Western Cape Education's Preparations for 2011 Academic Year
Today, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) will be releasing to schools a planning calendar for the 2011 school year in order to prepare teachers, principals and parents well in advance about education activities planned for 2011.
The calendar (attached) includes a schedule of dates for training programmes, meetings, tests and examinations, as well as, other important administrative deadlines.
"I am very proud that the department has completed the plans for 2011 so well in advance," said Western Cape Education Minister Donald Grant.
"This allows schools enough time to pro-actively plan ahead and prepare for the upcoming year."
Grant said that one of the major focuses for 2011 was the protection of instruction time.
"This year, the industrial action and the extended June/July holidays contributed to the disruption of teaching time in our schools. Therefore, in 2011, we are determined to ensure that every hour of every school day is fully utilised," he said.
"Teaching and learning must start on the first day of each term and minimum instructional time for each grade must be observed. Education excursions by schools must be linked to enhance curriculum and there will be no disruption to teaching time during the school day."
Grant said that training programmes and meeting for 2011 have all been scheduled to take place either during the school holidays or after school hours so as not to disrupt any teaching and learning.
"We are particularly excited about the Mathematics and Reading Conferences that will be held during the course of the year. This year, our reading conference garnered widespread support from our teachers so we are extending these programmes so that more teachers can participate."
The planning document also provides the final dates to the start of the school year.
"Teachers are due to return to school on the 17th of January, and learners on the 19th. We would again like to appeal to all parents to register their children for school next year, if their children are starting primary or high school, or if they are changing schools in 2011," said Grant.
"If we want to ensure that quality teaching and learning starts on the very first day of the new school year, we need to ensure that every child has a place in a school, as far as possible."
Grant added that while planning for 2011 was well in advance, there was still much to do in 2010.
"The final term is extremely important for all our learners, educators and officials. Among other things, the department will be conducting literacy and numeracy testing for Grade 3, 6 and 9's in all our schools, the National Senior Certificate Examinations begin next month and all educators need to ensure that they complete the required curriculum for their specific grades," he said.
"We must do everything possible that we use the remaining months effectively to ensure that all learners receive the quality education they deserve."
Planning Calendar for Schools: 2011
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Tel: 021 467 2377
Cell: 072 724 1422