Pupils take to holiday learning

2010-07-01 00:00

THE call by the KZN Education MEC, Senzo Mchunu, to have as much learning as possible going on in the province during the winter holidays appears to have been heeded by many schools.

Ministerial spokesperson Muntu Lukhozi said all the Education Department’s 12 districts would have adopted a winter programme of some kind, especially to help grade 12 pupils minimise the effects of the five week-long holidays, which were set by the national Education Department to accommodate the Fifa World Cup.

“By and large the response has been positive. We have had a number of tuition centres running in the province, but what is interesting is that in some instances, even primary schools have been giving lessons during these holidays,” said Lukhozi.

While no prescribed formulas were enforced, as each district office was given flexibility relating to when and how they structured their programmes, Lukhozi said they were required to submit these programmes for monitoring by schools inspectors as well as the subject advisors who have been seeing to it that the activities run smoothly in their areas.

Well performing schools were also given the choice of opting out of the district-led programmes, but it has been mandatory to participate for all schools that achieved a pass rate of less than 60%.

According to Lukhozi, in many instances schools in the same area are clustered into a tuition centre. Another pattern in many districts has been getting the best teachers for each subject in that district to conduct lessons.

Meanwhile, poorly performing schools that are seen to not cope with the pace in these centres have received individual attention and been assigned outside teachers and even subject advisors to offer tutoring.

The Witness visited a number of local schools to check whether any learning was taking place.

Zamazulu Secondary in Imbali, which secured a 73% pass rate last year, not only attended to their matriculants but have been catering for the Grade 10s and 11s.

“The teacher attendance has been 100% because we are serious about our learners’ education. We want a 100% pass rate this year,” said principal Phumzile Ngcobo.

The Witness found pupils at Sukuma Secondary, also in Imbali, contentedly waiting for their teachers.

“Our time is short and I personally want to finish here and pursue my higher education. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to try improve my result,” was Thandokuhle Simelani’s (17) motivation for working through the holidays.

Some of the poor performing schools visited, however, had locked doors and not even security guards in sight.

Lukhozi could not give accurate figures of the attendance and the number of centres at this stage, but all districts have been asked to give a report on the first week when schools reopen, she said.

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