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Deputy Minister Mhaule encourages key education stakeholders to provide support to underperforming schools in Bohlabela Education District

Basic Education Deputy Minister, Dr Reginah Mhaule, embarked on an oversight and monitoring programme to the Bohlabela Education District to take key education officials to task in terms of supporting underperforming schools in the district. As part of her visit, she engaged with School Management Teams (SMTs), teachers and learners from Ngwaritsane, Masilela and Marcia Mokoena Secondary Schools, as well as education stakeholders in Tulamahashe. During a briefing session with the Deputy Minister, the SMTs affirmed that action plans are in place to address the rate of underperforming schools in their purview. These include the intensification of learner support programmes targeted at struggling learners, moderate and top achievers; the strengthening of parental involvement and support; and the promotion of positive discipline amongst learners.

As part of the visit, Ms Busisiwe Ndlovu, Chief Education Specialist for Further Education and Training in Bohlabela, indicated that underperforming schools in the District were a cause for concern. “In response to the issue, the District has deployed chief education specialists, subject advisors and circuit managers to provide intervention support to the affected schools. In line with the strategies initiated to improve quality results during the 2024 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, the District conducted one-on-one accountability sessions with 57 underperforming schools. We also conducted performance review sessions with SMTs of all 143 schools, focusing on the 2023 NSC results. We have organised meetings with all high school teachers, particularly the Grade 12 teachers to explore possible techniques that can be adopted in improving learning outcomes. We further conducted Residential Workshops for underperforming teachers in Mathematics and Physical Sciences to improve quality results. The District is currently planning to conduct content workshops; online lesson broadcasts; school based additional classes to assist learners with identifiable challenging topics; and winter school classes for the 57 underperforming schools. We will also host a one-week camp for talented Mathematics and Science learners, as well as a camp for Accounting, Economics and Business Studies during the winter school holidays. Schools will also be encouraged to implement the provincial Learner Performance Improvement Plan (LPIP) and schools are encouraged to implement the plan,” she explained.

In response to the briefing Dr Mhaule informed district officials that her visit to the province was meant to unblock bottlenecks to ensure that schools were adequately supported and resourced. She encouraged school principals to take charge in terms of monitoring curriculum coverage in their respective schools and urged the District to accelerate the filling of vacant posts. Deputy Minister Mhaule also interacted with the Grade 12 learners during assembly. In her keynote address, Dr Mhaule encouraged learners to concentrate on their studies: “The main objective of our visit to this District is to motivate you to work harder and to remain focussed to improve the performance of the District for the better. I know you have potential to achieve quality results and I therefore advise you to cooperate with your teachers and ensure that your schools obtain an above 80% pass rate,” Dr Mhaule concluded.

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