Backing the Most Important Team of 2010
I am delighted to have this opportunity to address our Grade twelve (12) learners before the official start of the final National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations next Monday.
One of the first strategic objectives this Government set was to improve learner outcomes in the Western Cape.
And in January this year, the Western Cape Education Department resolved to strive unflinchingly towards improving the results of the Grade twelve (12) Class of 2010. The department put unprecedented resources into the provision of additional assistance to you, our Grade twelve (12) learners. This included a range of initiatives which I will discuss later.
We have made this extra special effort in the context of a very difficult year, for educators, officials and learners alike. One of the major obstacles we have had to overcome was the extended school holidays as a result of the Soccer World Cup.
I have always said, from the beginning of the year, that the most important team in the Western Cape is the Class of 2010 and that is the team that we should all support.
I have witnessed first hand how this has grown into something even bigger than I had ever imagined.
This team comprises of Western Cape Education Department (WCED) officials, your teachers and principals, as well as of course - the most important team members - you.
Essentially, you have us, the education department in the backline, feeding our teachers in the midfield resources, support and skills. They are in turn, passing their knowledge and skills onto you - the strikers up front.
Many of you are aware of the programmes and initiatives that were introduced to you this year. For example, the tutoring programme for schools that achieved below the provincial average, the "Tips for Success" booklet for all our Grade twelve's' (12s), the school holiday programmes, the roll-out of past examination papers and of course, the telematics programme that you are all participating in today. As well as the launch of the 'Own Your Own Future, Our Your Own Success. Study hard to pass YOUR matric' campaign, which was aimed at motivating and inspiring Grade twelve's' (12s) to work to the best of their ability.
However, many of you do not know that behind the scenes much more has been done to assist you "up front". For instance, we increased the monitoring of attendance of your teachers at school so that they were present to provide you with your tuition, increased the number of textbooks to schools for Grade twelve's' (12s), provided intensive management support to some of your principals that needed our assistance and subject-specific support to some of your teachers that were struggling with teaching you complex areas of the syllabus.
Like any professional soccer team, players are constantly plagued with injuries and challenges, similarly, this year, you have been faced with some obstacles. For example, the extended June/July holiday during the World Cup, and then the recent public servants strike.
However, despite these challenges, our team has remained strong. And I cannot tell you how proud I am of all of you for rising above these circumstances, and in true team spirit, ensuring that your learning and development was disrupted as little as possible.
This teamwork could be seen in all areas of the province throughout the year. Learners came together to form study groups, schools and educators rallied together to form holiday camps, officials gathered at district offices and schools to provide additional teaching support.
The enthusiasm and the "gees" of this team have been phenomenal. Every team member has stood up to the plate to ensure, where possible, that each team member had the necessary support they needed to get through the year.
So the ball is now on your side of the field. It is now up to you to make that final strike in the back of the net.
In January, we hope to celebrate your victory.
Good luck, and remember, we are here to support you right up until the final whistle blows.
Ke Nako - it is time. Let us show the rest of the country what Team 2010 Western Cape can achieve.
Minister of Education, Western Cape
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Tel: 021 467 2377
Cell: 072 724 1422