The Department of Basic Education plans to close and merge more than 1,400 schools located mainly in rural areas in an attempt to rationalise resources. In response to questions in Parliament, the department said the closures would enhance service delivery. Many of the 1,400 schools had been deemed "small and unviable". Nationally, the eradication of inappropriate and dangerous schools has been stalled by underspending. The two main school infrastructure grants, the Education Infrastructure Grant and the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, have failed to meet national needs and deadlines. The National Education Policy Act Guidelines stipulate that the department has a case for closing primary schools with fewer than 135 pupils and secondary schools with fewer than 200 pupils. KwaZulu-Natal would have the highest number of closures and mergers, with 865 schools. The province has the highest ratio of children who walk long distances to school due to a lack of facil...

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