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Media Release

2 July, 2007

WCED to invest R71.4m in quality improvement

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) will invest R71.4-million on special projects this year to improve the quality of education in the province's poorest schools.

The investment forms part of the Quality improvement, development, support and upliftment programme (QIDS-UP) programme in the Western Cape.

QIDS-UP is a national initiative, which aims to allocate new resources to schools, especially in poor and disadvantaged communities.

The programme is focusing on improving academic standards through better teaching and learning conditions in these schools, by providing basic resources such as equipment, supplies, infrastructure and personnel development.

The WCED has identified 374 primary and 33 secondary schools in national quintiles one and two - those serving the poorest communities - for special support this year, including high schools that achieved pass rates of less than 60% in the 2006 matric exams.

The programme will run until March 2011 and is expected to benefit reach about 229 980 learners in 491 schools.

This programme is designed to improve the quality of teaching and learning conditions by providing basic resources such as equipment, supplies, infrastructure and staff development.

The WCED will invest R23 million in 2007/08 as part of the programme this year on 98 scheduled maintenance at schools in quintiles one and two. The projects will include general maintenance in order to make the buildings fully functional.

These projects include three pilot projects aimed at enhancing the safety of the learners. Emergency repairs include repairs to roofs, ceilings, replacing windowpanes, painting, repairs to toilets, among others, to provide classrooms that are comfortable and conducive to teaching and learning.

QIDS-UP will provide material resources to revive existing libraries or to start up new ones at schools, which do not have library facilities.

Over five-year life of the programme, the WCED plans to expand the programme to "no fee" schools in national quintile three and to deserving schools in national quintiles 4 and 5.

The WCED has earmarked R386,875-million for the programme over the medium-term expenditure framework period, which includes an allocation of R71.442-million for 2007/08.

The benefits of the programme, based on available resources, include the following:

  • Physical resources: A suitable, decent structure that is easily accessible to all learners, educators and community members (including the physically disabled); power supply; drinking water and sanitation; sports fields and or equipment; furniture (including desks, chairs for teachers and learners, tables for teachers, cupboards and bookshelves); specialised classrooms; chalkboards and proper fencing.

  • Teaching and learning resources and materials: Computers (for teaching and learning, as well as administrative purposes); office equipment including copiers, printers and faxes; science laboratories and or science equipment; and libraries and/or classroom reading resource corners

  • Human resources: Upskilling and supporting educators

  • Strengthening school management teams and school governing bodies and developing leadership skills in representative councils of learners in order to enhance school management.

The WCED has audited schools over the past three months to establish resource needs. The department will also consider School Self Evaluation and School Improvement Plans when allocating QIDS-UP funding.

The WCED will sign memoranda of agreement with school governing bodies on how QIDS-UP funding should be spent and will monitor the impact of the support after 12 months as part of ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

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