SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

South Africa: Smooth Start for Gauteng Schools

Johannesburg — The majority of schools in Gauteng opened smoothly on Wednesday, the provincial Department of Education says.

According to the Gauteng Provincial Government, the department said except for a few incidents in Johannesburg South, where a few parents applied for late registrations at schools instead of district offices, the first day of the 2013 academic year went as well as expected.

"To deal with the late registration issue, the districts have decentralised late registration points where parents can go to the one closest to them.

"We are satisfied with how the opening day went and we will continue engaging with all the districts to monitor progress," Education MEC Barbara Creecy said on Wednesday.

Creecy attributed the smooth opening to preplanning and engagements with all stakeholders.

She said some schools distributed stationery a day before opening of schools and that led to them being able to teach from the first day.

The MEC visited several schools in the Sedibeng District area, including the Sakhisizwe Secondary and Finetown Primary School where she provided school uniforms to underprivileged learners.

"We are also concerned by the number of learners who drop-out before finishing their Grade12 and we will strive to make sure that we get everything right at the foundation phase.

"Research has shown that amongst factors that contribute to learner drop-out was their inability to cope academically. We need to make sure that when learners leave primary school they are able to read, write and do arithmetic.

"By getting the basics right, we can be rest assured that when they go to high school they are well prepared and therefore able to cope academically," MEC said.

Creecy wished the Class of 2013 all the best and said that the department will not only improve on the 2012 matric results but will also make sure that the Annual National Assessment were also improved.

Approximately seven million learners in Grades 1 to 6 and Grade 9 successfully completed the 2012 Annual National Assessment (ANA) tests between18 - 21 September 2012.

The ANA tests were introduced by the Department of Basic Education to measure the country's improvement in learning in specific grades and subjects.

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