Home | Media Releases Index page

Media Release

Thursday, 28 February, 2002

Breakthrough in informal school impasse

Statement by André Gaum, Western Cape Education Minister

About 2 200 learners who joined an informal high school in New Crossroads at the start of the school year will relocate shortly to other learning centres in the metropolitan area.

This follows intensive consultations between the Western Cape Education Department, staff at the informal school, parents, learners, other affected schools and the local community.

The WCED's first priority has been to ensure that the learners are registered in a legally recognised school as soon as possible.

The department's first step was to establish exactly how many learners are involved and where they have come from, so that we could work out appropriate strategies for their education.

A total of 2 204 learners joined at the informal school, initially called Masiphumelele, and subsequently called New Eisleben. About 40% of these learners are from the Eastern Cape, while the rest are mainly from surrounding areas.

A total of 866 learners will return to local schools where they were previously registered. These schools can still accommodate them and are willing to do so.

About 200 learners are older than the school going age. This group will enrol at an Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) learning centre, where they can complete their schooling.

This will leave about 1 130 learners who will be divided into two groups, one for those in Grades 8, 9 and 10, and the other for those in Grades 11 and 12. They will be accommodated in existing facilities elsewhere. The WCED is currently involved in negotiations to achieve this end.

The informal school occupied a municipal building in Eisleben Road, New Crossroads. The building is not suitable for schooling, and establishing a school in the building was not considered to be an option.

This has been an extremely complex issue to resolve. This breakthrough has only been possible thanks to the willingness of all involved to achieve a positive outcome. I would like to thank those involved for all their efforts in resolving this issue.

Issued by:
The Communications Directorate
Western Cape Education Department
Private Bag X9114
Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 467-2531
Fax: (021) 467-2363
Email: pattwell@pawc.wcape.gov.za
 return to: Home | Media Releases Index page