DRIVE for BETTER MATRIC RESULTS

KWAZULU-NATAL education MEC Senzo Mchunu has outlined a plan to help hundreds of schools that have produced poor matric results over the years.

KWAZULU-NATAL education MEC Senzo Mchunu has outlined a plan to help hundreds of schools that have produced poor matric results over the years.

The plan was unveiled yesterday and involves beefing up resources at the schools, improving teacher training and intensifying the monitoring of performance by both pupils and teachers.

The MEC, superintendent-general Cassius Lubisi, and other senior officials will visit the schools as part of the monitoring process.

"I will visit the first- school on June 23 as part of getting first hand experience of how business is conducted," Mchunu said.

He said the department was hoping for renewal of commitment from both teachers and pupils, highlighting the importance of starting classes early, especially for matrics.

Absenteeism

The programme will also see the involvement of community members who are expected to condemn absenteeism, especially by pupils.

"We also want to get reports of pupils who are seen loitering during school time so that such problems can be swiftly dealt with," Mchunu said.

All teachers unions - Sadtu, Natu, Naptosa and SAOU - endorsed the programme, expressing their commitment to ensuring an improvement in this year's matric results.

Extra classes

Sadtu chairperson Chris Ndlela said as part of the commitment his union would encourage its members to conduct winter and spring classes at particular schools.

"We challenge other role players to heed the call of improving the standard of matric results this year, because the education of children is a societal challenge that demands a collective effort."

His Natu counterpart Alan Thompson also welcomed the programme, saying: "This will work if the department consults with teacher unions throughout the process."

While not spelling out the timeframes in which the final agreement with unions was hammered out, Mchunu acknowledged that consultations with individual unions were conducted before a final agreement was reached on June 16.

Conservative estimates show that R20million will be pumped into the programme, while Lubisi acknowledged that the budget might escalate. - Sapa

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