By Thys Khiba
Sasolburg – The Free State department of education led by the MEC Tate Makgoe plans to build 15 public schools to deal with overcrowding as a result of population growth and learner movement.
“One of our priorities is to lay the foundation for quality education by universalizing schooling and eliminating disparities in our province once for all. Our core business is to ensure that all children in the province have access to quality education. We aim to continue to provide all school achieve this noble goal as we going learners with schooling facilities across the province,” said MEC Tate Makgoe.
MEC Tate Makgoe indicated that Ruang Tsebo Primary School in Clocolan, Mooifontein Primary School in Zastron, Caleb Motshabi Primary School in Bloemfontein, Rehopotswe Primary School in Bethlehem are above 95% completion, making some facilities usable and as a result pupils have started to utilise facilities in these schools.
Meanwhile, this an addition of two more schools Tlholo Primary School in Botshabelo and Malebogo Primary School in Hertzogville that are expected to complete and fully functional within 2021/2022.
MEC Tate Makgoe continued to say that, in the 2020/21 financial year, they announced that the department is in the process of implementing the first phase of an Autism Specific School at the existing Lourierpark Primary School.
“The project is progressing well, and we are excited to announce that the first phase of the long-awaited school is anticipated to be completed in the third quarter of 2021.”
As part of improving the Free State department of education infrastructure, Makgoe announced that to support learners with special needs, his department is currently building a new hostel at Leboneng Special School in Welkom.
“Two other hostels are under construction for ordinary public schools. They are Dr Blok in Bloemfontein for girls and Breda in Fouriesburg for boys and girls. Both these hostels will accommodate farm school learners.”
Lack of water in some areas of the province could be a challenge for the department of education in Free State.
“…due to the lack of water and sewer lines in some areas, particularly farm areas, the department had to find an alternative form of sanitation to ensure our learners have proper ablution facilities.”
MEC Tate Makgoe indicates that a total of 156 schools with pit latrines were identified. They have developed a plan to eradicate these systems and replace them with standard waterborne sanitation to decrease sanitation-related accidents and health issues amongst the learners in these schools.
“We are pleased to report that 98 of these pit latrines projects have been completed.”
Vandalism of schools is a national crisis that even the national department of basic education condemned. Makgoe says that he deeply regret to announce that the Free State province recorded a high level of vandalism and burglaries at our schools during the national lockdown last year.
“A total of 75 schools across the province have been affected. The department has completed repairs to all identified schools through the framework contractors and CDP contractors.”