Uncertainty over schools at end of term

2334966 INLSA Donald Grant

Education Writer

THE school year comes to an end today with 18 schools still uncertain about whether they will be re-opening their doors in January.

Education MEC Donald Grant said yesterday that he was proud of what the Western Cape Education Department had achieved this year – one which saw violence erupt in the Overberg town of Grabouw and outrage about school closures.

“The department, districts and schools have all worked better together to achieve our goals in improving education in this province,” he said.

Grant announced his final decision to close 20 schools in October, citing dwindling pupil numbers, multigrade teaching and inadequate infrastructure.

At the time, it sparked outrage among some, with the ANC and the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) threatening legal action.

Eighteen of the schools had lodged a court bid to stop their closure on December 31. The matter had been set down in the Western Cape High Court on December 18 and 19.

The Cape Times attempted to contact a number of the 18 schools yesterday to discuss their plans for next year but in each case the principal was unavailable, in a meeting or away from his desk.

Grant said 2012 had been a year of both positives and negatives.

“While we have seen many positive changes within the system in 2012, we have also had some challenging moments, such as being faced with the difficulty of finding land to build a new school in Grabouw and in ensuring that all our matric candidates had the opportunity to write their NSC examinations during the recent farm strikes.”

He said there was much to look forward to in the coming months.

“In summary, it has been a good, but tough, year and we are excited to see the results of both the 2012 NSC and the 2012 Systemic testing for Grade 3, 6 and 9.

“We believe that there will be improvements in both areas which are testimony to the hard work we have all put in this year.”

When the new term begins next year, six new schools would be opened. These were:

l Sunningdale Primary.

l Concordia Primary in the Eden and Karoo area.

l Concordia High in the Eden and Karoo area.

l Disa High in Hout Bay.

l AZ Berman High in Tafelsig.

l Soneike High in Kuils River.

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