Education Minister Naledi Pandor has urged parents to join hands with school principals to give guidance to wayward children.
"Parents should ask their children 20 minutes after returning from school to drop everything they are doing and learn," she said.
Primary schools were ideal places for children to acquire a basic foundation for learning, she added
Pandor said this when she addressed teachers and pupils at Masibambane Senior Secondary School in KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth yesterday.
She cautioned that a national drop-all-and-read campaign would not help primary schools if parents did not support principals and teachers.
The school had a 35 percent pass rate of matriculants last year, a 60 percent drop compared to 95 percent in 2005.
Pandor told teachers that her visit was to assess what happened to the school to cause its dramatic decline. She also told the staff that she was there to support the school to perform better this year.
Pandor congratulated Douglas Mbopha Senior Secondary School in Motherwell for being one of the schools with the highest pass rate in the Port Elizabeth area. She donated more than 20 computers to the school.
She encouraged pupils at Masibambane Senior Secondary School, which achieved a 90 percent matric pass rate last year, to work even harder.
Pandor also visited BJ Mnyanda Primary School where she launched the national drop-and-read campaign.
She said the campaign was created to promote the importance and value of reading in schools and beyond.
The newly appointed education MEC, Johnny Makgato, who accompanied her, said primary schoolchildren would have their feeding scheme in operation from February 1. The scheme ran into problems after the introduction of cooperatives by former MEC Mkhangeli Matomela.