Dr. Allan Grootboom, MPL
DA Northern Cape: Spokesperson on Education
071 682 6806
The new school year is about to kick off for the coastal provinces of which the Northern Cape is one. The DA wants to encourage schools, which includes educators, learners and parents to look forward to a year of success.
Indeed mistakes were made in the past year, but let us learn from those mistakes.
One of the most gruesome mistakes that the Northern Cape government and education department made was to allow the situation in Olifantshoek spiral out of control. It is encouraging to hear in 2013 the parents vowing, “Never Again!”, and as the DA we salute their resolve! Children should never be used as pawns for short term political gain. The parents of Olifantshoek learners have a legitimate plight, and to this day their issues remain unresolved because the powers of the day refuse to discipline their ranking cadres.
Even so, parents must realise and resolve that the education of their children comes first and foremost. Seeing that your children attend school is not the only parental responsibility. Parents should become more involved in school, especially through School Governing Bodies. It should not only be when your child is disciplined at school, but also make sure that your child attends school, do their assessment tasks and do you proud in the school corridors.
Educators are in need of parents who make school their business. Not to boss teachers and tell them how to do their work but rather ensuring that work is done. When educators are absent, there should be a cohort of parents available to assist in supervising those empty classes. This in turn will have a twofold advantage: parents will get to know the regular absent educators and secondly, parents will realise how difficult it is to work with some of the learners.
Lastly, if we want quality within schools, school inspectors should be allowed into classrooms to assist educators. We want to assess learners, but we do not want to be assessed? Assessment cuts both ways. Only by assuring quality can we better our education. You can give as much support as you like, as much improvement plans as money can give, but if you do not measure, assess, or check the implementation of those plans, you can just as well throw your money down the drain.
Our only resolve this year should be: let us up the standard of our education in the province!