WATCH | Infrastructure challenges highlighted during Lesufi's visit to 3 schools

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  • The Gauteng Education MEC noted infrastructure as one of the main challenges faced by the schools he visited on Monday.
  • Panyaza Lesufi noted that some of these schools need a complete overhaul and cannot be fixed overnight.
  • This comes as scores of pupils return to school.

Infrastructure proved to be one of the challenges highlighted during Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi's visit to three schools in the province.

"The school we just came from is 100-years-old, and you can see that it is falling apart, so you can't fix it by putting [in] new bricks. It needs a complete overhaul," Lesufi said in Pretoria on Monday.

The Gauteng Education MEC spent his morning at three schools; Eureka High School in Springs, Laerskool Kommando in Brakpan, and Irene Middle Farm School in Irene.

READ | 'It destroys our future': Pupils concerned after KwaZulu-Natal schools vandalised during unrest

These visits come as scores of pupils return to school as term three begins in the province just shortly after a period of unrest in the country and other challenges.

"As a department, we would like to reiterate to all the parents and guardians of learners in our schools that we have continued to place the safety of all our teaching and non-teaching staff, and our learners, at the heart of all our schooling plans. 

Schools

"We have also recruited thousands of Covid-19 screeners to help with the management of the virus at our schools, including taking temperatures, ensuring hands are regularly sanitised while masks are worn at all times at our schools. These interventions will help us ensure that we continue to provide quality education to our learners; while ensuring the safety of all," Lesufi said in an earlier statement.

READ | Lockdown: Schools reopen despite vandalism, taxi violence and other challenges

News24 caught up with the MEC at Laerskool Kommando, where he noted that the province overall is 98% ready, with a few schools experiencing challenges.

He said:

We just came here to check whether we can intervene and assist. It is quite clear that we are finding ourselves in a very difficult position, you can see the school is too old, but the team is here to inspect and put up temporary shelters.

Lesufi added there is a need to persuade those that have powers to make additional resources available. 

"It is very difficult ... but it is quite clear that we need a new way of funding infrastructure in the country," he added.

Upon visiting the third school, Irene Middle Farm - the MEC noted a sinkhole that cannot be resolved overnight.

"You need geologists, and you need many people to come and check.

"We have 500 kids using infrastructure that is not coping, so it's quite clear that our infrastructure needs an overhaul, but we need a new financing model for school infrastructure in our country," he concluded.

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