School infrastructure report disputed

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SABRINA DEAN – The Free State education department says information contained in a report into school infrastructure spending and delivery is inaccurate.

Spokesperson Howard Ndaba was reacting to a report published by the Centre for Child Law, entitled Mud to bricks: A review of school infrastructure spending and delivery, which stated 47% of Free State schools, or nearly 1200, had closed in the period between 2000 and 2012.

Ndaba disputed this, saying a distinction must be made between schools that have been closed down and schools where there are simply no longer any learners.

He adds that the province also faced unique challenges after the 1994 election because there were five different education departments that had to be amalgamated into one. These included separate houses for white, coloured and black education.

He says other factors impacting the number of schools in the province include rurality and mobility of farm populations, general urbanization and declining population numbers, among others.