MEC visits winter classes

It was all smiles when the MEC for Education Debbie Schäfer paid a visit to Uxolo High School to see the winter school programme in action.

With only a few months left before Grade 12 pupils write their final exams, most schools held winter revision programmes this week.

The classes were praised by the MEC for Education Debbie Schäfer during her visit to Uxolo, Sizimesele and Harry Gwala high schools in Khayelitsha on Thursday, June 28.

She was impressed by the turn-out and said that her department would do all it could to assist schools.

“It is wonderful to see pupils excited. I wish them all the very best in their exams. This is for their own good. I hope to see most of them at the Premier’s Awards (where the top matrics are awarded).

“I am extremely encouraged to see the eagerness and commitment of so many pupils to improve their results with a phenomenal number of pupils attending winter schools across the Western Cape. I am also encouraged by the commitment of our teachers who are assisting them,” she said.

The winter school programme aims to assist pupils in high enrolment subjects such as mathematics, physical science, geography, life sciences, accounting and economics.

Ms Schäfer said providing curriculum support to Grade 12 pupils is a priority for the government, particularly in schools where pupils are struggling in specific subjects.

She said many of the programmes on offer are taught by tutors selected by the Western Cape Education Department. She said the programme also includes winter camps, such as one in Ceres that is hosting over 200 Grade 12 pupils for the week.

“In some schools, curriculum advisers will be supporting and assisting individual school programmes. Additional resource materials have been developed to complement the lessons being presented. The date of each school’s programme differs. Some schools have offered programmes on specific days, while others, throughout the holiday period,” she said.

At Uxolo High School, the MEC heard that the pupils feared for their safety as they were mugged on the way to school. She appealed to parents to be part of their children’s education and protect them from crime.

School management team member Elaine Jones praised pupils for their commitment to attend the classes.

She also said that the pupils were scared to attend the programme as they feared being robbed on the way to school.

“We hope to fight that with the community. These children are robbed just behind the school, in the park. Other than that, these kids are really committed and dedicated to the programme.”

She was supported by the school teacher, Siya Sikhondo who was particularly inspired by the way in which the school co-ordinated the programme.

He said these were the school’s first winter classes but now they will be held every year.