All systems go for schools

2013-01-09 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Education Department claims it is more than ready for the reopening of schools on January 16.

All textbooks and stationery have reportedly been delivered to all Section 21 schools.

Department spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said distribution of material to schools began last September.

“This is an important milestone in that they reached 100% provision of learner teacher support materials for this year to schools by November 2012.”

On the other hand, the department has warned matriculants who want to repeat their final year not to fall victim to “fly-by-night” schools.

The department said pupils and parents must ensure that they thoroughly check the credentials of so-called “finishing schools” that they are registering with.

“It is during this period that criminals take advantage of unsuspecting, and sometimes desperate, students.

“We call on parents and students to remain vigilant and if in doubt to contact the department’s examination administration offices to verify whether the school is indeed a registered examination centre,” Mlotshwa said.

His sentiments were echoed by KwaZulu-Natal Legislature deputy speaker Mtholephi Mthimkhulu.

He said crooked institutions that were unregistered defrauded desperate students who were determined to further their education and training.

In the past few years, hundreds of students have fallen victim to this practice, he added.

“It is for this reason that we urge parents and students to look out for potential fraudsters.

“Students should check if the institution they are enrolling in is registered to provide the qualifications it claims to offer. Students have a right to do that,” said Mthimkhulu.

If an institution failed to provide such information, students could immediately report them to the police.

Mthimkhulu also urged school leavers to register at Further Education and Training institutions, saying they offered skills needed in the marketplace.

“As much as university education is important, it is also equally important for our students to realise that vocational training is very relevant to the needs of our economy. We urge students to swell the ranks of FET colleges, because they will be able to acquire skills that will develop our economy,” said Mthimkhulu.

A finishing school that caters for matric pupils must have a valid examination centre number that is allocated by the department.

In order to verify whether a school is registered as an examination centre, call 031 327 0262 or 031 327 0282 for the National Curriculum Statement (new curriculum) and 031 327 0312 for the Nated Report 550 (old curriculum), or contact the call centre at 0860 596 363.

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