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Media Release

21 August, 2007

Support for Grade 11 teaching and learning

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) replied as follows to Die Burger, in reply to a question on preparations for the introduction of the national curriculum for Grade 11 in 2007:

The Western Cape has prepared thoroughly for the introduction of the national curriculum in Grade 11 this year.

Preparations have included extensive support in terms of textbooks and teacher development and support, said Michael Cameron, Acting Director of Curriculum Development.

"The new curriculum is set for 21st century requirements. Thorough preparation by teachers is needed where they teach new material. Teachers have received training and support is available.

"Textbooks and teacher support materials in Science, Mathematics and Language have been provided," Mr Cameron said.

"At the end of this year national examinations will be written in the eleven subjects with the highest enrolment. Sample moderation of the marking of these papers will enable an accurate assessment of how learners have coped. This will also feed into the Gr 12 planning."

The WCED provided training for all teachers on the new curriculum in 2006.

"If a teacher cannot clarify a concept, there are Curriculum Advisers available at district offices to answer questions and cluster meetings where problems can be raised. Curriculum specialists at the Cape Town provincial head office also provide support."

The department has also provided support in the form of printed materials.

"For all Grade 11 learners in state schools in the Western Cape, new textbooks were provided in Mathematics and Physical Science in 2006," Mr Cameron said.

"Not only were textbooks for learners chosen by schools, teacher guides for these same textbooks were supplied. Thus if a teacher must explain a new concept he or she has the opportunity to review guiding notes provided to teachers by the textbook authors in the Teacher Guides."

The provincial and national departments have provided millions of copies of support material on newsprint and in other print forms as part of the recovery plan following the national public servants strike in June. The material included weekly supplements which covered Grade 11 work.

The WCED distributed two sets of example exam papers for Grade 10 in 2006. The department issued a set of nationally prepared example papers for Grade 11 early in the second term. The WCED is preparing further tutorial examples using the model of the national example question papers.

"For those who are prepared to put in the effort there are textbooks, guides and sample exam materials. There is support and there are colleagues and advisers who can be asked for help. We cannot expect the introduction of a new, quality curriculum to come without a price," Mr Cameron said.

Issued by:
Paddy Attwell
Director: Communication
Western Cape Education Department
Tel: 021 467 2531
Fax: 021 461 3694
Email: pattwell@pgwc.gov.za

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2007 WCED