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Media Release

11 February, 2002

WCED investigates informal school in Nyanga

The Western Cape Education Department is investigating the establishment of an informal school in Nyanga, which has registered more than 2 500 learners so far.

Senior officials of the department are working closely with the staff of the school and the local community to resolve the issues involved.

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

The department cannot work with informal structures. At the same time, it has acknowledged that those involved are trying to meet a particular need in the area.

The department's first step has been to try and find out exactly where the learners have come from, so that it can work out appropriate strategies for their education.

By early today, the department has checked the documents of 1 748 of the learners. About 40% of these had come from the Eastern Cape, while the rest came from surrounding areas.

The department is looking at ways of verifying the documents, which is proving to be difficult.

Once all the relevant information on the learners has been established, the department will consider options such as seeking places in the correct grades at existing schools.

Learners from the Western Cape would be placed in schools as close to their homes as possible.

Other options include registering an independent school or an Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) centre, in an appropriate location.

The school is currently occupying a municipal building in Nyanga without permission. The WCED discussed the location of the school with municipal officials today (Monday, 11 February 2002). The matter will be referred to the Department of Property Management and Works.

The school, which calls itself Masiphumelelo Secondary, is currently operating on a platooning basis, where classes take place from 08h00 to 12h00, and from 12h00 to 17h00.

Indications are that schools in surrounding areas are full. Top management of the WCED will decide on a final course of action once all the relevant information is available.

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
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