Over 10 000 learners attending WCED Winter Schools during the holiday period
Every school holiday period, one of my biggest concerns is for those learners whose parents work full time and who are left unsupervised at home.
The WCED Safe Schools Directorate has therefore organised various holiday programmes for learners in all eight education districts which were launched on Monday 3rd July 2017. Programmes ensure that learners are provided with a safe environment where they can learn and play through a series of well-developed games and team building exercises. Learners are also taught about values such as discipline, respect and team work and also acquire invaluable life skills.
These programmes are designed to be both fun and a learning experience.
For example, at Bloekombos Secondary School today, there are 120 Grade 4 - 7 learners from Bloekombos Primary School, Wallacedene Primary School and Ekuthuleni Primary School who are attending a comprehensive programme aimed at tackling important topics such as substance abuse, gangsterism, bullying and conflict resolution.
The Safe Schools Programme at Bloekombos Secondary School is just one of many holiday programmes on offer this winter.
Various partners are helping us with the various holiday programmes. They include government departments and NGOs, the City of Cape Town, Metro Police and the South African Police Service. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all our partners who are working together to better the lives of learners and expand the opportunities available to them.
I would also like to appeal to all parents and caregivers, especially those who have full-time jobs, to ensure that their children are supervised during the remainder of the school holidays. This is an opportune time to promote continued reading and I urge you to encourage your children to visit their local library. Our parents are key in providing support for our learners and promoting healthy activities as opposed to anti-social behaviour.
Grade 12 Winter Schools
With the 2017 NSC examinations around the corner, the next five months are crucial for our Grade 12 NSC Candidates as they prepare for the most important exams of their school career.
It is therefore vitally important that as a department, we do all that we can to assist our candidates with their preparation for the upcoming NSC examinations. In order to assist our learners, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has initiated a number of targeted and sustained interventions at schools across the province, including a Winter School and Winter Camps for Grade 12 learners.
Providing curriculum support to our Grade 12 learners is a priority for this Government, particularly in schools where learners are struggling in specific subjects.
The Grade 12 Winter Schools Programme aims to assist learners in high enrolment subjects. These subjects include Mathematics, Physical Science, Geography, Life Sciences, Accounting and Economics. Many of the programmes on offer will be taught by tutors selected by the WCED. The Winter School programme also includes Winter Camps. For example, there is a winter camp in Ceres that is hosting over 200 Grade 12 learners for the week.
The dates of each school's programme differ. Some schools have offered programmes on specific days, while others, throughout the holiday period.
I am informed that more than 10 000 NSC candidates are attending Winter Schools across the province. I am extremely encouraged to see the commitment of so many learners to improve their results with a phenomenal number of learners attending Winter Schools across the Western Cape.
Unfortunately I was unable to visit Bloekombos Secondary School today due to unforeseen circumstances. However, I feel that it is appropriate to make special mention of the school given their significant improvement in their NSC results.
This week, almost 250 learners from Bloekombos Secondary School are attending an intensive revision programme as part of the Winter School Programme.
The school has been working hard to improve their pass rate and I am impressed with the sustained increase in their results. In 2014, the school achieved a pass rate of 62.8%, in 2015 this increased to 69.8% and in 2016, this increased significantly by 15.4% to 85.2%. This is a remarkable achievement and one of which the Principal and teachers are very proud. I will certainly keep an eye out for your results this year and hope that the school will continue on the trajectory that they are.
There is no such thing as luck when it comes to the NSC Examinations.
Roman philosopher Seneca, reminds us that we make our own luck when he said that 'Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity'. So, my wishes for our Grade 12's is that they put in the necessary preparation and make use of all available opportunities such as the Winter Schools, to ensure that they do the very best that they can do.
Nothing is ever achieved without hard work, and I have every confidence that you will make yourselves and the Western Cape proud.