Makupula in Bay to find facts

2017-01-18 06:01
One of the problems facing township schools was late coming, noted MEC Mandla Makupula during his visit to Ithembelihle High School in New Brighton. Photo: ODETTE PARFITT

One of the problems facing township schools was late coming, noted MEC Mandla Makupula during his visit to Ithembelihle High School in New Brighton. Photo: ODETTE PARFITT

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EASTERN Cape Education MEC Mandla Makupula spent the whole of last week in Nelson Mandela Bay to meet with education stakeholders to discuss issues that affect education, following the province’s poor 2016 matric pass rate.

The visit formed part of the department’s Back to School programme aimed at ensuring school functionality across the province.

The Eastern Cape Province came last in the country’s national matric results with a 59.3% pass rate. Some Nelson Mandela Bay schools had a pass rate of less than 20% with Thubelihle Secondary School in New Brighton obtaining a mere 3%.

The Portfolio Education Committee of Basic Education and Members of Parliament Legislature (MPLs) visited Northern Areas Schools on a fact-finding mission.

After having meetings with officials at the district offices in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, MEC Makupula visited schools to have discussions with them.

“I visited former Model C schools that did well, as well as those schools in the townships that performed badly,” said Makupula.

Some of the schools the MEC visited were Ithembelihle High and Pendla Primary in New Brighton, KwaZakhele High, Bertram Senior Secondary and Grey High School.

The MEC delegated some senior Education Department officials to schools he couldn’t manage to visit himself.

MEC Makupula urged schools that performed well, such as Grey High School, to assist poor performing schools to partner with and share experiences and resources with them in the spirit of ubuntu. One of the huge problems facing schools was late coming. Makupula noted that at Ithembelihle, who has 800 learners, only about 140 pupils were at school when the school was about to start.

He said, “Parents have a major role to play here. It is parents who must motivate their children about being at school, on time, to learn,” Makapula said.

“We appreciate the MECs coming to find solutions to the problems that bedevil education in the province. It is dire, with Nelson Mandela Bay performing badly with a less than 50% pass rate in matric,” said Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff Kristoff Adelbert.

He said the DA believed it was right for the MEC to take responsibility as education is the most important service delivery to the masses.

“Through this learners can become independent of government,” he said.

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