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Education on National Education Infrastructure Management SystemReport

13 Sep 2007
National Education Infrastructure Management System
(NEIMS)

13 September 2007

The Department of Education is pleased to make public the first report of
the National Education Infrastructure Management System.

NEIMS is an electronic planning and management tool, which allows for
'real-time' access to information about the condition of infrastructure and
facilities at each of the 28 742 public schools across the country. Following a
comprehensive audit of each site, the NEIMS report has detailed information,
including digital photographs, about every school, the land and buildings, the
condition of these, as well as teacher and pupil numbers. This information is
also mapped using Geographic Information System (GIS), which provides a useful
overview of the spatial location and distribution of our schools.

This information was obtained from assessments conducted by trained
professionals who visited every one of the schools, and a substantial part of
the costs was met by a grant from the Royal Netherlands Embassy. By continually
updating the database every time a school is built or upgraded, it should not
be necessary to undertake this kind of audit again.

The report does show substantial progress since 1994, including the
following:

* the number of overcrowded schools has fallen from 51% in 1999 to 24% in
2006
* the number of schools with electricity has increased from 11 174 in 1996 to
20 713 in 2006
* the number of schools without water has fallen from 8 823 in 1996 to 3 152 in
2006
* the number of schools without on-site toilets has fallen from 3 265 in 1996
to 1 532 in 2006.

The report concludes that some 74% of schools are in a good or excellent
condition, which is encouraging. However it is also evident that substantial
backlogs still remain in relation to the provision of facilities, and the
standard of these. Regrettably, in some cases, once good facilities have been
degraded due to vandalism, neglect and inadequate maintenance; 14% were found
to be in a poor condition and 12% very poor. In the Eastern Cape 40% of schools
are assessed as being in a poor condition.

Some of the most concerning backlogs relate to the provision of water and
sanitation to schools. These are basic needs and must be addressed as an urgent
priority. In addition, and impacting negatively on the quality of education,
only seven percent of schools have adequate libraries, and 10% of secondary
schools have functioning laboratories. 68% of schools have no computers, a huge
challenge as we enter the digital age. Only two percent of schools are equipped
for disabled learners.

NEIMS therefore provides the government, for the first time, with the
ability to quantify and pinpoint these backlogs, and to plan for their
eradication. A capital investment plan is under development, using the NEIMS
data, and Cabinet approved that in implementing the Department of Education
should investigate innovative approaches to the delivery of infrastructure,
including greater community involvement, as well as in regard to its financing.
The determination of minimum norms and standards for infrastructure, as
proposed in the Education Laws Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, will
assist in this process.

A summary of the NEIMS report will be available from 17 September 2007 on
the website of the Department of Education - http://www.education.gov.za and this will be
published in due course. Meantime the database has been shared with other
government departments, including Public Works, Water Affairs and Forestry, as
well as Minerals and Energy Affairs, each of which has an important role to
play, and with relevant agencies.

Detailed information about individual schools, districts or provinces will
be available from the department, on request.

Issued by: Department of Education
13 September 2007