MEC Wishes Learners and Educators a Safe and Happy Holiday
Schools across the country officially close tomorrow, on 9th June 2010.
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) would like to wish all our educators, principals, staff and learners a happy and safe holiday.
It has been a busy and productive second term for the WCED and its staff members.
This term the WCED embarked on its literacy and numeracy roadshow across the Province. The roadshow includes briefings with principals on the 2009 Grade six (6) assessment tests, meetings with school management teams on how to develop turnaround strategies for improvement, and community engagements with parents.
The WCED continued to target Grade twelve's (12s) with the launch of the "Own your future. Own your success. Study hard to pass matric" campaign. Grade twelve (12) learners each received a "Tips for Success" booklet, and a tutoring programme for complex areas of the syllabus was launched in underperforming schools.
The WCED also announced the details of their infrastructure plan, which will see twenty five (25) new schools built in the next three (3) years and twenty (20) schools with inappropriate structures replaced.
The Schools Holiday Plan for 2010 World Cup was also planned and released this term. Many of our schools have chosen to continue teaching and learning during the June/July holidays. Parents are encouraged to ask their principals about their respective school's holiday academic programmes. Details on the variety of tutor programmes for Grade twelve's 12's can also be obtained from their school or district office.
The Safe School's holiday programme will be launched on the 10th of June at Tygerberg High School and will provide learners with creative and fun alternatives to crime and violence, as well as, engage in formal education activities.
Similar programmes will be offered at sixty three (63) additional centres throughout the province. Parents are encouraged to contact the Safe Schools Call Centre at 0800 45 46 47 for further information.
It is imperative that we keep our children safe during these holidays. Concerns have been raised about the lengthy holiday period and, in addition an influx of tourists, it is feared that there will be an increase in the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children. While the WCED, the Department for Social Development and the Department of Community Safety have put a number of measures in place to help ensure the safety of children during this time, we also require that adults continue to be vigilant, make sure their children are supervised at all times, and teach them not to talk to strangers.
In terms of school security, and the prevention of burglary and vandalism, we call on parents and community members to report any suspicious behaviour at our schools during to the police.
The WCED's Safe Schools programme have beefed up security at high risk schools. They have put in place twenty four (24) hour security patrols at one hundred (100) identified schools and two hundred and forty six (246) schools will receive cluster patrols during the holiday period.
We urge schools to make sure that their alarm systems are in a working condition and that they test whether their armed response companies would respond should their alarms be activated.
While some schools have decided to offer programmes during the June-July holidays, the WCED is determined to ensure that every learner in the province continues to learn during the holiday period.
The WCED have therefore requested that schools forward a letter to parents encouraging them to ensure that learners read, write and calculate every day and that they continue to practise these important skills.
Principals and their teachers should provide guidance to parents on what they can do to assist them in keeping a culture of learning alive in the holiday period.
Parents can refer to the web-page "Tips for parents" on the WCED website index, for ideas, if necessary.
Again, I would like to thank all our staff and educators for their commitment to improving learner outcomes in the province.
I look forward to what we can achieve in the latter part of 2010!
Minister of Education
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Cell: 072 72 41422
Tel: 021 467 2377