20 November 2023
Media statement: Release of Equal Education research report on how school infrastructure impacts teaching and learning ten years after the signing into law of the school infrastructure law
At 1 pm today, Equal Education (EE) will release a research report, “Schooling under unusual conditions: Research into how school infrastructure shapes teaching and learning in South Africa”, that takes a closer look at the relationship between the physical conditions of the school environment and teaching and learning. The report examines how school infrastructure shapes teaching and learning, and how addressing infrastructure conditions can improve learning outcomes.
Almost 30 years into democracy and 10 years since Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga signed the Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure (school infrastructure law) into law, government continues to struggle to ensure that all learners have access to quality schooling. Despite some progress towards this, the country is still experiencing a learning crisis and many schools are still contending with unacceptable physical conditions such as overcrowded classrooms, schools built with unsafe materials, dilapidated toilet facilities and unclean water.
Key findings from the report show that not having enough classrooms, having classrooms with too many learners (overcrowded classrooms), and having facilities in poor condition harms the motivation of both learners and teachers. Overcrowded classrooms make it more likely that teachers and learners are regularly absent from school. Having poor school infrastructure conditions affects the quality of teachers’ teaching and performance, as well as their general attitude towards their job. This indirectly impacts the schooling experience of learners and learning outcomes.
Our report recommends that:
- Education departments must urgently fulfil their legal obligations in terms of the Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure and eradicate infrastructure backlogs to ensure all schools can deliver quality schooling for learners;
- National Treasury must prioritise and provide progressive infrastructure funding, as well as ensure efficient spending by education departments, implementing agents and contractors involved in infrastructure provisioning to schools;
- The Department of Basic Education must develop binding School Capacity Norms to ensure an ideal distribution of learners across schools to avoid overcrowding conditions; and
- Provincial education departments must develop a forward-looking infrastructure plan that puts an end to current overcrowding and prevents future overcrowding.
Our report will be shared online on the Equal Education social media platforms.
When: Monday 20 November 2023
Time: 1 pm
Where: Website: equaleducation.org.za
To arrange a media interview, contact:
Jay-Dee Booysen (Equal Education Communications Manager) firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 924 1352