Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has urged Grade12 pupils to take winter classes seriously and attend them regularly basis if they want to improve their matric results and enrol in institutions of higher learning.
The MEC visited Isilimela High School, in Langa, on Thursday June 30 to encourage pupils to keep going to the classes.
About 100 pupils from seven schools in Langa and surrounding areas have been attending a winter school programme at Isilimela Comprehensive High School.
Pupils from Fezeka, ID Mkhize, Ikamvelethu, Intshukumo and Kulani secondary schools and Langa and Isilimela high schools are part of the programme.
Ms Schäfer said the winter programme was to support pupils where necessary. In some schools, curriculum advisors had been placed to provide additional resources and complement the lessons.
Ms Schäfer said it was imperative to help pupils prepare for their exams in December, particularly in schools where pupils were struggling with specific subjects.
“Some of the subjects that are offered by the winter classes include maths, physics, life science, accounting and history. Many of these subjects had been taught by tutors who had been selected by the department and the programme also includes winter camps.
“We always strive to improve our results. That is why we, as the department, are working around the clock to ensure that the pupils are equipped with the right knowledge, information and ways to better assist them in passing their matric with their flying colours.
“This visit forms part of my routine visit to schools around the province to monitor their progress. We always want to remain the number one province when it comes to the matric pass rate, compared to other province, and we don’t just want our pupils to pass, but we want them to obtain Bachelor’s and diploma passes,” she said.
Ms Schäfer said part of her visit to schools was also to assess safety measures being put in place by schools to ensure the environment was conducive to learning.
She appealed to parents to support their children, particularly Grade 12 pupils, by giving them sufficient time to study and reducing their chores.
Principal Zwelibanzi Sijula told Vukani his school had been working hard to improve their pass rate after a remarkable increase of 23.1 percent from 57.9 percent in 2014 to 81 percent in 2015.
Mr Sijula said the school’s aim was to obtain between 85 percent and 90 percent this year, and he is determined to achieve this because he also assists with tutoring and monitoring of Grade 12 pupils at the school.
He said they had created a healthy competition among their Grade 12 classes as a way of encouraging pupils to work harder.
“Our target this time around is to obtain a between 85 percent and 90 percent matric pass rate. And I know we can achieve this because I’m inspired by the pupils work rate, attitude and commitment to their studies.
“I always motivate the pupils by saying, ‘What is the use of coming to school for 11 months and yet you don’t reap the benefits of attending school at the end of the year’.”
Aphiwokuhle Hendricks, 20, said she was grateful to department for providing the winter classes because they had played a pivotal role in helping overcome challenges she had with her subjects.
“I was battling with maths and the tutors here are patient with us and they explain things step by step until you understand it fully. I’m confident that now I will pass my matric with flying colours and I will keep attending the classes until they come to an end because they have been very helpful to me,” she said.