Learners have responded well to winter schools organised by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) in areas most affected by the civil service strike. Education Management and Development Centres (EMDCs) in six of the seven education districts in the province have organised programmes for learners from clusters of schools, at 14 venues. The South Cape/Karoo EMDC plans to hold extra classes on Saturday mornings during the third term.
The venues for the winter schools include Zisukhanyo Secondary, Weltevreden Valley; Oscar Mpetha High, Nyanga; Phakama Seconday, Phillipi East; ID Mkize Senior Seconday, Gugulethu; Intsebenisiswano Secondary, Philippi; Lagunya Finishing School, Langa; Garlandale High, Athlone;
Scottsdene EMDC office; Beauvallon Secondary, Valhalla Park; Sinenjongo High, Milnerton; Charlston Hill Secondary, Paarl; and Stellenzicht Secondary, Stellenbosch; Wavern High, Tulbagh; and Ashton Combined School, Ashton.
The turnout has been excellent in areas most affected by the strike, with numbers exceeding expectations in places. The primary focus has been on tuition for Grade 12 learners.
The WCED is paying teachers to provide tuition, and is currently formalising teaching arrangements with unions. Districts managers have been very resourceful in recruiting a range of tutors, including those from NGOs and other service providers.
Students from the Universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, from various student organisations, are assisting teachers in our Metropole East and South districts. The content of the programme varies from area to area, but the main focus is on preparation for Grade 12, mid-year examinations.
Three of the six districts holding holiday schools organised programmes last week, while the other three have organised programmes this week, being the last week of the school holiday. EMDCs are planning other programmes that will continue late into the year.
We are working closely with the media to advertise the programmes and to provide materials, in conjunction with the national Department of Education. Our campaign has included the print media and radio. Officials and principals have worked hard to promote and organise programme in our various districts, especially in areas most affected by the strike.
In addition to additional classes, the WCED is implementing special measures to enable learners to write examinations they missed during the strike. Material is available in electronic and print formats. The department is making additional learning support material available in conjunction with the national Department of Education.
The WCED has introduced various measures to accommodate mid-year examinations that did not take place because of the strike. They include the following:
- All schools that have not written grade 10 - 12 examinations must start the examination in July so that the examination is completed by the 8 August 2007.
- Schools that are writing their own papers must submit comprehensive examination plans and their timetable to the EMDC directors by 20 July 2007.
- Schools that are participating in the common examinations of the Learner Attainment Strategy (namely, those that achieved matric pass rates of less than 60% in 2006) will receive a new timetable for the Grade 12 examinations in due course.
The following are examples of activities in our various districts:
The WCED's East Metropole EMDC organised a weeklong winter school in Khayelitsha from 2-6 July 2007, to support Grade 12 learners in English, Science, Biology, Geography, Accounting and Economics.
The programme was run with the help of student tutors from the University of Cape Town, school principals, curriculum advisers and teachers. The venue for this programme was Thembelihle High School. The principal, Mr Mfikile, played a key role in making the necessary arrangements.
The EMDC organized another winter school programme at Scottsdene High School in Kraaifontein. At this venue, the same subjects and grade were provided for. The EMDC recruited teachers for tutoring. The EMDC recruited teachers to tutor at a similar programme at the district offices.
Between 300 and 500 learners attended the winter school at Thembelihle. Learners did not show the same levels of interest at Scottsdene.
The EMDC provided resource material for both revision and new content, and will deliver additional material provided by the national Department of Education when schools open on Monday, 16 July 2007.
The EMDC has allocated officials are allocated to Circuit Teams. The teams will visit all schools, determine the needs and act upon them.
A total of 1451 learners have attended winter schools organised by the Metropole Central EMDC to date. About 14% (209) of those taking part are Grade 11 learners, while the rest are in Grade 12.
A total of 53 teachers are providing tuition, mainly in Mathematics, Biology, Physics, English 2nd language and Accountancy/ Business Economics.
The learners have responded with great enthusiasm, in greater numbers than expected. Schools will continue with Saturday classes during the third term.
Staff of the Metropole Central EMDC has delivered teaching and learning materials at the winter schools. EMDC officials, principals and teachers are worked excellently together to ensure the success of the programme to date.
Winter schools organized by the Metropole South EMDC are running smoothly, thanks to excellent teamwork by principals, teachers and EMDC officials.
Principals at 14 schools in Gugulethu, Nyanga, Philippi and Crossroads worked hard to inform learners about the programmes.
Radio Zibonele has given the programme extensive publicity, and EMDC staff have toured local communities to announce the programme using a loud hailer on a flatbed truck.
The first morning of the programme, on Monday, attracted 190 learners at Intsebenziswano High School; 130 learners at Oscar Mpheta High; 80 learners at Phakama High; 125 learners at I D Mkize High; and 80 Learners at Zisukhanyo High.
Indications are that numbers are growing steadily at these venues. In addition to lessons, the EMDC is providing each learner with a daily hot meal and a cup of coffee. The programmes are well staffed, with between two and five teachers at each venue for each subject. About 60 students from UCT and Stellenbosch have joined the team as tutors in all subjects.
The EMDC believes that the excellent teamwork and cooperation between principals, teachers, learners and EMDC officials bodes well for education beyond the requirements of the recovery programme.
Statement by Cameron Dugmore, MEC for Education in the Western Cape
For more information:
Media Liaison Of bficer
Office of the MEC for Education
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689
Visit our website: http://www.capegateway.gov.za/education/
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