READY TO TAKE OFF

THE MPUMALANGA department of education has already delivered stationery to 96percent of schools in the province in readiness for the start of the school year tomorrow.

THE MPUMALANGA department of education has already delivered stationery to 96percent of schools in the province in readiness for the start of the school year tomorrow.

"Learner activity books and teachers' guides for Grades 1 to 12 have been procured and delivered. These activity books and teachers' guides replace those provided in 2004," the department said.

"Due to the national curriculum statement review, no new textbooks have been ordered for 2010, only top-ups will be ordered in the second term of 2010."

Mpumalanga's matric pass rate dropped to 47,9percent last year, down from 51,8percent in 2008, the worst performance by any of the nine provinces.

This was amid a probe into the leaking of exam papers, as happened in 2008, which resulted in the sacking of officials.

The department said yesterday that 98percent of applicants had been admitted to schools for the 2010 school year, with exceptions only where parents had relocated or schools were full.

It expected 70000 pupils to benefit from the transport programme being managed by the department of public works, roads and transport.

It said it would continue the school nutrition programme for primary and secondary schools.

"At least 623313 learners in 1494 schools are benefiting from this programme," it said.

It had also increased the number of no-fee schools beneficiaries from 479581 to 710569. The department said 36263 teachers had been employed and 200 posts set aside to address critical teacher shortages this year.

"The teacher-pupil ratio is standing at 1:29," it said.

It was consolidating information on schools damaged by storms.

"Working together with the department of public works, we will ensure that repairs are done to enable teaching and learning to take place under normal conditions.

"So far there are 62 schools that were damaged by storms last year. These include 15 in Bushbuckridge, five in Ehlanzeni, 34 at Gert Sibande region and eight inNkangala." - Sapa

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