Progress with spatial issues
Extensive progress has been made to end overcrowding in the country's township and rural schools since 1994.
A report released this week by the national Education Department shows that the number of crowded schools throughout the country has dropped from 51percent in 1999 to 24percent last year, while 74percent of schools are in excellent condition.
But despite the digital challenge engulfing the world, only 68percent of schools have computers and a mere 7percent have adequate libraries.
The report follows a countrywide assessment of school conditions in terms of the National Education Infrastructure Management System (Neims), the electronic planning and management of infrastructure and facilities at each of the 28742 public schools throughout the country.
A comprehensive audit was done at each site including the collection of information and digital photographs of land and buildings and their conditions as well as teacher and pupil numbers at every school.
The Neims report showed that schools with electricity increased from 11174 in 1996 to 20713 last year, schools without water dropped from 8823 in 1996 to 3152 last year and those without toilets fell from 3265 to 1532 last year.
The department expressed satisfaction with the report that 74percent of schools are in excellent condition.
"However, it is also evident that substantial backlogs still remain in relation to the provision of facilities and the standards of these.
"Regrettably in some cases once good facilities have been degraded due to vandalism, neglect and inadequate maintenance," the department said.
The report found that 14percent of schools are in a poor condition and 12percent are in very poor condition while 40percent of schools in Eastern Cape are in a poor condition.
Only 7percent of schools have adequate libraries, 10percent of high schools have functioning laboratories, 68percent have computers and 2percent can cater for disabled pupils.