MEC Grant Announces Further Support Measures for Learners during the Strike
Last week, the Provincial Government of the Western Cape released a comprehensive strike management plan for Education to mitigate the impact of the ongoing strike on teaching and learning.
While the majority of schools in the province continue to function as per normal, we remain determined to minimise the negative implications of the strike in the areas worst affected by the current industrial action.
Our comprehensive strike management plan, launched last week is constantly being updated and adapted to ensure that the rights of the learners are protected as far as possible and that at least some form of learning continues over this period.
These programmes support all grades, with a particular focus on our Grade 12s who will begin writing the first practical examination of the National Senior Certificate Examinations in just forty nine (49) days time.
After discussions with the University of Stellenbosch, we are pleased to announce that the telematics programme has been expanded to run on additional days, above and beyond the normal current programme, at one hundred and twenty (120) of our schools throughout the province.
The programme currently uses satellite technology, the internet and cell phones to provide expert tuition to Grade 12s in subjects such as Mathematics, Physical Science, Life Sciences and Accounting at one hundred and twenty (120) of our schools.
Grade 12 learners can now attend broadcasts of the programme this Wednesday and Friday afternoon from 13h00 - 17h00. This information has already been communicated to schools.
Learners from neighbouring schools are invited to attend these programmes at the selected venues. Information on these programmes can be obtained at their school or district office.
Another additional intervention by the Western Cape Education Department (WECD) is to expand the services of our curriculum advisors to Grade 12 learners in areas most affected by the strike.
The WCED is arranging for an "in-house" tutoring programme for learners at the Metro East and Metro South district offices.
WCED curriculum advisors will be made available at these offices to assist and support Grade 12 learners after school hours.
The WCED has also negotiated with the Cape Argus and Die Burger for an educational supplement to be run in their papers this week.
Inside each supplement are examples of past matric examination papers in key subject areas which can be used for revision purposes, as well as, suggested reading lists for learners from Grade R-Grade 12.
The reading lists cover the three official languages of the Western Cape and the books are generally available in school and public libraries.
We encourage parents and caregivers, as well as community members, to keep copies of these supplements and distribute them to learners in their homes and communities.
The WCED has also arranged for an additional twenty thousand (20 000) copies of the educational supplement to be printed, which will be distributed to schools in areas most affected by the strike.
With regards to the upcoming September examinations, the WCED expects these examinations to go ahead as scheduled.
While schools are not all compelled to start at the same time, examinations at the majority of these schools are due to start in the first week of September.
We believe that under the present circumstances the decision to go ahead with these examinations, as scheduled, is in the best interests of learners, most particularly our Grade 12s.
The September examinations are important for a number of reasons, including; Grade 12 learners are prepared for these examinations and the delay would be unfair on them, it provides essential feedback on their progress and weaknesses for preparation for the final examinations, institutions of higher learning and Further Education and Training (FET) colleges require the September examination marks as part of their application process, and finally, the September examinations form part of the CAS marks (Continuous Assessments) which represents twenty five percent (25%) of each learners final result at the end of the year.
The WCED is prepared to support schools in preparing for these examinations and we believe due to their importance, schools should do everything possible to make sure they go ahead as planned.
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Tel: 021 467 2377
Cell: 072 724 1422