Eight schools in Thaba Nchu which falls within the Motheo district in the Free State province received infrastructure as part of the District Whole School Development (DWSD) programme. In an effort to transform the quality of public schools KST in partnership with the Free State Department of Education (FSDoE) have been implementing the programme in quantile 1 -3 primary and secondary schools in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo districts since 2014.
Infrastructure development is a key part of the DWSD programme and is awarded to schools based on two categories, basic infrastructure and incentive infrastructure. The provision of infrastructure is preceded by a thorough school’s needs analysis, which determines what facilities are either built or renovated. Out of the eight schools, six received basic infrastructure and two received incentive infrastructure with an investment of over R8 million, which will benefit 4208 learners and 151 educators from Ereskuld Primary, Kobue Primary, Moroka High, Tawana Primary, St. Pauls Primary, Namanyane Primary, Goronyane Secondary and Christian Liphoko Secondary.
Refers to the building or renovation of ablution blocks and classrooms, perimeter fencing and the provision of desks and chairs. All programme schools receive basic infrastructure where it is required and where it is not already being provided by government.
Refers to facilities such as science laboratories, libraries, computer centres, maths centres, multi-media centres and sports facilities. Schools that perform above the target that has been set by the Free State Department of Education, qualify for incentive infrastructure projects.
“Our theory of change places the learner at the centre of our interventions and therefore the safety of both learners and educators are of paramount importance to us. The programme takes seriously, and satisfies all regulatory safety standards, including adhering to the Norms and Standards of the Department of Basic Education. Through a structured and consultative process KST works closely with each schools School Management Teams, an independent qualified Structural Engineer and the FSDoE’s Property Officer during the planning and construction process. Once an Occupation Safety Clearance Certificate is issued by the Structural Engineer, the infrastructure is handed over to FSDoE to be launched and occupied”, said Themba Mola KST Chief Executive Officer.
KST is encouraged that school infrastructure is at the top of national governments agenda as outlined in the recent 2019 State of the Nation Address and Budget Speech, where over R30 billion is allocated to build new schools and maintain schooling infrastructure and an additional R2.8 billion is added to the School Infrastructure Backlogs Grant to replace pit latrines at over 2 400 schools.
“We remain committed to the National Development Plan with the aim of creating a conducive teaching and learning environment for our learners and making education an empowering experience that equips learners and educators with the skills and knowledge to thrive and contribute to the development of our communities. Therefore, communities must take pride and ownership of this Infrastructure by protecting it from vandalism and theft so that future generations can also benefit from it,” said MEC DR PHI Makgoe, FSDoE.