South Africa Education Department To Address Underperforming Schools
Eight KwaZulu-Natal districts that reportedly achieved below 40% in the matric exams have been called to explain themselves. The province’s Education MEC discusses some of the interventions that they have opted to adopt to resolve the issue throughout the school year.
Officials at the Department of Basic Education in KwaZulu Natal have had to explain themselves following reports their districts achieved below 40% in the 2021 matric exams.
KZN Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu told eNCA’s Tumelo Mothotoane that this has been due to various factors such as the shortage of teachers, lack of support from circuit managers as well as disruptive community protests.
In an effort to resolve the issue, the MEC says that they have been holding accountability sessions, which form part of the provincial department’s Academic Improvement Plan that is based on 14 focus areas, one which is the current issue of underperformance in schools.
The sessions involve engagement between stakeholders in the Provincial Department’s schooling sector such as principals, circuit managers and Heads of Department.
Our view is that everyone must be accountable in the system from the principal circuit manager curriculum managers district directors right up to the MEC himself.
Mshengu adds that the outcome of these has been that there was poor performance on all levels of the Department’s hierarchy which they are looking to address throughout the school year.
Schools of the affected districts will now be required to provide a monthly report which shows that the interventions contained in the Academic Improvement Plan are being implemented as well as the challenges involved.
The MEC further states that the Department expects to complete to 2022 curriculum by the end of the third term in order to enable teachers and learners to focus more on revisions.
However, it seems that service delivery protests continue to be an issue for the provincial department as communities tend to target schools to get to the government’s attention.
During his State of the province address KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala condemned protesters who vandalise or burn school infrastructure because of their demands for service delivery.
“We strongly condemn the locking of schools by some members of the community at the start of this year.”