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R500m to help dysfunctional schools

The overhaul will be a collaborative effort involving the private sector and unions.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

PRETORIA - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says her department is now ready for an overhaul of the most dysfunctional schools across the country through a collaborative effort involving the private sector and unions.

The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) met at the presidential guest house in Pretoria earlier today. President Jacob Zuma was also at at the meeting and was updated on its progress.

Motshekga says the trust will only be used to overhaul schools in five provinces because there are already interventions underway in the Free State, Gauteng and the Northern Cape.

"The NECT has targeted the most dysfunctional schools in the country. As a sector, we are at a point where we really feel it is ready for a huge jump."

The chairperson of the trust, Sizwe Nxasana, says the budget for this calendar year is R500 million and will be used to profile the most dysfunctional schools.

"Out of that [budget], the private sector is raising R200 million."

Motshekga says the trust was also set up to improve the relationship between stakeholders and level the playing field for pupils who have not yet had access to proper schooling.

At the same time, the Basic Education Department says it is building new schools in the Eastern Cape and providing adequate equipment and furniture.

Eyewitness News visited the province last week after Zuma promised in his State of the Nation Address in June to provide all schools in the Eastern Cape with furniture by the middle of this month.

But some Eastern Cape schools are still without furniture.

The department says it has put systems in place to urgently address the situation in Eastern Cape schools.

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