Education department officials visited various schools in Gauteng this morning as pupils started a new school year.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga was at Meetse A-Bophelo Primary School in Mamelodi “to make sure that everything was in order”, according to her spokesperson, Hope Mokgatlhe.
“I am with the minister right now and she is making sure that regular teaching resumes within the next hour,” Mokgatlhe said.
Mokgatlhe said Deputy Minister Enver Surty was visiting schools in Tembisa and the department’s director-general was scheduled to visit schools in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, but was yet to confirm this.
“So far it looks as though everything at most schools is in order. However, there are a couple of late registrations,” she said, adding that Motshekga would speak to parents about this.
“Late registrations disrupt the processes.”
Next week, Motshekga would start visiting coastal schools.
“We have confirmed a visit to KwaZulu-Natal.”
Mpumalanga was also on the list for January.
Yesterday Motshekga said schools were ready for the 2011 academic year.
“We are indeed ready to begin the 2011 school year. We enter this new year with renewed vigour and excitement after the encouraging results achieved by the class of 2010,” she said.
“I am indeed hopeful that the standard set by the Class of 2010 will spur all of us to work even harder to sustain the pass rate of 67.8% we achieved last year.”
Motshekga said her department had made “strides” to ensure success in five areas – providing workbooks, drawing up a curriculum and assessment policy statement, introducing a first additional language, providing learning and teaching support material, and having annual national assessments for grades 3, 6 and 9.
Workbooks were meant to help children master literacy and numeracy.
“All literacy and numeracy workbooks for grade 1 to 6, in all 11 languages, are being delivered to schools in order to strengthen these foundational skills of learning.
These are high-quality books created by the department at half of the original cost.”
The distribution of the workbooks had started and would continue until the end of January.