NEARLY 170 schools in Limpopo are to be closed and others will be merged next year.
This is a result of poor performance.
The department of education say the schools have been on a downward spiral since 2003 with no sign of improvement.
Many of the schools are in the Waterberg district.
The department said yesterday they also took the decision because some of the schools in the province continued to decline in terms of enrolment of pupils.
MEC for Education Ishmael Kgetjepe said the decline had a bad effect on the performance of pupils at those schools.
Kgetjepe said they intended to merge 310 schools in the Sekhukhune district.
“We have to ask ourselves what we can do if enrolment is going down,” he said.
Kgetjepe said this is the first time they have done this in the province.
While the department is badly affected by poor performance, it has also been found to be one of the provinces that is underspending due to poor planning by officials.
The provincial legislature portfolio committee discovered earlier this year that the state of education in the province was unacceptable.
Kgetjepe said there were 165 schools that had “died” since 2003 and they would be officially closed down next year.
He is adamant that closing such schools with fewer children and merging them, will help improve the education system in the province.
“We have finished the consultation processes with the affected communities.
“We will also listen to any interested parties who come to us.
“We are still open for negotiation if a better path can be an identified,” said Kgetjepe.