Dept Plans To Eliminate School Pit Toilets By 2022
Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, has said that government will get rid of all pit toilets in public schools by next year. However, education groups, such as Equal Education, are not convinced.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has said that pit toilets will be a thing of the past by March 2022. DBE Minister Angie Motshekga has said that there are plans in place for this.
Elizabeth Biney from Equal Education has said that this statement from the Minister is unsettling as they were expecting pit toilets to be eliminated by 2016 already.
"Have them saying that it will only be eradicated by 2022 is ridiculous because we are very far behind," said Biney.
She continued to say that learners are going to school every day endangering their lives and teachers and staff are also expected to use these facilities.
Government keeps pushing the goal post further and further ... the lack of political will to get rid of this unhygienic and unsafe structures in our public school systems is quite concerning for us.
Equal Education expects government to delay it again and again as this has been happening.
Newzroom Afrika reported the following:
Everyone has a right to education but the lack of sanitation in some schools makes it difficult for learners to perform well. Last year, Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, told Parliament there are about 4000 pit toilets in South African schools.
Mpumalanga is said to be turning this situation around and are building new ablution facilities in rural areas.
School staff have said that the state of toilets at these schools were terrible and was a safety and health hazard. Some learners had to be taken to clinics due to abdominal pains caused by waterlogs in the toilets.
The Education MEC in the province, Bonakele Majuba, said:
We are working very hard with speed in order to deal with the question of supplying sanitation and water to our schools, especially in this rural areas ... we intend that in the next financial year that we are going to eradicate pit toilets.
Equal Education plans to put further pressure on government to do more.
Biney continued to say, "We are advocating and lobbying the government to actually look at the situation on the ground, not just about what they are hearing in the newspapers but that there are actual learners experiencing this on a daily basis".
Budgets for infrastructures have also been cut and this will result in the backlogs not being addressed. Needs will also increase as time goes by.
There are also other issues within education departments which adds to the problem.
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