Today's Big Stories

Equal Education bemoans poor safety and sanitation in WC schools

Lobby group Equal Education (EE) has deplored the state of schools in the Western Cape, particularly safety and sanitary conditions.

EE conducted a social audit on school conditions in the province and handed over the results to government officials on Tuesday, together with a list of demands.

EE coordinator Vuyisa Mbayi explains that the audit began last year and is an extension of previous 2014 campaign report.

The audit looks into 244 schools from across the province serving just over 217 thousand learners, and Mbayi says many of the issues are systematic; not just problems at individual schools.

Meanwhile, Western Cape MEC for Education Debbie Schafer says that the department is doing its best to tackle safety and sanitation issues.

Schafer explains that education officials require more details about schools infringing the rights to equal education, asking the lobby group to specifically name the problematic schools.

She says she will have an in-depth look at the report, along with other affected stakeholders such as the Social Development and Transport Departments.

Listen to the full conversation from The Pippa Hudson Show:

Some of the findings of the audit include:

  • A lack of safety on school premises; and going to or from school. EE demands increased police patrols along routes home.
  • Pupils at 83% of the schools surveyed say corporal punishment is still enforced by educators.
  • A 'disturbingly' common trend of discrimination at schools (by pupils and teachers) based on gender, race, sexuality, language, and nationality. EE has called on schools to provide trauma counselling.
  • More than one-quarter of pupils surveyed say their schools do not have toilet paper, while four in five claim there is no soap.
  • Only one in four schools has sanitation infrastructure for disabled pupils. At 74% of schools, there is no toilet for people with disabilities. In rural schools, this figure increases to 86%.
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