In schools, overcrowding disrupts instruction and learning

In addition to being unhealthy, crowding has an impact on students’ academic performance. According to experts, overcrowding is another push element that contributes to learner dropouts, and the Department is currently working to find a solution.

A report on Gauteng’s overcrowded schools was released as part of the #NoSpaceForUs Campaign, which was started by the lobbying organization Equal Education (EE) in December 2021. Based on research completed between September 2019 and June 2020, this report was produced.

It had been found that seven out of the nine schools had at least 15% more learners than the building was designed to hold.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) decided to deal with the problems of overcrowding in schools after the Covid-19 disruptions, as overcrowding posed a threat to the education sector.

DBE Minister, Angie Motshekga, said:

We are requesting the National Treasury to allocate a budget for the department to deal with this special project, in terms of which Basic Education would deal with overcrowding in schools.

This budget will be used to deal with the much-needed school maintenance, construction of more school buildings, and so forth.

In a parliamentary meeting, it was highlighted that overcrowding does not only have negative implications on one’s health but is also detrimental to the teaching and learning processes in the classroom.

Whilst the performance of the Khudugane Secondary School in Limpopo has declined, the school’s class of 2021 was 55%, having dropped from 81% when compared to the previous year.

A member of the School Governing Body (SGB), Navela Ngobeni shared that one block of the school had been built by the community and the other by the government. Ngobeni also hoped that ways to source funds for the infrastructure would be found.

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