All systems go for reopening of schools in Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape education department has done everything in its power to ensure that teaching and learning takes place on the first day when hundreds of thousands of pupils return to school next week.

While schools in inland provinces reopened on Wednesday, teachers and pupils in coastal provinces go back to class on January 18 for the official start of the 2023 academic year.

Briefing a media conference on Friday, education MEC Fundile Gade said: “In ensuring that teaching and learning takes place on the first day of schooling, the department developed a plan for delivery of learner, teacher and support material in the form of books, textbooks and stationery before schools open for the current academic year.

“The current status in deliveries is: workbooks 99%, textbooks 98.9%, stationery 96% and in seven districts it is 100%.”

He added that the department has a plan to deal with enrolment variations that could be caused by late applications and walk-ins.

“Policy requires that learners should apply for admission and be admitted and placed in schools by the end of September of every year for the upcoming academic year.

“The learner admission process has been successfully managed and completed including the placement of all learners in nine of the 12 districts in the province. Our focus is on applications for admission in entry grades – grade one and eight.

With the SA National Taxi Council planning to strike on Wednesday, the day the pupils return to school due to non-payment by the provincial department of transport, Gade said the premier, education department, finance MEC and the transport MEC are handling the matter with relevant stakeholders.

“For the 2023/24 financial year, the number of learners to benefit from the scholar transport service is 103 000. Both the department of education and the department of transport are collaborating to ensure that the new system is managed well to eliminate all the inefficiencies caused by incorrect data.”

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