Fewer pupils behind Soweto school closures

By Drum Digital
25 June 2012

Soweto schools are closing down as pupil numbers dwindle, The Star reported on Monday.

Five schools had closed since 2008, seemingly as a direct result of fewer pupil enrolments and poor academic achievement, the newspaper reported.

Soweto was rated the worst performing district in Johannesburg Central when it came to last year's matric pass rate.

While the provincial pass rate was 81.1 percent, Soweto achieved only a 68 percent pass rate.

It was also the area with the most recorded disciplinary cases amongst teachers.

According to The Star, a summit last year on education matters in Soweto found that 158 cases involving drunkenness, corporal punishment, sexual abuse and late arrival at work had been dealt with in the past three years.

Basic Education department spokesman Charles Phahlane told the newspaper that since 1994, "small and inefficient" Soweto schools had been merged with better-performing ones in the township and province.

"Seventeen schools were closed," he said.

The Star interviewed two women residents who said they preferred to send their children to schools outside Soweto.

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