KZN Education Dept plans to close over 900 rural schools

KZN Education Dept plans to close over 900 rural schools

The Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal is planning to permanently close over 900 schools, citing low enrolment rates.

Most of these schools are based in rural areas. The closure of over 250 schools is expected to start next year.

Department Head, Nkosinathi Ngcobo says, “We are looking at progressively closing the small schools. Currently there are over 900 such schools in the province, starting with those with the lowest enrolment or those which are furthest from the threshold, let say of 135 and 200. For example, in this financial year, the schools we are targeting have an enrolment of zero already and those are the schools that have closed naturally simply because there is no single learner.”

Schools under resourced

Meanwhile, the Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) Member of the Provincial Legislature, Mntomuhle Khawula, says the declining numbers of learners in rural schools are due to the government’s failure to resource them adequately.

“Schools in urban areas as well as in the townships are much more developed than schools in rural areas. As a result, even people that reside in rural areas, those who can afford, are paying transport for their children to go to urban areas, which then leave schools in rural areas with less numbers. Some schools have been closed, but this thing of providing transportation has never happened. When they say 255 schools have got five or 10 leaners that is not true,” says Khawula.

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