22 January 2013

South Africa: Portfolio Committee On Education Satisfied With Results At Onkgopotse Tiro

press release

The North West Provincial Legislature's Portfolio Committee on Education, Sports Arts and Culture visited various schools in the Ngaka Modiri Molema as part of the visits the committee is conducting to various schools around the province to assess the schools' readiness for 2013 and to check on the challenges these schools are facing.

The Portfolio Committee was pleased to find that Onkgopotse Tiro Combined School which is a farm school, had achieved a 100% pass rate in Grade 12 for 3 years since 2010, even under challenges that would not motivate learners from performing well.

The school's principal, Mr. Edwin Khonothi mentioned that it is through commitment and dedication that they maintained such results.

"It is only through the commitment and dedication of our teachers and learners that we have managed to keep this record,".

"We have made it compulsory that matriculants have extra classes in the morning, afternoon and also on weekends to achieve these results,"said Mr. Khonothi.

A member of the committee, Hon Veronica Kekesi was pleased with the outcome of the performance and encouraged the school to keep the standard as is.

"I am very pleased with the outcome of results in this school, more especially that their surroundings are not conducive but they manage to be committed and bring out the best in them," said Hon. Kekesi.

The challenges that the school faces amongst others, is the teenage pregnancy, some parents dump learners at the school without properly registering them. The school does not have computers; learners have to use the principal's computer to source out information on the internet for their projects.

The current service providers for scholar transport's busses have been impounded by the traffic department, leaving 50 learners without transport school.

Whilst most farm schools are faced with serious challenges, special schools are also experiencing numerous challenges, especially at Retlametswe Special School.

This school has learning material that is still not designed for special schools, it still operates without any work schedules and teachers use their own discretion since the school started.

The school admits throughout the year, therefore admission is never finalised, it has to phase out learners that are above 18 years and has started to do so in groups. Not once did the department visit the school for screening and awareness campaigns around the HIV/Aids, teenage pregnancies and other health related matters.

G S Phoi High School in Madibogo Pan dropped its performance at a dismal rate having scored 76% in 2010, 74.6% in 2011 and 30% in 2012. The school's principal, Mr Bokako, blamed the high failure rate to shortage of teachers for Physical Science and History Grade 10-12.

The school is using old pit toilets which are a health hazardous and the ceiling has a big hole where one is able to see the sky outside.

Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Fenny Motladiile, said the Committee will meet on Tuesday 22 January 2013, to compile a full report of all the challenges the schools are experiencing.

The Department of Education will be called to account for them in a meeting that will be held at the Legislature on Friday, 25 January 2013.

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