News24

Cape education dept plans placements

2012-08-07 20:06

Cape Town - Western Cape pupils whose schools are closed will be moved to facilities with better opportunities, the provincial education department said on Tuesday.

"The aim is to improve opportunities for the learners concerned. We would like to place these learners in schools that are better equipped to provide a quality education," department head Penny Vinjevold told reporters in Cape Town.

She said the 20 rural and seven urban schools facing possible closure were not ideal places of learning. The rural schools were faced largely with dwindling pupil numbers and teachers having to accommodate up to seven different grades in a single classroom.

The urban schools were plagued by a high dropout rate, poor academic performance, or buildings in poor condition.

There were 11 possible closures in the Eden Karoo, six in the Cape Winelands, five in Cape Town central, three on the West Coast and two in Cape Town north.

In Eden Karoo, enrolment ranged from 11 to 101 pupils.

Vinjevold said primary schools should ideally have between 650 and 800 pupils, and high schools between 1 000 and 1 200 pupils.

She said the problem was that schools with low numbers received less funding, even though their water, electricity and municipal rates were the same.

The proposal to close schools was met with opposition by various communities, the African National Congress and Congress of SA Trade Unions.

The department was criticised for targeting certain races and for a lack of transparency.

Exemption policy

Vinjevold provided reporters with a detailed breakdown of why each school had been chosen and where pupils could be transferred if the process went ahead.

About 4 000 pupils would be placed in different schools from 2013 if the proposal was approved. She said this did not mean Education MEC Donald Grant had already made up his mind.

The proposed placements were a work in progress and had been compiled to reassure parents that the department had done its research.

Any person, community, organisation or civil movement could offer their input at public hearings to be held from 18 August to 3 September.

Grant was expected to make a final decision by the end of September.

Vinjevold said parents should not worry about their child being placed in a school they could not afford.

"We've tried to match no-fee schools with no-fee schools," she said.

In instances where a child was placed in a school with fees, an exemption policy would apply.

For rural areas, proposed transfer schools were between 6km and 27km from the original school. "In many cases, the learners will find it easier to get to school because buses will pick them up closer to their homes," Vinjevold said.

Teachers would typically follow pupils to their new schools.

Comments
  • bernpm - 2012-08-07 20:17

    "She said the problem was that schools with low numbers received less funding, even though their water, electricity and municipal rates were the same." If you apply some logic than you might want to change the funding formulae for basic and higher education. In thinly populated areas, you cannot expect high density schools. Closing them means that scholars have to travel further and mostly not supported by public transport. weak excuse, my lady

      tasmee.hylkema - 2012-08-07 21:24

      epic fail your comment! Read the article again.

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-08-07 22:57

      LOL @ tasmee, I have to agree with you. Hopefully he/she is not from Limpopo, if so, I doubt that he/she will ever understand the article.

  • mzuvukile.mbanjana - 2012-08-07 20:41

    On what basis is the ANc opposed to the closure of these schools?In eastern cape , the ANc government is doing the same with the support of the ANC. Why politicizing and playing with education. If the closure or the opening of those schools is good for the those children and their education, let it be.

  • ronwyn.morgan1 - 2012-08-07 21:14

    " said primary schools should ideally have between 650 and 800 pupils, and high schools between 1 000 and 1 200 pupils." so if this is the ideal why are our schools packed to the rafters. I service 4 schools in the south of JHB, all primary schools and all with more than 1200 learners. One has a grade 3 class with 59 kids in. GDE won't give them more teacher.

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-08-07 23:01

      Okay

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-08-07 21:52

    and the ancyl intend to march against this? Theres something missing upstairs by that lot. Theres no other explanation

  • sharon.truebodyvice - 2012-08-08 10:20

    If the maths are done and pupils are accommodated (transport & fees), as well as the competent teachers follow to the schools I dont see a problem. I think it is a good idea, maybe the old school building can be used for the homeless.

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