Shocking state of Gauteng's township schools revealed

2015-05-16 18:05
(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Johannesburg - Total Equal Education’s independent audit on sanitation at a 200 Gauteng schools revealed almost a third had over 100 learners for a single toilet. 

Their study made the following findings: 

- In 30% of the schools audited, over 100 learners were sharing a single working toilet.

- One in five toilets were either broken or locked.

- 70% of schools have no access to soap and 40% have no access to toilet paper or sanitary pads.

- Over 25% of schools have more than 400 students for one maintenance staff member.

The data was handed over to Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi at a Schools Social Audit Summit, the culmination of a march by the education lobby from the Hector Peterson memorial to the YMCA on Saturday.  

Organiser Sfiso Mollo said that the methodology for the audit was rigorous to ensure MEC had reliable findings to work with and take action. 

“This summit reviews a social audit of 200 schools in 20 towns and townships in Gauteng. We built a coalition, trained 500 auditors, created an information packet for every school, and created an audit sheet to capture all information. Each audit took two hours. We checked the accuracy by phoning schools to confirm our data, and checking again after capturing it online. We know that our MEC works on facts, so we have the facts.”

Equal Education made the following demands: 

- Establish a Gauteng-appropriate standard/ratio for sanitation. The World Health Organisation sets a ratio of 25 learners to one toilet. 

- Improve the ratio of maintenance staff per student. School-based maintenance staff is the only solution. 

- Provide a model budget for schools. Principals say they don’t have the money to buy supplies, and we believe them. A model budget must show how schools can afford soap, toilet paper and sanitary bins. It may show the need to increase funds to schools.

- Publicly begin blacklisting contractors who under-perform. 

- Fully fund the Gauteng Department of Education request of R350m to maintain school toilets and ring-fence this money. 

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  local government
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