Education MEC visits Bay schools

2018-01-24 06:00
The Grey High pupils gathered at the school hall for the MEC’s address.

The Grey High pupils gathered at the school hall for the MEC’s address.

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EASTERN Cape Education MEC Mandla Makupula visited Nelson Mandela Bay schools last week to meet education stakeholders in an attempt to address issues that affect education.

The visit formed part of the provincial government’s Back to School campaign that seeks to commend the best performing schools, while assessing and assisting the schools in dire need of help.

Some of the schools that the MEC visited included Grey High, Ithembelihle Comprehensive in New Brighton and Astra Primary School in Bethelsdorp.

Speaking at Grey High, Makupula assured that the department is more than ready for the 2018 academic year.

“The declaration of posts for schools, according to the law, is done by September 30 which we did in August. Some schools have already received the mandated textbooks and stationery, and distribution should be completed by the end of January,” Makupula said.

The MEC commended Grey High for heeding to his call to assist poor performing schools. “We must foster these bridges of building our rainbow nation,” he said.

“One thing I appreciate about Grey is that they have committed to the request I’ve made for them to establish partnerships with less fortunate schools.”

He said there was a misconception that Model C schools didn’t have problems, which couldn’t be further from the truth. “Grey experiences problems like any other school,” Makupula said.

The newly appointed Grey High rector, Christian Erasmus, said he was excited about the year ahead.

“I know I have big shoes to fill,” Erasmus said.

Responding to partnerships with other schools, he said it was important to adopt an approach where schools were all learning together.

“It would be really foolish to think that a school like Grey knows everything. The trick is to learn from each other; in that way we can understand each other’s situations and circumstances and we can grow together.

“Grey will end up a better school as well as the schools we are partnering with,” Erasmus added.

Addressing pupils at Ithembelihle High, the MEC said late coming is a huge problem facing schools in the township areas. He, however, applauded the learners for having improved their attendance this year, describing that last year out of over 800 learners, only around 100 learners were present at school when school started.

“I really hope that this year you have set high standards for yourselves as your future lies in your own hands. There is only so much that the educators can do,” Makupula said.

Ithembelihle has, for the past three years, been listed as one of the worst-performing schools in the district.

The MEC said discussions were underway with education stakeholders and officials to find solutions to improve the province’s results.

“There were significant improvements in the Eastern Cape matric results, despite the province being the country’s worst-performing province yet again,” Makupula said.

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