Soweto schools a 'big concern'
SOWETO pupils have been urged to take charge of their future and not let ill-discipline stand in the way of their education.
Addressing pupils at the Soweto Learner Summit yesterday, hosted by the Gauteng education department, MEC for education Barbara Creecy, pictured, said that because of the history of the area they had become concerned about the performance of schools.
Some of the issues facing pupils were absenteeism, drug and alcohol abuse, rape, teenage pregnancies and ill-discipline among the pupils and teachers.
"The future is in your hands" was the theme for the summit.
Jabulani Technical High School head boy Hlalanathi Dlamini said problems were caused by both the teachers and pupils and he urged that pupils' concerns be taken seriously.
"We commit to taking responsibility for our actions and setting a good foundation for the next generation."
Creecy said the 2011 matric pass rate in Soweto schools was 67.7%, which was a worry because of the 81% pass rate the rest of Gauteng achieved.
The Secondary School Intervention Programme (SSIP) was organised for Soweto pupils to attend during school holidays in an attempt to raise the pass rate.
"If you attend these classes, you will pass matric, I guarantee you. I'm struggling to get the people who really need it to attend," she said.
Each speaker made reference to the class of 1976 who sacrificed their lives to ensure freedom and good education for all South Africans.
"The 1976 group took to the streets because those were the circumstances. We need to take to the classrooms and the libraries," Dlamini said.