The Minister said this when she briefed journalists on the progress that the Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster has made in the implementation of the cluster’s Programme of Action (PoA) towards achieving the goals of the NDP: Vision 2030.
The Minister said government is changing the education landscape and restoring dignity to the country’s learners through delivery of school infrastructure across the country.
“As part of the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative or ASIDI government unveiled state-of-the-art schools every week, built or refurbished at a cost of between R35 million and R50 million each in the last quarter. Since its inception, the ASIDI initiative led to the completion of just over 170 schools out of a targeted 510 around the country - with 126 of them situated in the Eastern Cape,” she said.
The Minister said the schools, which are mainly constructed in rural and underprivileged urban areas, are resourced with a science lab, computer lab, media centre, rain water harvesting tanks, nutrition centre and fully functional administration block with offices and staff room.
Briefing the media on Sunday, the Minister said a further 126 schools are at various stages of implementation and 54 of those schools will be completed in the course of the 2016/17 financial year.
“It is worth noting that all ASIDI schools meet the minimum norms and standards and, in some cases, exceed these requirements.
“To this end, an additional 615 schools have been provided with water, 418 with decent sanitation and 307 with electricity.
“In schools where water supply remains a challenge, we are implementing immediate interventions like harvesting of rainwater, deploying mobile water tankers, amongst others, to ensure that learners have drinking water and are able to wash their hands,” she said.
The Minister said, meanwhile, that while a lot of progress has been made, a lot more still needed to be done to ensure that the dignity of learners is restored.
She said communities at which the schools are built have a moral duty to safeguards the buildings and isolate opportunist criminals who destroy and interrupt children’s education.
Government ready to administer Grade 12 exams
The Minister said government is ready and prepared to run the Grade 12 final examinations.
She said there has been a steady increase in the overall matric pass rate to reach 71% in 2015.
“There are 677 141 registered full time and 150 183 part-time candidates in 2016 examinations; 9 000 more than 2015.
“KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have the largest enrolments again with 169 769 and 112 069, respectively.
“Limpopo has 102 618 and the Eastern Cape 89 740 candidates that have registered for the 2016 grade 12 exams,” she said.
Minister Motshekga said one of the exciting developments is that there is a significant increase in pure mathematics as opposed to maths literacy.
This means that the interventions in the promotion of mathematics as a subject of choice are now bearing fruits, the Minister said.
“We have also put in place interventions to prevent leak of examination papers. All storage points across the country will be audited to ensure that they meet the minimum security standards. Storage points that do not comply will not be allowed to store exam papers,” she said.