by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 08 January 2019
The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape will conduct a school readiness assessment this week, to monitor if all schools across the province are ready to start with teaching and learning from the first day of the new school year.
An area of concern is the 32 high schools which achieved pass rates of less than 60% for their grade 12 learners in 2018, including Valspan High School in Jan Kempdorp which saw a decrease in its pass rate from 40% in 2017 to 31.7% in 2018. It is also worrying that four of the five districts, with the exception of John Taolo Gaetsewe, have shown steady declines in their matric pass rates for the past three years consecutively. Underperforming schools cannot be left behind.
Giving our children education of a high quality gives them a chance of becoming adults who are economically active. Education unlocks access to jobs, to vocations and to careers which means that our children can pursue their dreams.
One of the major challenges which must be addressed by the Northern Cape Department of Education is learner transport. With this function now residing firmly in this department, it must stop playing the blame game and find feasible transport strategies for the learners who are left stranded when vehicles run out of diesel, forced to hitchhike or walk long distances in the dark. We have to make sure that all learners are in class on time and can make use of reliable transport instead of having to risk their personal safety on the road to education.
We wish all learners, parents, educators and support staff all the best with the new school year and encourage learners to make the best of each available opportunity.
A DA government will pursue an education programme that will capacitate learners and educators in underperforming schools to improve the quality of education outcomes.