mud schools will be eradicated. Very little progress has been made, leaving learners to continue their education in inappropriate structures.”

There were 495 mud schools in the country, it said, quoting the National Education Infrastructure Management Systems report, published by the basic education department (DBE) in 2011.

EE said in that year the DBE identified mud schools to be replaced with appropriate structures, but nothing was done.

“They received a… grant to rebuild the 495 schools by 2014. They earmarked 49 mud schools in the Eastern Cape to be rebuilt in the 2011/2012 financial year,” it said.

“By the end of that year they had not delivered any of the schools.”

According to the report many schools did not have water, sanitation and electricity, said EE.

The country had 24 793 public ordinary schools. Of these 3 544 did not have electricity and another 804 had unreliable power sources. More than 2 000 schools had no water supply and another 2 611 schools had unreliable water supplies, according to the report.

Over 900 schools did not have ablution facilities, and 11 450 schools were using pit toilets.

More than 22 900 schools did not have stocked libraries, and 19 541 schools did not even have space for a library.

EE said more than 21 000 schools did not have laboratories. Another 2 703 had no fencing.

Equal Education is a movement of children, parents, and teachers working for “quality and equality” in South African education.

Zuma is due to deliver his address at 7pm on Thursday. - Sapa

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