Creating Text-Rich Environment in Our Schools | Western Cape Government

Speeches

Creating Text-Rich Environment in Our Schools

13 May 2010

The Western Cape government welcomes this wonderful initiative and would like to thank, Equal Education and its partners for their contribution to making Thembelihle High School an even more text-rich environment.

This administration is committed to working in partnership with organisations that share our passion for creating text-rich environments in our schools.

The Western Cape already leads the country in this regard.

In the past 3 years we have spent R120 million in establishing school libraries in our poorest schools. This has seen, amongst other things, 325 000 books being provided to schools. A further R40 million will be invested this year.

However, we also need to separate idealism from the financial realities we face, in the context of a myriad of competing priorities. While as many as 60% of Western Cape schools have libraries (far in excess of any other province in the country), no province, with the best will in the world, can afford to provide one library per school in the foreseeable future.

We have to make hard choices. When the choice is between putting a library in an existing school and building a new school to provide teaching to learners without teachers, there is simply no contest.

It is in the face of this inescapable reality that this administration is putting as much resources as possible into creating text-rich schools. We have for example, spent an additional R100 million on providing texts to our schools. This is over and above the usual norms and standards allocation that all schools receive. This money will be spent in particular on the critical foundation phase, or grades 1-3.

We have also embarked on a very ambitious R1.9 billion school construction programme. The 25 new schools that will be built in the next three years will include provision for resource centres.

We have also ensured, through a top-up programme, that a further 15 000 textbooks were provided to our Grade 12 learners.

These initiatives are unique to the Western Cape and demonstrate how serious our commitment is to creating text-rich schools.

We are also looking at other creative measures, such as the provision of secure and quiet after school study facilities. There is a huge demand for such facilities, especially in Khayelitsha. I am confident, that very soon we will meet this need, with the partnership of UCT and other organisations.

Therefore, as we rightly celebrate the contribution of additional books to Thembelihle High School, I would like to appeal to everyone involved to continue with your efforts, safe in the knowledge that this administration is your partner, not your adversary.

We are doing our very best with the limited resources we have.

We will always strive to do more, and together, cognisant of the realities we face, we can meet our shared goals.

Media Enquiries: 

Bronagh Casey
Spokesperson
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2377
Cell: 072 724 1422