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Western Cape Class of 2013 growing for this years NSC exams

Western Cape Education Department


The Western Cape Education Department is proud of the growing number of students registering for this year’s National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams. Thus far, 48 954 full-time candidates formerly registered for the 2013 exams, an improvement of 3393 students from the previous year.

There is still roughly 2 and half months to sign up and the Western Cape Education Department (WECD) is offering assistance across the province. The government is committed to assisting and help to create the best environment for students to write and pass their NSC. The government has organized additional tutoring services and lessons at some schools to help and assist these individual schools and their students.

Western Cape MEC for Education, Donald Grant, visited Esangweni Secondary in Khayelitsha and spent time with students along with their tutors who are taking part in the winter school programme. There are 216 high schools around the province taking part and offering students assistance over the winter school break.

The vast majority of tutors are selected by the WCED and in some schools there will be curriculum advisors assisting and supporting individual programs. Supplemental resource material will also be made available from WCED to enrich the lessons and programs on offer.

The main objective of the winter programme is to reinforce the existing programs being offered at the schools, in addition to improving upon the performance of a few individual schools who are currently under performing.

The campaigns and efforts of the Western Cape government over the past 4 years have revealed remarkable results and the province has managed to decrease the total number of under-performing schools from 85 in 2009 to 26 in 2012. All efforts will remain in place and the education department hopes to continue this trend.

“To this end, and in the interests of the learners at these schools, we will continue to implement our plan, which includes a targeted and sustained strategy to support under performing and struggling schools,” said Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Casey.

Source: SAnews.gov.za, westerncape.gov.za


Educated Africans educate South African children

Educated African refugees are assisting a large number of children in Cape Town’s underprivileged towns and cities to master science and mathematics, as a result of an educational initiative referred to as Leap.

Every weekend approximately 800 students ranging from Grades 10 to 12 go to the southern suburb of Pinelands for tutoring in these subject areas. On weekday afternoons, tutors visit Leap Learning Centres within the townships to work alongside as much as 840 Grade 8 and 9 children from 12 educational institutions in Cape Town’s disadvantaged suburbs.

Each of these centres are actually an outreach project managed and operated by the Leap Science and Maths School, the purpose is to completely transform educationally disadvantaged local communities. You can find 58 tutors carrying out work at the centres, 10% of whom happen to be South African. The others are a diversified combination coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

The project along with Leap School were set up at the same time in 2004.

In the beginning tutors signed up with the program on an unpaid voluntary basis. In a matter of a couple of months Leap founder John Gilmour ended up being overcome as a result of the tutors’ commitment and competency, and consequently decided to source suitable investment. The tutors at this moment take home a minimal daily stipend of R110 (US$16).

For the reason that mathematics and science in many cases are regarded as challenging, pupils frequently select less difficult subject areas in order to avoid jeopardising their matric exemptions. Unfortunately without having these particular subjects, pupils’ options available for tertiary study tend to be significantly restricted.

Pupils participating in the Saturday morning program are generally thankful for the supplemental help and support.

“They teach you a lot better than our regular teachers. If you do not fully understand, they try to find out from you just what you are having difficulties with,” said Asemahle Mlanga, a 17-year-old pupil coming from the close by seaside resort town of Strand.


Phaphama Maoblo, also in Grade 11, remarked, “My test results have actually improved very well. There’s no doubt that they are a great benefit to South African children.”

“I think it is intriguing that there exists this many students who happen to be desperate when it comes to a quality education, and will definitely invest their own personal financial resources and time to come here on Saturday,” said Mark Medema, president of Washington DC-based NGO EdVillage, as he observed a Saturday class. “I really don’t believe this occurs in the US.”


Amazing advantages for everyone

South Africa’s public education system is hindered due to the absence or unavailability of qualified and competent teachers, making the contribution of these educated people from other countries incredibly beneficial.

The tutoring program has not simply helped pupils but has additionally been crucial in assisting refugees to be able to integrate into South Africa.

Sammy Ntumba, head of the Leap Learning Centre Project, left the DRC in 2003 to come to South Africa. He got here accompanied by a degree in chemical engineering and metallurgy, unfortunately his qualification was not accepted in this country.

