Education MEC Announces Progress on Mobile Classroom Plan
In February, I announced the Western Cape Education Department's Infrastructure plan which aims to address the backlogs in school infrastructure in the Province.
The one point nine billion rand (R1.9 b) infrastructure plan, amongst other things, includes the building of twenty five (25) new schools over the current MTEF, the replacement of twenty (20) schools that were built with inappropriate materials, the building of additional relief classrooms and the installation of mobile classrooms at schools where there is severe overcrowding.
I am very pleased with the current roll-out of this plan, particularly with the installation of additional mobile units, which has now been completed.
The need for these mobile units at various schools was highlighted at the end of 2009, when the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) undertook to do a baseline audit of the infrastructure needs of all the schools in the province. The audit revealed that there was severe overcrowding at various schools, and after numerous discussions with these schools, it was decided that the most immediate and effective approach would be to install one hundred and twenty-six (126) additional mobile classrooms at these schools.
An additional nineteen (19) mobiles were added to the priority list after the final enrollments for 2010 were completed.
A project management unit was then appointed to manage the ordering and provision of these classrooms which has now been successfully rolled out. Most of the classrooms had been delivered and constructed by the end of the April holidays, with the remainder being completed since then.
A total of one hundred and forty-five (145) mobile units have been rolled out, benefitting eighty (80) schools across the province.
The Cape Winelands district received the largest allocation, with thirty (30) mobiles being distributed at schools such as Ceres Primary School (3 mobiles), Langabuya Primary School (3 mobiles) and Bonnievale Primary (1 mobile).
Oranjekloof Primary School in Hout Bay is the biggest school beneficiary. They have received nine (9) mobile units, which has dramatically helped to reduce overcrowding at this school.
Examples of other schools that have benefitted include Bontebok Primary School, New Eisleben Secondary, Milnerton High School and Aberdare and Hindle Road North Primary.
These mobiles have provided, in a short-term, much needed support to some of our schools. They have contributed to the alleviation of school overcrowding and have improved the overall state of our school infrastructure across the province.
We will continue to build on this momentum, and ensure that the remainder of our infrastructure plan is effectively implemented over the next three (3) years.
I remain confident that once completed, the quality of school infrastructure in the Western Cape will be substantively improved.
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Cell: 072 724 1422