WCED April holiday programmes for learners and educators
Tomorrow brings to a close the first term of the 2017 academic year. Despite some minor challenges I am pleased to see that the majority of our schools in the Western Cape started teaching and learning on day one of the school year.
This is however, a period where many of our learners in the province are left unsupervised and are at risk of becoming involved in negative anti-social behaviour.
Over the course of the next few weeks, the WCED will once again offer holiday programmes which will include Safe Schools Holiday Programmes as well as extra classes for our Grade 12's.
Some of the highlights include:
SAFE SCHOOLS HOLIDAY PROGRAMME
The aim of the safe schools holiday programme includes providing constructive activities for children while also protecting schools by ensuring that they are visibly utilised during this period. The programmes are aimed at keeping our children positively engaged, entertained and safe, especially in areas where they are at a greater risk of exposure to substance abuse, drugs, violence and gangsterism.
Each district organises programmes according to the perceived need in the district concerned.
Educational programmes on offer deal with topics such as bullying, peer-pressure, moral values, substance abuse, HIV/Aids and sexual abuse. Other important topics covered are truancy, gangsterism and bullying as well as career guidance.
A special programme has been designed which addresses sexual abuse, gender inequality and gender based violence. Learners in the Metro North Education District will also receive first aid training and basic fire fighting training.
Fun activities include basketball, netball, soccer, table tennis, chess, indigenous games as well as drama and dance classes. A number of stakeholders have come on board to assist us with the various educational and fun activities. The programme includes the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport; NGOs, the City of Cape Town, Metro Police and the South African Police Service.
In order to protect our schools, as far as possible, from burglary and vandalism over the holiday period, the WCED's Safe Schools unit has arranged increased security at some of our high risk identified schools.
We also ask every community member to help their schools by reporting any suspicious behaviour in and around our schools to the police immediately.
GRADE 12 AUTUMN HOLIDAY PROGRAMME
Providing curriculum support to our Grade 12 learners is always a priority, particularly in schools where learners are struggling in specific subjects. During the upcoming holidays, the WCED has organised holiday study programmes at a number of our high schools in the Metro Central and Metro East Education Districts.
The "autumn schools" aim to assist learners in high enrolment subjects. These subjects include Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Geography, Life Sciences, Accounting and Business Studies.
Many of the programmes on offer will be taught by tutors selected by the WCED.
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
The Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute (CTLI) is running a number of teacher training and development programmes from 3 to 7 April 2017. Ongoing professional development and training of our educators is a priority for this government.
The seminars include a 2 day "Writing Project” to improve the writing and learning methodologies of Foundation and Intermediate Phase teachers. Teachers will be empowered with skills and knowledge to improve their own writing and to apply the same techniques in their classrooms to improve their learners’ writing.
Other courses offered at the CTLI include a three day course for teachers aspiring towards school management and leadership positions; School Management Team Training; and a Grade R Intervention.
While we are pleased that we have been able to offer safe school programmes at schools across the province, we cannot compensate for the role that responsible, committed parents must play in the lives of their children. That is the bedrock of a functional society and we call on parents to take responsibility for their children's safety during the school holiday period and ensure they are kept off the streets and away from alcohol, drugs and gangs. Parents also play a key role in building the reading and writing skills of their children by encouraging them to read during holidays and after school hours.
The WCED web site includes Tips for Parents on what they can do at home to develop their children’s literacy and numeracy skills - http://wced.pgwc.gov.za/documents/ParentTips-LitNum/index.html
I would like to thank all our District Officials, Principals and Educators who have worked so hard to ensure the success of the first quarter.
I wish to take this opportunity to wish you all a pleasant and safe holiday and we hope they return refreshed and ready to tackle the second term of the school year.
Spokesperson for the Minister of Education, Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Education Department
Tel: 076 175 0663