Dept denies putting pressure on schools

2012-10-30 11:47

Johannesburg - Reports that Gauteng schools are being pressured into taking on more pupils than they can accommodate are untrue, the provincial education department said on Tuesday.

"Suggestions that schools in some parts of the province might be coerced into taking more pupils than they are able to accommodate are devoid of any truth whatsoever," the department said in a statement.

Spokesperson Charles Phahlane said the department was working with school governing bodies to find ways of accommodating additional pupils. The schools would not be forced to accept more pupils than their individual capacities allowed.

Earlier, The Star reported that schools in Johannesburg's northern suburbs were told to increase their class sizes in 2013 to accommodate pupils who had not been placed.

Principals said they were told they had to meet the national standard of 40 pupils a class for primary schools and 35 pupils a class in high schools.

Principals met the education department three times last week to discuss the higher pupil ratios.

Kathy Callaghan, the secretary of the Governor's Alliance, a school governing body organisation, told The Star she attended one of the meetings and believed the department was trying to intimidate schools.

She said a problem with insisting on a ratio was that schools were of different sizes.

Democratic Alliance education spokesperson Khume Ramulifo told the newspaper the department was trying to get more pupils into schools.

"We are saying that if you want to increase class size, then provide those schools with facilities, textbooks, because all you are doing is putting pressure on teachers," he said.

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-10-30 12:05

    Provincial education department, try fool someone else, but not the parents of the various schools. The education departments has been pushing this issue nationwide for some time now. How much more BS are you trying to feed the parents? The wheel will however turn and what you are trying to do, will burst in your own faces due to your incompetance and your greed for money trying to keep everyone stupid.

      clive.schonken - 2012-10-30 12:55

      The Dept Education introduced a system whereby pupils of parents working in the areas bordering schools, are given preference over pupils residing in the area where schools are situated. In other words, if mr X and his wife is working at Monte Casino, immaterial where they reside, and have kids who will be attending high school in 2013, will have a 80-90% bigger chance to be enrolled over the kids living in the area. This is now backfiring on the Dept. and the only way to get round this stupid idea or to make it work, is to force schools to accept larger numbers. Such a school is Fourways High. I speak of experience because I am currently in that situation where my kid is one of those who had not been placed due to, school full! Have submitted an appeal, and to date not even received confirmation of receipt from the Dept. Education.

  • bibi.vanzyl - 2012-10-30 12:13

    You absolutely cannot teach 40 kids effectively. The ones that need extra care will fall through the cracks and will never make it uni.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-10-30 12:50

    yeh right - next thing you'll tell us is that they put a man on the moon..

  • clara.viljee - 2012-10-30 13:17

    May I ask - why is everybody always referring to people in stead of naming them. Why don't Kathy Callaghan and The Star and the Principals name the person/s (and the dates and place names) who are pressurising the schools into taking into more pupils than catered for so that all this denial by whoever stops. Just referring to annonymous people doesn't help the cause. I am just asking.

  • jeff.swart.96 - 2012-10-30 13:22

    What happened at the Rivonia school again???

  • DarrenCooper68 - 2012-10-30 13:42

    The state takes number of kids at a school on a specific date, divides by 40 and allocated the resultant number of teachers. The Parent body through the SGB via school fees, employ additional educators to drop the ratio. The Dept then simply forces kids into the school as they are the only ones that can declare a school full. Simply not fair. Majority of those learners thrust upon the schools apply for fee exemption and the other paying parents then again subsidise their education, firstly through taxation and then through school fees. Simply wrong....

  • renier.lubbe.7 - 2012-10-30 14:03

    Apart from the lie it is easy to say a class must take 40 learners. At most schools the classrooms are so crowded that the teacher can hardly move between the learners whilst the learners barely have space for themselves. The front rows are less than 2 meters from the black board. 40 learners is far to much for a class. Apart from presenting a lesson the teacher must allow the learners to ask questions. If 20 out of 40 learners are allowed 1 minute there is not enough time to complete the lesson. To mark a book takes no less than 5 minutes. To mark the books of 40 learners x 6 classes = 20 hours (that is if a book is marked once a week). Then the teacher still has to prepare for lessons and complete a "million" forms. All this is done after hours. That is why a proper teacher has to work till 22:00 each day. Half of each weekend and the so called holidays are consumed by schoolwork as well. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act is discarded when the duties and work of teachers are discussed. Yet it is expected from teachers to be disciplined and enthusiastic. To many children for an inadequate number of teachers and facilities is a recipe that will never work for all, even if the authorities, teachers, and learners do their share executing the current plan. The basic plan is wrong. How on earth will the overall education problem ever be solved?

      chez.kri - 2012-10-30 14:14

      @renier. I hear what you say but please, point me to a teacher that is even close to being that committed anyway? I see you glossed over the "so called holidays" but we all know that teachers get more than tripple the holidays of the rest of us and moan like hell when they get home at 5pm! I know a "dedicated" teacher and he only works till 5pm 2 days a week!

      renier.lubbe.7 - 2012-10-30 15:38

      @chez.kri: I can show you quite a lot and I can prove most of it on paper just by logging time and date stamps of documents on the computers (bought out of own pocket) of these teachers. Another way will be for you to go to any formal model C school (preferably not a "rich" school as they employ additional teachers paid out of the school fund)ask the teachers to give you breakdown of their day. Pic one and if possible go and stay with him/her for a week and follow his her every move. Don't pic a student (Yes that is how they are trained these days. They enroll at UNISA and gradually start teaching (and paid by the school). One thing the Department is good at is inspections. Your teacher either has somebody doing his work, is covered by the principal, or he works at home as well, like most teachers do. Holidays... December maybe. If there is not some sports camp, training session, or strategic planning during the holiday half of it is consumed by work for the next term anyway.

      DarrenCooper68 - 2012-10-31 13:37

      For an interesting comparison, calculate the annual pay, divide by number of hours worked and see how favourably that compares to any other professional. There is a prescribed number of hours an educator has to work, most do not even work those hours

      renier.lubbe.7 - 2012-10-31 16:25

      @Bingo: You have no idea what you are talking about. At properly managed schools the teachers may only leave at the prescribed time. You should ad the "overtime hours" to your so called calculation. A teacher with a 3 year diploma and 30 years of service earns a few rand more than a senior secretary (only grade 12) at a big municipality with 8 years experience.

  • lauryan.ritzlmayr - 2012-10-30 15:01

    All the more reason to homeschool. I am so glad we did this!

  • bongohead.sipho - 2012-10-30 15:08

    Always good to find a way forward.

  • eric.klopper - 2012-10-30 15:52

    My kinders gaan na 'n private skool toe, waar hulle nie deur hierdie gemors gepla kan word nie. Hulle kry 'n beter klas opvoeding, kleiner klasse en onderwysers wat die werk doen uit liefde uit. Ek het 'n se in wat by die skool aangaan en is elke dag meer en meer seker dat dit die regte keuse vir my kinders is. Daar is klaar gesĂȘ dat alle Afrikaanse skole teen einde 2013 dubbel medium gaan wees en dat volle geforseerde integrasie dan sal plaas vind. Nee, ek's dankbaar dat my kinders nie deel is van dit nie.

      renier.lubbe.7 - 2012-10-30 18:39

      Wees ook baie dankbaar dat jy dit kan bekostig!

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