17 January 2018

South Africa: New School Opens On First Day of Academic Year

Learners attending the newly constructed Everest Primary School in Newclare, Westbury, were full of smiles as they entered their school on the first day of the academic year.

To mark the first day of school, Gauteng Premier David Makhura will be joined by MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi and MEC for Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo to hand over the new school.

"This is an important landmark as this new school replaces an old asbestos school, thereby reducing the number of schools built of inappropriate materials, further committing ourselves to work towards the eradication of these inappropriate structures.

"We believe that all has been done to ensure a smooth start to the first day of school - that learning and teaching starts without any hindrance," the Gauteng provincial government said in a statement.

In addition, Members of the Executive Council (MECs) will be deployed to various schools across the province to oversee the smooth running of the first day of schools.

They will assess conditions in each of the schools to which they are deployed as well as consult with communities.

Admissions placement

The provincial department of education hosted an Admission Open Day this past weekend at various decentralised venues (in districts) to address the backlog of the 31 000 unplaced learners and to attend to all other admissions related queries.

"We appreciate parents who visited the centres for assistance and assure them that the department is doing everything possible to place all unplaced learners. We appeal for patience and cooperation in the interest of learners," the provincial government said.

As total of 2 565 of the 31 000 learners have been placed. Additionally a total of 4500 new applications have been received since Saturday.

"Unplanned financial implications of admitting late applicants are substantial. Additional funding will have to be found to finance educator salaries, additional classrooms, learning and teaching support materials and school furniture. Procurement processes are also not instant but can take weeks to complete," the provincial government said.

Parents that still have admission queries in relation to Grade 1 and 8 are advised to visit the admission centres. The centres will continue to operate until the end of January.

Preparations for National Senior Certificate 2018

The Gauteng Department of Education has opted to begin early with preparations for the National Senior Certificate in order to improve overall performance compared to 2017. The following interventions will be implemented by the department:

Ensure an uninterrupted teaching and learning so that most of the curriculum can be covered during normal contact time.

Supplementary lessons and tuition will be offered as part of the Secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP).

Implementation of special interventions such Litnum (Literacy Numeracy Strategy); Maths and science, among others.

The Head of Department (HOD) will conduct a series of meetings to support schools performing below 60%, as part of our ongoing effort to provide support and uplift poor performing schools.

All districts are required to submit intervention plans to monitor and support all schools across the province.

Tracking and monitoring of progress on a weekly basis by MEC, HOD and Districts.

The Department will also ensure that all these interventions are replicated for all the grades.

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