Ntumba commenced postgraduate studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT), but found it necessary to discover a way of sustaining himself, in addition to financing his studies. His very first job had been handing out advertising flyers at a traffic light. Shortly after, he found employment as a night security guard within an affluent Cape Town suburb. It had been tedious and exhausting work and he ended up becoming more and more disheartened and discouraged as a result of the absence of stimulation.

In 2004, he noticed an advert at UCT for volunteer tutors in township learning centres. Seven years later, the programme has taken his personal life in a completely new direction. He has had the opportunity to bring his wife and son to reside with him in South Africa, and has made a decision to carry on with a profession in social development, as opposed to engineering.

According to Ntumba, “We are unquestionably educated. It is especially essential to transfer that to others. If I don’t do it, I will die with that knowledge. It is not costing us gold and silver, it costs nothing, rather it is actually an important thing that we are carrying out.”

Ntumba’s account echos that of a large number of his fellow workers at Leap. Most have had the opportunity to abandon their security jobs, complete their studies and commence earning a living with South African companies, and in some cases, educational institutions.



Dr Zelo Mangombo, also from the DRC, arrived in South Africa in 2000 having a degree in education, along with honours in chemistry. Last year he managed to obtain his doctorate in chemistry at the University of the Western Cape.

Despite having his new qualifications and skills, Mangombo keeps on working and teaching at Leap. “Since I have been here I have observed superb improvements,” he said. “Typically the children are receptive and ready to learn. They happen to be committed to their work.”


Quality education for disadvantaged pupils

When Leap training first became available and opened its doors in 2004, it accepted 72 Grade 11 and 12 pupils. It presently has four campuses, two in the Western Cape in Langa and Gugulethu, and two in Gauteng in Alexandra and Diepsloot. Each campus has 170 pupils, of whom 69% are girls.

Last year South Africa attained a national matric pass rate of 67.8%. Of those pupils, 23.5% received a university entrance. The national pass rate for science was 48%, and 47% for mathematics.

Leap is without a doubt rendering a considerable contribution to quality education in South Africa. In 2003 merely 55 African language-speaking Western Cape pupils obtained university entrance levels in mathematics and science. This past year, Leap’s 107 Grade 12 pupils accomplished a 98% overall pass rate. Every one of these children wrote mathematics and science, attaining a 98% and 90% pass rate in these subjects respectively. Six pupils received distinctions in mathematics, and also for the very first time, three distinctions were obtained for science.

Three quarters of Leap’s graduates at the moment are pursuing tertiary studies.

Additionally there is a teacher training module for students currently taking their teaching degrees via correspondence. The five-year programme is designed to provide Leap teachers the main benefit of a comprehensive understanding of their particular selected subjects, and improved communication skills to enable them to more effectively interact with their pupils.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com,


Extra lessons for Gauteng’s underperforming schools

The Gauteng Education Department will provide extra lessons for matric students in underperforming schools to improve the matric results across the province.

The lessons, which will be run throughout the June and July 2010 mid-year break as well as during the September school holidays, will target learners from 276 underperforming schools and include classes in subjects such as Maths, Maths Literacy, Accounting, Physical Science, Life Sciences, and English First Additional Language.

Education MEC Barbara Creecy said the programme has been running on a pilot basis since 14 April this year and has attracted widespread support from learners in the affected schools.

She said that standardised lesson plans, including exercises and tests have been developed specially for the programme by experts and are distributed to each site for each session.

“Tutors selected to participate in the programme have a proven track record of good results in the six targeted subjects and the department has deployed special monitoring teams to ensure that the programme runs effectively and that quality teaching and learning happens,” Creecy said.

She said that the department conducted research in January to fully understand where it needed to target matric improvement interventions.

“Out of 30 397 learners who failed matric in 2009, two out of three came from the schools targeted by this programme, all these schools achieved a less than 70 percent matric pass rate last year.

“We further analysed subject pass rates for all subjects offered by the department at matric level and out of 79 subjects offered, six subjects accounted for the bulk of the failures,” Creecy explained.

She added that if a greater number of learners were to further their educational and career opportunities, the department needed to focus on 276 schools and provide assistance to learners in the six subjects.

The programme will run over a four-year period while the department increases the capacity of the schools and educators to improve learner performance.

Source: BuaNews, e4africa.co.za, businessdailyafrica.com, myhero.com