Generally good start for schools

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Minister of Education Naledi Pandor has expressed concern about teaching at some schools in KwaZulu-Natal, saying students were smoking dagga and drinking alcohol.

Pandor was visiting schools in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday to get a first-hand experience of how schools were coping on their first day.

During her unannounced visits to Stanger High School, Vukile High School and Nsongansonga Primary, teachers complained about pupils smoking dagga and drinking alcohol on school premises.

Pandor urged parents to play a more meaningful role in ensuring that their children were disciplined.

However, in general, Pandor said she was satisfied with what she had found.

"Schools are working in KwaZulu- Natal and we need to ask ourselves why the results dropped.

"I found teachers busy teaching and I was extremely happy," she said.

Pandor donated 20 computers to Somashi High School in Umsinga.

Umsinga is one of the poorest rural areas in the province and the majority of its population is illiterate.

Pandor has also launched a campaign to encourage pupils to read.

"Our 'Drop All and Read' campaign encourages pupils to learn.

"We need to help them love reading because many fail writing and reading tests," she said.

The shortage of maths and science teachers is still a huge challenge.

"It is our duty to provide enough teachers, facilities and classrooms and we are working towards ensuring that this is provided," Pandor said.

A grade 12 pupil at Somashi High, Zamo Ndlovu, said she was overjoyed at having the opportunity to use a computer for the first time.