Our Campaigns for Proper and Dignified School Sanitation
The poor state of school sanitation hurts students’ ability to learn, puts them at increased health risk, infringes on their safety and security and denigrates their dignity. The death of 5-year-old Grade R learner Michael Komape at the bottom of a pit toilet at his school in Chebeng village, Limpopo in January 2013 is a tragic reminder of the urgency of improving school sanitation. Yet, according to the Department of Basic Education’s National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS) 2014 report, nearly half of all schools use pit toilets. Nearly 500 schools have no sanitation facilities at all.
In Gauteng and the Western Cape, we are running active campaigns for proper and dignified school sanitation. Equal Education members have marched, conducted one of South Africa’s largest social audits, picketed and met with government officials and members of provincial legislatures to advance these campaigns. We have met with principals and School Governing Bodies to improve school maintenance, run workshops for over 5,000 classmates to emphasize the importance of proper sanitation and organised our fellow students to clean our toilet blocks.