Education MEC determined to improve results

Eastern Cape Education MEC Mandla Makupula is determined to overhaul the province’s education system to prevent a repeat of the dismal 2011 matric results.

Department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani said in light of the 0.2 percent drop in the province’s matric pass rate last year, the MEC released details of the department’s service delivery turnaround strategy, which will be implemented this year.

“The MEC has listed a number of non-negotiables. Among them are that teachers get to school on time, pupils aren’t abused, pupils attend school regularly and on time, and that pupils respect their teachers and are committed to learning,” said Pulumani.

He said the MEC was also expecting greater participation from parents this year, especially with regards to participating in school activities, supporting their children with school-related work and ensuring that their children don’t bunk school.

“The MEC also expects all department officials to support schools, ensure that funds are transferred to schools on time, that learner and teacher support materials arrive at schools on time and that teachers are supported in the classroom by subject advisors,” said Pulumani.

He added that the department’s priorities in the next few months included ensuring the proper functioning of the Scholar Transport Programme, the provision of Learner and Teacher Support Materials (LTSM), the proper function of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) and the implementation of the 2012 Post Provisioning Plan.

He said “other teething problems” that would be addressed include pupil admission and the unavailability of infrastructure for teaching and learning.

“The department has prioritised these since they help to ensure that schools are able to start teaching on the first day of the academic year, one of the national education non-negotiables,” said Pulumani.

He said the department allocated R881 million for LTSM (R164 million of which will be spent on stationery) with the remaining R617 million to be spent on textbooks.

Pulumani said teams of department officials have been dispatched to all 23 districts in the province to ensure that the academic year is underway at all schools.

“All the department’s schools have received their monies for last year. On January 13 this year, the department paid out R214 million for the school nutrition programme, including R9.3 million for utensils. Additionally, the department will build 32 kitchens at deserving schools,” he said.

Pulumani said the strategy would ensure that challenges experienced last year are dealt with and that all schools meet the minimum requirements for school readiness. – BuaNews