Western Cape schools '96% ready'

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cape Town - As pupils head back to school a week early to allow for the five week mid-year break during the 201 FIFA World Cup, schools in the Western Cape are "just about ready" for the start of the new school year.

Paddy Attwell, the provincial Education Department's Director of Communications said an audit conducted late last year by his department revealed that on average schools had completed 96 percent of all the tasks needed to be fulfilled before the start of the new school year.

These tasks included compiling rosters, timetables, detailing safety issues, ordering textbooks and setting the agenda for the coming year.

Though the department was waiting on reports, due to be submitted today, from each district to assess the final state of readiness, Attwell was confident that the remainder of the tasks would be completed in time for tomorrow's start of the school year.

He said parents would still be able to register pupils at some schools, despite a drive by the provincial government in the second and third terms of last year's school year to encourage parents to enrol their children.

Under the provincial government's Education Priorities 2010-2019, the Western Cape Education Department is aiming to obtain a literacy level of 90 percent or Grade 3's by 2019 - almost double the current literacy level of 53.5 percent.

The province also plans to push the matric pass rate up to 87 percent by 2019, which is up from 75.7 percent last year.

The Minister of Education Angie Motshekga said in her announcement of the matric results last week that she was "disappointed" in the results within certain provinces, including the Western Cape, where the pass rate declined by 2.7 percent.