End of Second Term: Start of Holiday Programmes and Training
Media Statement by Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Tomorrow is the last day of a successful, but long, second term.
Although, officially, it is school holidays, the work of the WCED continues. Many of our schools will be offering winter programmes for the Grade 12 learners, while other schools will be hosting events for learners which include fun educational activities.
There are also a number of training programmes across the province which will involve thousands of educators.
Teacher Development and Training
Ongoing professional development and training of our educators is a priority for this government.
We are especially determined to ensure that as many of our educators receive the relevant support and training in terms of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) which will be implemented in Grades 4, 5, 6 and 11 in 2013.
Around 8 500 teachers will be attending training sessions across the province during the mid-year holiday this year to prepare for CAPS implementation next year.
The WCED is also providing literacy and numeracy training for foundation phase teachers in the June holidays.
Over 1 800 educators have registered for literacy training and over 1 400 for numeracy training.
We are very pleased to see so much support for these programmes.
In addition to the CAPS and literacy and numeracy training, various seminars and conferences will be held at the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute.
The seminars include a three-day course on "Aspiring school leaders" which will give our aspiring leaders a better understanding on the experiences and skills required for promotion posts, the legal framework that governs educators in promotion posts, as well as an awareness of the challenges and the opportunities that come with leadership.
An "Aspiring Principals" course will also be held for aspiring principals. This seminar will give the recipients an opportunity to understand the professional responsibilities of a principal's post, and the skills and competencies required by a principal.
School management teams interested in improving their performance can also take part in a three-day course which involves a series of discussions on team awareness, team success and the role of individuals within a team context.
A five-day course will also be offered to women that aspire to be school managers and leaders. This course aims to facilitate and enhance the leadership development of women within the WCED and to develop their leadership skills.
Grade 12 Holiday Programme
The Class of 2012 has been working hard this year to ensure improved results in the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. Many of our schools across the province have been offering extra tuition for learners on weekends and after school in various subjects to help improve individual learner results.
We look forward to assessing the June examination results of each of our high schools in the coming weeks to see if schools are reaching their mid-year targets.
During the upcoming holidays, the WCED has organised holiday study programmes at 98 of our high schools. The "winter schools" aim to assist learners in high enrolment subjects.
These subjects include Mathematics, Physical Science, Geography, Life Sciences, Accounting and Economics. Many of the programmes on offer will be taught by tutors selected by the WCED.
In some schools, curriculum advisors will be supporting and assisting individual school programmes. Additional resource materials have been developed to complement the lessons being presented. The dates of each school's programme differ. Some schools have offered programmes on specific days, while others throughout the holiday period.
Safe Schools Holiday Programme
In order to keep our children safe and occupied during the school holidays, the WCED's Safe Schools directorate has organised a holiday programme for learners which will be launched on 25 June 2012 across all eight education districts in the province.
A number of stakeholders have come on board to assist us with the programme including various government departments, municipalities, SAPS, Love Life, Life Choices and Nicro.
Educational programmes on offer will cover important topics such as substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy seminars, workshops on conflict and drug abuse, leadership courses and reading sessions.
For active learners, soccer and netball clinics have been arranged. Arts and crafts and drama classes will also be available at some of the venues.
In order to protect our schools from burglary and vandalism over the holiday period, the WCED's Safe Schools directorate has arranged increased security at some of our high risk schools.
A total of 472 schools will receive either 24-hour security or will benefit from cluster patrols. We remind all schools that have alarm systems to test their systems to ensure that they are in working order before they shut their schools.
We also ask every community member to help their schools by reporting any suspicious behaviour in and around our schools immediately to the police.
The WCED is determined to ensure that every learner in the province continues to learn over this period.
We encourage parents to assist their children in keeping a culture of learning alive in the holiday period and ensure that their children continue to practise important skills such as reading, writing and calculating every day. Principals and their teachers should provide guidance to parents on what they can do, or they can visit the WCED's website for ideas on updated reading lists and building their reading and calculating skills at home.
The WCED is encouraged by the support we have received from our schools in the first half of 2012, and we would like to wish all our educators, principals, staff and learners a happy and safe holiday.
We look forward to what we can achieve in the latter part of 2012!