“Minor issues” were discovered in KwaZulu-Natal as schools opened for the 2018 academic year on Wednesday, the province’s Department of Education said.
Officials visited schools across the province, particularly those that did not produce good academic results in 2017.
Provincial education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana visited schools in the Ilembe district in rural KwaDukuza.
Dlungwana’s spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa told News24 that they discovered “minor” issues during their visit to Ilembe.
“When the MEC visited Inkonjane High School this morning [Wednesday], he discovered that a certain teacher has been on sick leave for a very long time. He needs to be replaced because taxpayers’ money is being wasted. The MEC promised to deal with the matter.”
He said they also found that about three pupils from the school became pregnant while in matric in 2017.
“Traditional leaders, parents and the community must stand up and take part in the fight against this scourge. It’s not only the problem of the department. During school hours, we look after the learners and parents must make sure that they know their children’s whereabouts during weekends and holidays,” he said.
Mthethwa said classes started as planned at the school as pupils and teachers arrived on time.
The department also visited Mbhekaphansi High and Empungeni Primary School.
During their overall visit to the district, he said they picked up that there was a good relationship between the district, circuit and the teachers.
However, Mthethwa said there was a need for improvement in terms of communication and lines of reporting “so that the district moves forward as one and doesn’t experience problems toward the end of the year during exam time.
“There are interventions in place and what’s left now is for the district to improve its performance,” he said.
Matric pass rate
He said government officials and other departments participated in the Monitoring of Schools’ Functionality programme across the province on the first day of school.
“As far as we’re concerned, there were no major challenges at the schools that were visited. The schools started on time and teaching and learning commenced without any challenges,” he said.
Provincial economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Sihle Zikalala urged parents to take part in their children’s education.
He was part of a delegation consisting of members of the KZN legislature and government officials dispatched to schools in the Umkhanyakude district, far north of the province.
“The successful education of children cannot be left to educators alone. It is thus important that as parents and the community in general, we take a keen interest in our schools so that we may transform them into citadels of excellence that produce quality results, not only at matric level but from elementary grades as well,” Zikalala said in a statement.
They visited Hambisanani Secondary, Idundubala Secondary and Thengani Primary schools where they met with school management teams and also listened to their concerns and aspirations.
Since 2015, this district has managed to increase its matric pass rate from 62.9% to 77% in 2017.
“We are generally happy with the performance of this district, particularly at matric level where it has, over the past three years, continued to register commendable improvements in its pass rates,” Zikalala said.
Premier Willies Mchunu visited Enkomokazini Technical High School in Loskop in the Thukela district.
“Teachers must teach. Learners must learn. The community, together with the KwaZulu-Natal government, will do everything to create a conducive environment for the education of the child of KZN,” he said.