8 September 1997
SCHOOL REGISTER OF NEEDS SURVEY
This week the School Register of Needs Survey was tabled and debated in
the House of Assembly.
This report, for the first time in the history of education in South Africa,
presents a comprehensive database of every public school in the country.
It details exact geographic location and the extent of the physical facilities
(classrooms, sports fields, laboratories, libraries etcetera). Virtually
all of the 32 000 public schools in the country were visited during 1996.
The findings of this report are shocking. It highlights the fact that the
provinces in the greatest need are those which incorporated the largest
of the former homelands -- the Eastern Cape, Northern Province and Kwazulu-Natal
Key Findings of the Report
The highest enrolments are in the Provinces with the greatest needs:
- Kwazulu-Natal 2 690 950
- Eastern Cape 2 231 865
- Northern Province 1 934 101
- 24% of schools have no water within walking distance
- 8% of schools have water from a communal tap
- Only 25% of schools have water available indoors
- 11% of schools get their water from dams or rivers.
Less than half the schools in the country have a power supply. In the
Northern Province 79% of schools have no power, in the Eastern Cape 77%,
and Kwazulu-Natal 61%.
In number terms, the Northern Province has 3 280 schools without power,
whereas in the Western Cape the number is 191.
In the Eastern Cape only 19% of schools have telephones, Free State
25% and the Northern Province 32%. Compare this with Gauteng (85%) and
Western Cape (88%)
The survey assumed a need of one toilet to twenty learners. On this
assumption Kwazulu-Natal has a shortage of 66 921 toilets, Northern Province
51 324 toilets and Eastern Cape 46 785 toilets.
13% of schools have no toilets at all. 47 % of schools have pit latrines
and only 34% of schools have flush toilets.
73 % of schools have no learning equipment and 69% of schools had no
materials. 82% of schools had no media equipment and 72% had no media collections.
The provision of media centres (which includes libraries) is almost
non-existent in certain provinces. In the Northern Province only 2%, in
the Free State 4%, and Eastern Cape 4%of primary schools have these facilities.
Compare this with the Western Cape where 42% of primary schools have these
Specialised Study Areas
Facilities such as science laboratories, workshops, cookery centres
etc. are almost non-existent in the Eastern Cape (15%). In Kwazulu-Natal,
North West and Mpumalanga less than 50% of schools have these facilities,
compared 88% in the Western Cape.
Furniture, Basic Equipment and Materials
These figures are also shocking. 3.7% of schools have no student work
tops or chairs. 38% are inadequately supplied, 40% of schools have no desks
and chairs for administration and 41% have no cupboards for administration.
National Party Indictment
These figures present a severe indictment of National Party mismanagement
under Apartheid. It is ironic that the National Party accuse us of wanting
to lower educational standards Even as recently as 1992 the NP attempted
to entrench the privileges of white pupils by turning them into Model C
Schools. The unbalanced allocation of resources to areas in which the NP
had the most support is evident in the well-equipped schools of Gauteng
and the Western Cape.
Key Political Messages
- Minister Bengu has for the first time provided the country with a detailed
audit of educational needs. This information makes it possible to plan
properly in the allocation of resources to deal with the apartheid education
- Reconciliation and successful nation-building cannot occur while the
terrible legacy of apartheid education remains unaddressed
- The ANC is committed to tackling the education issue head on with Legislation
and Policy designed to transform education. The Legislative framework is
already in place with:
- The National Education Policy Act
- The Schools Act
- Curriculum 2005
- The National Qualifications Framework
- Those who oppose these measures seek to entrench privilege in the education
- We wish to build bridges wherever we can across the educational divides
forged by apartheid
- Education was one of the NP`s greatest failures. It is one of the government`s
most important priorities
- Education is not merely for the good of the individual. It is an economic
necessity for the nation
- Our people are our greatest national asset. Only through education
can their potential flourish.