Minister Debbie Schäfer on her visit to Grade 12 Spring Schools

Debbie Schafer, MPP

Western Cape Minister of Education

With only 11 days to go to the National Senior Certificate Exams (NSC) 2014, this is a crucial time for our Grade 12 learners.

The class of 2014 has been working hard this year to ensure an improved result in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. Many schools and educators across the province have been offering extra lessons in the evening and over weekends to improve individual learner results.

In order to assist our learners in preparation for the National Senior Certificate (NSC), the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has initiated a number of targeted and sustained interventions at schools across the province, including a Spring School for Grade 12 learners.

Providing curriculum support to our Grade 12 learners is a priority for this Government, particularly in schools where learners are struggling in specific subjects.

During these school holidays, the WCED has organised holiday study programmes at 144 of our high schools.

The Grade 12 Spring Schools Programme aims to assist learners in high enrolment subjects. These subjects include Mathematics, Physical Science, Geography, Life Sciences, Accounting and Economics. Many of the programmes on offer will be taught by tutors selected by the WCED.

In some schools, curriculum advisors will be supporting and assisting individual school programmes. Additional resource materials have been developed to complement the lessons being presented.

Today, I visited the Grade 12 Spring School Programme at Alexander Sinton High School.

The ‘spring school’ programme at Alexander Sinton High School will run from Monday 6th October – Friday 10th October 2014 and extra lessons will include Home languages, mathematics, maths literacy, business studies, physical science economics, accounting, geography and life science.

The school has been working hard to improve its pass rates over the last few years. In 2012 the school achieved an 89.1% pass rate. In 2013, the school improved their results significantly with a 9point increase – a 98.1% pass rate.

Mr Parker, the school Principal mentioned that in conjunction to the school holiday programmes, educators from Alexander Sinton have run a number of after school programmes throughout the year for the last couple of years for the Grade 12 learners in the subjects of maths and science. The benefits of the after school programme are evident in the schools overall results.

In Mathematical Literacy in 2012, Grade 12 leaners achieved pass rate of 96.3% and in 2013 achieved 99.1%.

In Mathematics in 2012, their pass rate increased from 43.8% in 2012 to 54.9% in 2013.

In Life Sciences in 2012, Grade 12 learners achieved a pass rate of 78.2%, and in 2013 85.9%.

Alexander Sinton High School currently has 176 candidates writing the NSC this year.

Mr Parker, who has taught at the school for over 30 years and has been school Principal since 1998 will be retiring at the end of the school year. Mr Parker has indicated that he is extremely proud of the Grade 12 learners, because despite many of them living and studying under the most difficult circumstances, they always strive to achieve their best. Mr Parker says that ‘Education is a lifelong process, and my wish for the Grade 12’s of 2014 is that they will all further their education beyond Alexander Sinton High School.

I sincerely hope that the Grade 12’s will give Mr Parker a positive send-off to end his teaching career by doing themselves, the Province and Mr Parker proud in the upcoming NSC exams.

I also share Mr Parker’s wish for the Grade 12’s of Alexander Sinton to continue to further their education.  I have every confidence in them, and wish them the very best of luck for the 2014 National Senior Certificate Examinations.