South Africa: More Heat Than Light in Report On Western Cape Schools Turnaround Strategies


The provincial Education Minister in the Western Cape takes issue with an article published by Daily Maverick last week.

Suné Payne was probably not responsible for the headline on her article about turnaround strategies for underperforming schools in the Western Cape (Daily Maverick, 15 November).

The headline, under a Western Cape strapline, reads: "Finger-pointing, but no solutions for improving pass rates in poor schools."

This headline is odd, given that the reply to a question in the Western Cape legislature listed 10 interventions that form part of a solution for improving the pass rate in poor schools.

The article did not deal with the substance of the reply, focusing instead on the heated exchange in the house.

The Western Cape Education Department can provide many examples of schools that have turned around, thanks to focused support.

Our turnaround strategies are based on a thorough understanding of the needs of every school, and providing appropriate support.

This applies to both primary and high schools. We have to focus on schools that need this support the most, which are inevitably in our poorest areas.

For high schools, this includes a detailed analysis of matric results, to identify areas needing attention per subject...

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