Parents of Oranjekloof Primary School unanimously support continuation of CSP
After a rocky start amid a lot of suspicion and misconceptions spread by parties opposed to our new Collaboration Schools Pilot Project, on 14 June 2017, a year after the beginning of this project at Oranjekloof Primary School, the parents have overwhelmingly supported continuing with this model.
Oranjekloof Primary School formed part of the initial Collaboration Schools Pilot Programme but started late as a result of the abovementioned problems. However, after much consultation with the community and teachers, it was agreed to proceed.
Now the parents are so satisfied that they wish to continue with it for another year.
I have constantly emphasised the need for greater involvement by parents in their childrens' schooling careers and I am pleased to witness the extent of parental involvement at Oranjekloof Primary School. Parents have exercised their voice increasingly with a record number of parents attending meetings and standing for governing body positions.
The processes we have undergone at this school have set important precedents, enabled parents to assert greater control over the schools, understand what quality education looks like and empowered them to expect more from their schools.
The Collaboration Schools Pilot began in 5 schools in January 2016.
We now have seven public schools currently operating as collaboration schools, 4 primary and 3 high schools, across 4 of the Western Cape's districts.
Since the inception of this new model, the funders have committed over R75 million to the pilot. Of this amount, R31.8m has flowed to the schools directly and an additional R37.8 million has been provided to the non-profit partners who have brought additional capacity to the schools in the form of governance, training, support and social capital. The operating partners have been working with schools to develop specific school improvement plans and implemented these plans.
We are encouraged by the momentum that the initiative is gaining. We have, in fact, had some schools asking to be a part of this project, based on what they have seen thus far.
We are currently in talks with another three schools that may come on board in 2017 which would bring the total number of collaboration schools to 10. We aim to double this number to include 20 schools in the collaboration schools pilot by 2018.
I believe that this model can make a real impact in addressing the ongoing inequalities in education between rich and poor communities.
I am therefore very pleased that the parents of Oranjekloof Primary School are in support of continuation of the Collaboration Schools Programme at their school. As Professor Jonathan Jansen said Collaboration Schools "might be our one last chance of giving our most neglected youth in the most dysfunctional schools a clear shot out of poverty."
The WCED's Collaboration Schools project reflects the commitment of the Western Cape Government to innovation, as we explore all options for improving opportunities for all citizens, especially in poor communities. The project is one of a range of pro-poor initiatives by the WCED designed to improve the quality of education in our poorest schools.