MEC pleased with schools’ reopening, but late registration still a problem

2013-01-17 00:00

EDUCATION MEC Senzo Mchunu was happy with how things panned out on the first day of school.

He said there was learning from the very first second in schools throughout the province.

Mchunu visited several schools, and told The Witness there were only two things he was not too satisfied with.

First, assembly at a high school at Empangeni was still being held by 8.15 am. “We all love prayer, but not at 8.15 am. This is the time for learning. If schools want to pray longer they must at least start at 6 am.”

Second, there was a school in the same area that still had about 30 pupils waiting to be registered.

“While I was visiting schools there were no children roaming the streets, except one who was looking for a school, and we helped that child find the school,” he added.

While the Education Department said it was pleased that it had reached 100% delivery of textbooks and stationery to all Section 21 schools, the MEC said natural science workbooks for grades 4 to 6 had not yet been delivered.

He encouraged parents to assist their children with homework and check that their children did not carry weapons to school.

National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA president Basil Manuel said there were still schools inundated with parents who had come to register.

He noted that there was still a great number of children moving from the townships to towns for schooling “as if magic lies there”.

The deputy secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union in KZN, Nomarashiya Caluza, said teachers were 100% ready to teach.

She had visited several schools and found that some temporary teachers had not had their contracts renewed and Grade R teachers’ morale was low because they did not get a pay increase.

Acting Premier Willies Mchunu visited schools in the Zululand district, and was horrified to learn that Sqophumlando High School had seen its matric pass rate plummet from 100% in 2011 to just 9,52% last year, after improving from 27,78% in 2010.

“I will take this report to Premier Mkhize and discuss a turnaround strategy for this school to help it improve this year. I can see the children are eager to learn. They just need resources to excel,” Mchunu said in a statement.

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