Plan to check on schools from first day

THE KwaZulu-Natal legislature will be sending out all its members to monitor the reopening of schools between tomorrow, when they reopen, until Friday.

This will take place at various schools throughout the region in the 12 education districts.

Legislature speaker Peggy Nkonyeni yesterday announced the flagship programme, known as the School Functionality Monitoring Programme.

It will be implemented during the opening of schools in the province this week.

The initiative forms part of the legislature's oversight responsibility to ensure delivery of quality education in the region during 2010 and beyond.

"We are not saying we will bring about miracles but we promise to make sure that the necessary programmes for sufficient schooling are carried out.

"We want to ensure that teaching and learning takes place from the very first day of the new academic year until the last day," Nkonyeni said.

The class of 2009 has made the province proud by achieving a 61 percent pass rate, surpassing that of the previous years.

"We will make sure that we prioritise education as one of the key focus areas during this term of office and beyond," she said.

The 2010 academic year will see more monitoring sessions by the legislature to observe more carefully various aspects of teaching, such as provision of infrastructure and delivery of textbooks and stationery on the first day of schooling.

Members deployed will come back and report on the any problems they had identified.

"Three weeks after the problems have been identified, we will embark on projects to make sure they are dealt with," Nkonyeni said.

"We do not want learners to still receive their education under appalling conditions."

Nkonyeni also highlighted the pending Paint Fest Project.

The project entails forming partnerships with the private sector to identify needy schools in the province with a view to assisting with the upgrading of infrastructure.