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Quality learning and teaching in inland and coastal provinces continues smoothly

The official reopening of schools in coastal and inland provinces has been continuing smoothly and without interruptions. Earlier this week, Minister Motshekga, together with KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Ms Nomusa Dube-Ncube and the KZN MEC for Education, Ms Mbali Frazer, visited four schools in the KwaZulu-Natal Province to motivate learners as they resumed classes for the 2023 school calendar. The School Monitoring and Oversight Visits to the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province included the Kwazubumnandi Pre-School, the Nkonkoni Primary School, the Bright Future Special School and the Anton Lembede Mathematics Science and Technology Academy in the Umlazi District.

In her address, MEC Frazer expressed her gratitude to education districts, SMTs and teachers for the high level of energy invested in the reopening of schools. “As the Department, we have picked up a trend of declining teaching personnel numbers across all education districts. We will follow up on recruitment processes to ensure that there is a teacher in front of every classroom.” Speaking at Bright Future Special School, Premier Dube-Ncube emphasised that the province should have more special schools to prepare young people for the skills of work. “KZN is still lacking behind in terms of increasing resources for schools of specialisation, especially in rural communities. It is crucial for us to prioritise this area to broaden career pathways for our youth,” she added.

According to the DBE, coastal provinces are well-prepared to facilitate classroom activities for the new academic year. These include KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and the Northern Cape. Minister Motshekga pinpointed learner admission as a critical area requiring quick responses. “No child should be left behind because children have constitutional rights to have access to quality basic education. We are aware that learning is delayed for some learners due to admission glitches experienced in various schools; however, those who are not placed yet will be admitted soon,” said Minister Motshekga, whilst congratulating PEDs for their sterling work as far as learner placement is concerned. Another challenge that was raised was school infrastructure and overcrowding. Minister Motshekga added that the KwaZulu-Natal Province will be added to the list of provinces with infrastructure challenges for national intervention.

Deputy Minister Mhaule visited two schools in the Gauteng Province on 17 January 2023. The first school visited was Katlehong Engineering Special School after which she proceeded to Thoka-Thaba High School for further engagement with members of the community. MMC for Corporate and Shared Services, Cllr Golden Maduana and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Njabulo Nzuza were amongst the dignitaries who accompanied Deputy Minister Mhaule during her visit. Deputy Minister Nzuzu said that the DBE and the Department of Home Affairs have a strong partnership aimed at encouraging learners to apply for Identification Documents across all nine provinces. “During 2023, we will allocate sufficient Home Affairs mobile trucks to assist schools with ID applications.”

During the briefing session with the SMT at Katlehong Engineering Special School, the province informed the Deputy Minister that the school was one of the most functional schools in the province, owing to a sustainable partnership with the private sector. According to the province, Schools of Specialisation cater for learners with above average aptitude in a specific field, offering one of the following five fields of specialisation: Sports; Mathematics; Science and ICT; Commerce and Entrepreneurship; Engineering; or Performing and Creative Arts. The school is currently offering technical vocational skills ranging from manufacturing to transport and logistics. The school is currently in partnership with MerSeta, Samsung Electronics, Hatfield VW, the Fury Ford Group, Komatsu Mining, the Austrian Education Department and the Tshwane Interactive Digital Centre. Katlehong Engineering School of Specialisation obtained a 99,4% pass rate in the 2022 NSC examination.  

Deputy Minister Mhaule said that the work done by PEDs in increasing schools offering Technical Vocational Education should be viewed as an intervention to address challenges faced by post Matric youth, including dropout rate and university admission glitches. “I urge parents to work closely with these schools to ensure that they rise to greatness.”

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