Grade 10 Exam Results - School Safety in the Spotlight Again
Ms SU Paulse to ask Mr. C M Dugmore, Minister of Education:
Whether the Western Cape Ministry of Education has taken or intends taking any steps with a view to helping teachers to assist Grade 10 learners to do much better in the November 2006 examinations, and to actually pass Grade 10; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
The WCED has every intention of supporting both teachers and Grade 10 learners to perform better by the end of 2006. The following are some of the activities in which WCED has been engaged since being informed of the June Grade 10 results:
- School visits have been arranged to schools that have been identified in newspaper reports - thus far Edgemead, Milnerton and Simunye have been visited.
- Schools will be advised to consult the Bridging document that addresses the gap between the old and new curriculums for Grade 10 and was issued to schools in 2003.
- The WCED is conducting an analysis of June examination papers to determine whether question papers set were appropriate.
- Exemplars of Grade 10 examinations have been obtained from the national Department of Education and will be printed and sent to schools by the end of August.
- A manual on setting question papers will be sent to all schools to assist teachers to set single grade question papers with appropriate differentiation and of an appropriate standard. The papers will also be mediated in workshops in all EMDCs.
- The poor pass rate in home language increased the number of learners who failed quite dramatically, as the subject is compulsory. Previously, a Higher Grade failure could be converted to a Standard Grade pass. Language curriculum advisors will undertake further investigation into the problem so that a support strategy can be developed.
- It is also evident that schools reported on sections of assessment only and did not include CASS or oral marks as required. Information regarding the requirements of assessment and reporting will be sent to all schools again.
- Efforts will be made to enforce a 27-hour school week and to ensure that all learners will have a minimum of five contact hours per day throughout the year.
- The WCED will look at strengthening demands in grade 8 and 9, especially in terms of assessment tasks set by teachers.
- An audit will be done to determine where schools lack the resources to teach subjects, and where possible, to assist with LTSM.
- Study skills will be improved in Life Orientation and the subject will also be used to drive an increased academic work ethic. Grade 10 learners will be supplied with a study-skills booklet which teachers will mediate with learners.
- The WCED is developing an increasing focus on career guidance in order to support learners to become self-motivated to study and succeed academically.
- The WCED is recommending that schools do not write September examinations but that the time is spent teaching, as assessment requirements make provision for only 2 exams a year.
- 10 WCED schools will participate in a national examination pilot, each one writing 3 national subjects in October/November this year.
- All schools will write a common national grade 11 examination next year.
Every effort will be made to ensure that learners are well-prepared for the final Grade 10 assessment and that a satisfactory pass rate is achieved.
Mr. M J R de Villiers to ask Mr. C M Dugmore, Minister of Education:
In what year was the fence of the Murraysburg High School built?
It was erected in 1917 when the school was built.
Whether, also in the light of the fact that safety and discipline at schools in the Western Cape are extremely contentious issues, the Western Cape Education Department intends upgrading this fence; if not, why not; if so, (a) when will this take place and (b) what are the further relevant details in this regard?
- Safety and discipline in schools are of the utmost importance to the WCED. The Department is doing all to create environments conducive to learning in all schools by attending to the issues of health and safety. Yes, the fence at Murraysburg High School will be upgraded.
- EMDC Directors prioritize schedule maintenance projects each year; and Murraysburg High School was prioritized by the EMDC on the 2009/2010-schedule maintenance list. However, I will request the EMDC to engage with the School Governing Body (SGB) of Murraysburg High School in order to reprioritize the matter.
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