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Educationalists urge South Africans to protect schools for a better future

Classrooms across KwaZulu-Natal were damaged during the recent devastating floods that ravaged the province. Picture: Supplied

Classrooms across KwaZulu-Natal were damaged during the recent devastating floods that ravaged the province. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 4, 2022

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The SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has collaborated with the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) and Unicef South Africa on a campaign to protect school infrastructure.

The collaboration stems from Sadtu’s theme “I am a school fan” that is intended to bring together learners, parents, teachers, community members, relevant government departments, faith-based organisations and the private sector to play a decisive role in keeping schools safe.

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“The fact is that a good school infrastructure with renewed spaces makes it possible for children and youths that live in remote areas to study, and in addition, tends to improve the attendance and interest of students and teachers in learning.

“For this same reason, investments in school infrastructure have an essential role in solving access problems of students to the school system and to improve their performance,” the collab said.

It was the July 2021 riots and the recent devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal that further illuminated the infrastructure challenges in schools.

In this leg of the campaign, working with NECT and Unicef South Africa, they are calling on all those with an interest in the education sector to come together to protect the much-needed school infrastructure by starting in schools within their areas.

“Having rooms and learning spaces in good conditions is decisive for students to achieve the expected academic results, which means the school conditions directly impact the performance of the students,” said the group.

It also emphasised that unsafe learning environments reduced the quality of education for all learners and that affected learners may avoid or participate less in class or even drop out of school altogether.

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“They are also at increased risk of anxiety, psychological stress and depression.”

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