Mkhize launches drive to boost culture of learning

THE KwaZulu-Natal government is launching education forums to mobilise the public to improve the standard of education.

The programme's ultimate aim is to improve matric results and ensure that every child of school-going age attends class.

Premier Zweli Mkhize said the programme would involve traditional, religious and local leaders, community workers, volunteers, parents and members of the public together with ward education forums.

The forums will operate in the townships, villages and suburbs.

Members of the community are expected to take charge of their children's education under the banner of "my child is your child, your child is my child".

"The campaign is an effort to reintroduce parental and community involvement in the discipline of children," Mkhize said.

"The provincial government has convened an urgent meeting of principals, parents and other stakeholders."

As a first step Mkhize and education MEC Senzo Mchunu will meetprincipals from across the province in Pietermaritzburg today to address key education challenges and under-performance at rural schools.

Sadtu provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi said they welcomed the initiative and only hoped that it was not a public relations exercise.

Sadtu had visited more than 60 schools in rural areas and noted similar problems of a lack of resources .

"We cannot have a department whose core function is to produce quality education but never even has a single meeting a month for school managers, inspectors and teachers," Mathonsi said.

He said the department had 14908 temporary teachers and of these 11366 were unqualified.

National Association of Schools Governing Bodies chairperson Reginald Chiliza also welcomed the initiative, saying it was long overdue.