Kagiso Shanduka Trust (KST) in partnership with the Free State Department of Education (FSDoE) handed over school infrastructure to top performing schools in the Fezile Dabi district in the Free State Province. The infrastructure launch event saw three schools receiving renovated science laboratories, and a computer laboratory. These facilities were unveiled by Free State Department of Education Michael Phutsisi and Thabiso Ratsomo on behalf of KST.
“Incentivised infrastructure is awarded to schools who achieve or accede the 90% benchmark set by the programme,” says Nontando Mthethwa, Communications Chair at KST. “Matlwangtlwang Secondary Schools, Konanelo Secondary School, Bodibeng, Phehellang were the recipients of incentivised infrastructure based on the class of 2015’s academic performance and we are very proud of each school”. The infrastructure handover is part of the KST’s District Whole Schools Development Programme (DWSDP) which is being implemented in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo districts in the Free State province. One key aspect of the DWSDP model is infrastructure development which not only looks at how best to incentivise schools that have met the programme’s benchmark with infrastructure, but also looks at school infrastructure based on the needs analysis of each individual school. Based on the needs analysis, schools that do not have basic infrastructure would be provided with basic infrastructure, such as classrooms, ablution blocks, Grade R facilities, kitchen and eating area by the programme as per each school’s needs.
The DWSDP places emphasis on inclusivity of the role parents and communities need to play in the maintenance and the security of the infrastructure by empowering them to take ownership in the protection of school property and avoid vandalism as well as theft.
“We encourage community members to protect this infrastructure so that generations to come can also benefit from it. The matric class of 2015 performed well and as a result the class of 2018 are benefiting from the fruits of their hard work, it is now in the hands of the class of 2018 to work hard and leave a legacy for other learners.” says Mike Phutsisi, Free State Department of Education Deputy Director for Partnerships.
The partnership between KST and FSDoE has opened an opportunity to fully maximise public-private partnerships to transform the education system and provide a sustained conducive environment for teaching and learning. Published in November 2013, The South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 regulations relating to minimum uniform norms and standards for public school infrastructure is a regulation that the DWSDP fully supports. The norms and standards regulations apply to all public schools in South Africa, which is of great significance as it means that all learners in South Africa, regardless of whether they are from rural, peri-urban or urban areas will be able to learn in environments with adequate infrastructure. Aligned to the norms and standards for basic school functionality is the Department of Basic Education’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery initiative which aims to eradicate mud and unsafe structures and provide improved infrastructure such as laboratories, libraries and administration blocks.
“The partnership between KST and FSDoE has heeded positive results not only from delivering basic and incentivised infrastructure in our schools in Fezile Dabi and Motheo districts, but also providing a holistic and integrated programme to improve our performance and contributing towards making the Free State province the leading province in the National Senior Certificate results for two consecutive years and making Fezile Dabi, a rural district the best performing district nationally,” says Phutsisi.
We hope that learners, parents and community members will find value in the investment in education and continue to support learners.” concludes Mthethwa.