Mpuma schools off to good start

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pretoria - Plans have been put in place to ensure the first day of the 2010 school term in Mpumalanga gets off to a good start, the provincial education department said on Monday.

The delivery of stationary in all provincial schools is expected to be finalised before the province's schools reopen on Wednesday, along with other public schools in the country.

Spokesperson for the Mpumalanga Department of Education, Jasper Zwane, said on Monday that learner activity books and teachers' guides for Grade 1 to 12 had been procured and delivered.

However, due to the National Curriculum Statement Review, no new textbooks have been ordered for 2010 and only top-up orders will be made for text books in the second term of the year.

Zwane said the admission of learners for the 2010 school year took place from August to October 2009 and 98 percent of learners had already been admitted.

"Indications from regions are that most schools in urban areas have closed admission and classes are already full especially in the Emalahleni, Mbombela and Mkhondo municipalities.

"The department has established teams to assist parents and to address challenges of admission in the four regions: Bushbuckridge, Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande and Nkangala," Zwane said.

In avoiding the shortage of teachers, the department has employed 36 263 teachers with 200 posts being set aside to address critical teacher shortages in 2010. The teacher pupil ratio in the province is currently 1:29.

The department has also increased the beneficiaries of "no fee schools" from 479 581 to 710 569 learners and will continue to provide the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) for primary schools in Quintile 1 to 3 and secondary schools in Quintile 1.

Secondary schools that fall within Quintile 2 will benefit from the NSNP from April 2010, Zwane said.

Further to this, a total of 70 000 learners will benefit from the Scholar Transport Programme.