MEC of Education Confirms Western Cape Catch-Up Plan
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has noted Minister for Basic Education Angie Motshekga's announcement on the recovery plans for schools following the recent public service strike.
As discussed with the National Minister and the other Provincial Ministers yesterday and as emphasised in her statement today, plans on how to address the impact of the industrial action will be made on a needs basis and not on a "one size fits all" approach.
This allows for provinces to adopt appropriate programmes to their specific needs and circumstances.
Therefore, the Western Cape will continue to implement measures that will offset the effects of the strike, many of which have been in place since the start of the strike. These measures are specifically tailored to address the needs of schools affected by the strike in the Western Cape, and therefore, our catch-up strategy is focussed only on the minority of schools affected.
Our specific focus is on our Grade 12's, who have only thirty two (32) days to go before the first practical examination of the National Senior Certificate (NSC).
With this in mind, our first objective is to ensure that all schools finish their September examinations by the end of the third term, which will end on the 23rd of September. We are fully confident that this objective will be achieved.
We believe that it is in the best interests for our learners to complete these examinations as soon as possible as they provide essential feedback on their progress and weaknesses in preparation for the final examinations.
The WCED will be implementing Grade 12 holiday camps in each of our eight districts for learners worst affected by the strike. These camps will run from the 23rd to the 30th of September.
Expert tuition will be provided to learners that have yet to complete their curriculum, and; for learners who completed the curriculum, the holiday camps will be used for revision purposes, with extra support on hand to address any problematic areas.
The WCED will continue to implement existing support programmes for our Grade 12s. The WCED's tutoring programme has now been extended to the 5th of November. This programme was originally scheduled to end in mid-October.
The telematics programme has also been expanded and is now running five days a week, as compared to scheduled classes twice a week.
Both these programmes were widely supported during the course of the strike and we believe they will continue to provide essential teaching and learning right up till the final examinations.
As mentioned last week, we have developed a Grade 12 resource centre on the WCED website, http://wced.wcape.gov.za/documents/Matric2010/index.html and I would like to encourage all Grade 12 learners to consult this site.
A Grade 12 hotline - 0800 200 506 - has also been created which can be used to access all available support for Grade 12 learners.
Finally, given the limited impact of the strike in the Western Cape, there is no need for a formal extension to the school day, Saturday schools, or the cancellation of extra mural activities. September school holidays will continue as normal, i.e. Schools will be closed during this period.
However, schools may choose on a voluntary basis to provide extra tuition during the holiday period or after school hours.
In the June/July holidays, a significant number of our schools, both primary and secondary, elected to shorten their holiday period by offering extra classes for learners in specific grades. This was done on a voluntary basis and we encourage the same enthusiasm in schools affected by the strike.
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Tel: 021 467 2377
Cell: 072 724 1422