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Media Release

26 January, 2007

Support for Grade 10 teachers and learners

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has introduced a range of measures to support Grade 10 teachers and learners as they engage with the new national curriculum for Grades 10 to 12.

In reply to questions from the Sunday Times, Jenny Rault-Smith, Director of Curriculum Development at the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), said that 78 927 learners wrote the examinations last year, of whom 53,961 passed.

"In an ideal world all learners would pass," Ms Rault-Smith said. "Last year’s failure rate of 24.9% is very similar to previous years, but we still regard it as too high. We will be working on reducing this."

Teachers of Grades 10 to 12 received additional training on the new curriculum during the course of 2007.

They have also received several supporting documents, covering new subject content and pace-setters to ensure the curriculum is completed in the course of the year.

The documents also include guidelines on how to set examinations in a system that no longer has higher grade and standard grade question papers.

The WCED will organise standard-setting meetings in the first term to give teachers a clear sense of the standard required.

"Teachers will be more confident in their teaching of the curriculum this year as they have now worked through the full curriculum and have a better sense of outcomes to be attained, where learners may find difficulties," Ms Rault-Smith said. "Likewise, Curriculum advisors will also be in a position to offer better support this year."

"We are working to ensure that teaching and learning in Grades 8 and 9 is more rigorous and learners are better prepared for the demands of Grade 10."

"We also believe that the Grade 9's who, from this year, will be studying the new National Curriculum Statement will be better prepared for Grade 10."

"Finally, we will ensure that Life Orientation teachers in Grade 9 give good career guidance advice, using the programme provided by the department, so that learners choose subjects in line with their career interest. This will help to ensure that they are self-motivated to study hard and attain good results in the FET band."

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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