MEC Monitors Latecomers from Cape Town Station
This morning, Western Cape Education Minister Donald Grant monitored latecomers arriving from Cape Town station.
Waiting in the corridor in the Golden Acre shopping centre, Grant approached learners that were late for school.
"It is simply unacceptable that learners do not ensure that they are at school on time. In order to maximise the quality of education they receive, learners must adhere to the principle of 'time on task', said Grant.
"Last week I visited a number of high schools in the City Bowl to assess how schools were coping on the first day back at school. While learner attendance was high, it was apparent that some learners were failing to arrive at school on time."
At one school, Grant was shown the late attendance register, with some learners marked late 10-14 days of the month.
Grant said that learners from these "commuter schools" quickly blamed public transport for their tardiness.
"The reality is that there can be delays in public transport, however, delays do not occur everyday. For instance, this morning, only one train arrived significantly late. Most of the trains arrived on time, and surprisingly, even the learners admitted to me that they simply woke up late," he said.
"They need to be more disciplined, get to bed on time and wake up a bit earlier."
Grant said that the purpose of today's exercise was to support schools in their efforts to curb latecoming.
"The whole issue of latecoming detracts from our goal to maximise teaching and learning time. School resources are used to monitor latecomers, these resources and time could be better utilised by improving learning outcomes," he said.
"Latecomers also disrupt classes, disturbing fellow learners who made an effort to be at school on time."
Grant said that if parents find that their children are consistently late for school, they should teach them to wake up on their own, prepare for unexpected delays in traffic, or ensure that they are placed on safe and reliable transport wherever possible, and finally, teach them the importance of "time on task" and "punctuality".
"Community members can also play a role, by simply asking why they are late for school."
Grant added that once off the train, learners should go directly to school.
"In some cases, there is no sense of urgency," he said.
"My officials and I will continue to monitor late attendance throughout the province. Learners can also expect some more surprise visits in the future."
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Cell: 072 724 1422
Tel: 021 467 2377