Business unusual for KZN schools

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pretoria - KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Senzo Mchunu says the province will leave no stone unturned to ensure that it's business unusual for all provincial schools from day one.

Speaking to BuaNews on Tuesday, Mchunu said the province was all set for the opening of schools tomorrow, adding that this year will be business unusual for all provincial schools.

He said from Wednesday members of the provincial legislature, including Premier Zweli Mkhize, will visit various schools from all districts to monitor and assess the situation at all schools.

"We will be visiting schools from all 12 districts across the province in the next three days to ensure that the provincial education system is intensified from day one.

"We will also check whether the necessary equipment like textbooks and desks are delivered and that teachers and learners in classrooms are working.

"On Friday, we will meet with all managers from districts as well as ward managers where we will discuss and find lasting solutions on urgent challenges," Mchunu said.

He said 98 percent of textbooks were delivered last year in various Section 20 schools across the province, adding that the department will do rigorous follow up checks in the next few days to determine whether textbooks have been bought and delivered to Section 21 schools.

Meanwhile, the province was recently commended for its matric pass rate which improved from 57.6 percent in 2008 to 61.1 percent in 2009.

KwaZulu-Natal was the only province in the country which recorded an increase in its final examination pass rate.

Mchunu said the department would visit those schools in the province said to have attained a zero percent matric pass rate.

"After that meeting, we will take necessary steps against those schools. This year we want to improve our results from Grade 0 to 12 and we will make sure that this is happening," he said.

Mchunu shared with BuaNews his plans to improve an exchange programme where Grade 11 and 12 best teachers of all subjects from excellent performing schools will work at poorly performing schools for a few days to balance the standard of learning.

He said the programme will also see Grade 11 and 12 learners from poorly performing schools being exchanged to best performing schools across the province.

Subject advisors will also be sent to schools to monitor learners' understanding of subject content and see that teachers are covering the subject correctly.

Regarding the increase of no fee schools in the province, Mchunu said no principal would be allowed to chase away learners who did not pay their school fees in schools where fees are applicable.

"In this case the school must deal with the parent, not the child. The leaner is not part of the agreement between the school and the parent.

"We are sending a stern message that no leaner will be chased away because he or she did not pay their school fees," he said.