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Free State department of education to build 15 schools

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picture: MEC Tate Makgoe and Premier Sefora Ntombela

By Thys Khiba

SasolburgThe 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.”

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