Overcrowding still rife in KZN schools

2013-02-12 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education is pumping a hefty R2,4 billion to upgrade infrastructure, but there are still reportedly schools with more than 90 pupils in a class.

Education MEC Senzo Mchunu disclosed this in reply to a parliamentary question put by the Democratic Alliance.

DA MPP Tom Stokes said a quality learning experience remained out of reach for many pupils, with a staggering 670 000 pupils being taught in classes of more than 55 pupils.

The DA found that there were:

• 42 schools with more than 90 pupils per class;

• 254 schools where the average class size was above 60;

• 934 schools where the average class size was 55 and above;

• 680 schools with more than 40 pupils per class;

• 13 schools with no classrooms whatsoever, affecting 2 134 pupils.

There were also schools that needed up to 18 classrooms to cope with overcrowding.

“With conditions such as these, there can be little meaningful interaction between learners and teachers,” Stokes said.

He said unqualified and under-qualified teachers were merely adding fuel to the fire.

“There can be little hope or expectation of a genuine increase in exam results and very little teaching can take place,” he said, adding that the poor Annual National Assessment results were no surprise to him.

The department head, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, blamed the migration from rural to urban areas for overcrowding in schools.

“It’s typical,” he said. “It’s not just schools in KZN, but [also] in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“Where there is better infrastructure and facilities and better performance, there will always be an increase,” Sishi added.

The department said it continued to try and deal with the infrastructure backlog by upgrading and building new schools.

Sishi said the average urban school had 1 000 to 1 200 pupils, while rural schools had about 500 pupils.

Overcrowding was not the only issue; empty schools were also a problem.

The department was redeploying teachers from smaller schools and distributing them to bigger ones, Sishi added.

Turning to the issue of unqualified teachers, Sishi said that every year the department issued bursaries for students who want to pursue a teaching qualification, especially in maths.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.