Vuwani matric mock exams postponed to September

2016-08-30 19:34
School that was set alight during protests in Vuwani, Limpopo. (News24 Correspondent)

School that was set alight during protests in Vuwani, Limpopo. (News24 Correspondent)

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Cape Town - Preparation matric exams have been postponed at schools in Vuwani, Limpopo, affected by violent protests earlier this year.

Pupils would write their preparation exams on September 1, and not on August 22, Parliament's basic education portfolio committee heard on Tuesday.

Almost 53 000 pupils were affected by protests that started in early May and ended on August 10. A total of 42 000 children were unable to write their mid-year exams.

Local residents were dissatisfied with the rezoning of the area by the Municipal Demarcation Board earlier this year. They were incorporated into a municipality with Malamulele, but wanted to return to the Makhado municipality.

Twenty-nine schools, mainly in the area of Vhuronga 2, were burnt and vandalised, basic education deputy director general for planning and oversight, Palesa Tyobeka, told the committee.

The department set up three mobile learning centres for Grade 12s, to ensure they continued to cover the curriculum, and to feed them while there.

A total of R102 888 was spent per day at all three centres, or R3.2m for the 32 days. Pupils were fed at a cost of an additional R3.2m over the same period. Pupils had since returned to their schools.

Grade R to Grade 11 pupils got school furniture and help with curriculum content and formal assessment, Tyobeka said.

'Matrics the priority'

“Our primary purpose was that Grade 12 learners did not miss out,” Tyobeka said.

“We wanted to give them quality teaching, and this was achieved. All required work was covered for the work they missed in term two of this year.”

The department had to take money from other programmes to cover the unexpected expenditure.

Tyobeka said Vuwani's broader social issues had not been resolved.

"We have been allowed to get learners back to school, but the issue still remains, so we are proceeding with caution and working with the community and stakeholders. We also saw amazing commitment from teachers."

Future safety concerns

DA MP Gavin Davis asked if there were any measures in place to ensure pupils’ safety.

“It's difficult for us to guarantee the safety of the schools. There are many schools and it is difficult to police all of them all of the time,” Tyobeka said.

“But we worked with police, the department of public works as well as intelligence, and we did our best.”

Tyobeka appealed to residents to help the department maintain law and order at Vuwani's schools.

Schools would not have a spring break, to make up for the time lost in term two.




Read more on:    polokwane  |  protests  |  education

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