Dept to assess underperforming schools' work

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pretoria - With 89 days before the start of matric examinations, the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department is to hold an assessment session to take stock of all work done in schools especially underperforming schools.

The two-day assessment session, which starts on Monday, will bring together top education officials, who will assess the first and second quarter common exams for matric in 2010, progress already made on the syllabi and current state of teaching and learning in schools.

The officials, including Education MEC Senzo Mchunu, superintendent general, senior general managers, subject advisors, specialists in various fields and teachers' unions will develop a concrete plan for the remaining months in accordance with the outcome of the department's analysis.

Mchunu said the session will put more focus on schools that achieved less than 20 percent in 2009.

"All these efforts are aimed at strengthening support for educators while ensuring that our learners are well prepared for their final examinations," Mchunu said.

He added that a number of interventions, including unannounced school visits at underperforming schools, turnaround strategies for poor performing schools, early morning and afternoon classes as well as winter classes during the extended holidays are all geared towards assisting learners and teachers to yield better results at the end of 2010.

Meanwhile, Mchunu expressed his concerns about the pending teachers strike and appealed to those involved in the negotiations to come up with a solution that will avert a national crisis.

"It has a huge potential of undoing all the work done so far and lead to disillusionment of learners after working so hard preparing themselves their final exams.

"We believe that the strike can still be averted and hope that those who are involved in discussions will find one another and resolve the problem," Mchunu said.

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