End of 1st term 2015

Minister Debbie Schäfer

Western Cape Minister of Education:

Today will bring to an end, the first term of the 2015 academic year. The term has got off to a busy but exciting start. Despite some minor challenges I am pleased to see that the majority of our schools in the Western Cape started teaching and learning on day one of the school year.

I would like to appeal to parents to partner with us in ensuring our learners make the most of the rest of their school year by:

  • Attending school every day for the 197 days of the school year.
  • Arriving at school before the school day begins and not leaving before the end of the school day (late arrival disrupts teaching and learning).
  • Discussing their academic progress with you so that you can provide support and encouragement (your school should provide you with an assessment programme for each subject at the beginning of the year and a formal progress report at the end of each quarter).
  • Reading, writing and calculating every school day (check your children’s exercise books and textbooks regularly to support their efforts and progress).
  • Doing homework every school day.

Parents play a key role in building the reading and writing skills of their children by encouraging them to read during holidays and after school hours.

The WCED has updated lists of suggested reading for holiday and leisure-time reading on its web site. The lists cover all ages, grades and the three languages of the Western Cape. The lists are available in Afrikaans, English and Xhosa – http://wced.pgwc.gov.za/documents/ParentTips-LitNum/reading-guide.html

The WCED web site includes Tips for Parents on what they can do at home to develop their children’s literacy and numeracy skills – http://wced.pgwc.gov.za/documents/ParentTips-LitNum/

Grade 12 learners are encouraged to consult their tips for success booklet and begin their preparations for the NSC. Timetables for the June examinations are available on the WCED website – http://wced.school.za/home/lgsp.html#service/2015-Jun-Jul-SC-Exam-TT.pdf*e_inf.html

In order to protect our schools, as far as possible, from burglary and vandalism, the WCED’s Safe Schools directorate has increased security at some of our identified high risk schools.

In terms of safety, 412 schools will receive additional security, 56 will receive 24 hour security and 356 schools will have 12 hour security.

Schools must also ensure that their alarm systems are in a working condition and that they test whether their armed response companies would respond should their alarms be activated.

It is important for communities to take ownership of the schools in their area and realise that they have an important role to play in protecting their community’s assets. The co-operation of the community is essential in order to combat vandalism and to create a safe school environment that promotes teaching and learning.

We urge community members to be extra vigilant throughout the holiday period and to immediately report any suspicious behaviour or activities that occur within the vicinity of their schools and to report this immediately.

I would like to thank all our District Officials, Principals and Educators who have worked so hard to ensure the success of the first quarter.

I wish you well for a short, but well-deserved break during the April holiday.