Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

15 March, 2011

Impendulo Primary - A school our province can all be proud of

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

This morning, I visited Impendulo Primary School in Makhaza to congratulate them on their improved results in the 2010 provincial literacy and numeracy assessment tests ahead of the provincial awards ceremony tomorrow night.

This school has gone against all odds to turnaround their results in just one year.

Under the management of their new principal, Mrs Pheliswa Busika, the school undertook to improve their literacy and numeracy results by accepting and implementing a new approach to teaching and learning.

Their hardwork and commitment did pay off. In 2010, the school achieved remarkable results, turning the 4% they achieved for numeracy in 2008, to 50% in 2010 - an improvement of 46%.

In literacy they achieved similar results. In 2008 they achieved 16.6%, this increased to 58.3% - an improvement of 41.7%.

These results did not come easy. It took a lot of hard work, sacrifice and commitment by the whole educator team.

I am sincerely proud of this school and was delighted to personally thank the educators and the former Grade 3 learners for their achievements in the past year.

I was also able to learn their secrets to success.

Their approach included a number of factors, including:

Acknowledgement - When Mrs. Busika became principal she scrutinized the schools results and, in consultation with her teaching staff, acknowledged that there needed to be a change in direction, enthusiasm and teaching method at the school. This acknowledgement led to the formation of a “LITNUM committee” which devised strategies to improve their literacy and numeracy results.

“Time on task” - At the beginning of the year, Mrs Busika looked at the school calendar and realized if the school was to turnaround their results they would need to spend more time in the classroom. It was then decided, together with the teaching staff, that the school would not close during the March and September school holidays, and instead this time would be utilized for further teaching and learning.

In the June/July holidays, the school closed for two weeks, rather then the five week period on the school calendar.

Teamwork - All the educators at the school supported and encouraged each other throughout the year. They planned their classes together, shared ideas and best practice. The school even clustered with other schools in the area to share teaching styles, skills and tasks. This exposed both the educators and the learners to different styles of teaching.

Utilizing WCED support - The school and its educators openly welcomed the support of the WCED’s district staff and curriculum advisors. The curriculum advisors were able to offer their expertise on the curriculum by explaining how to optimize the delivery of the curriculum, teaching them new techniques and skills.

Parental Support - The WCED has promoted parental involvement and support through numerous campaigns asking parents to actively play a role in their children’s education. Impendulo Primary School is a prime example of how this support can drastically improve their children’s literacy and numeracy skills. The school frequently communicated and interacted with the parents and encouraged them to play a role in their child’s education. They asked them to ensure that their child actively engage in mathematical and reading activities everyday, by asking them to, for example, read newspaper articles or recipes while cooking, or counting their change at the shop.

These are just some of the interventions that were made by the school last year.

And I am grateful to all the educators at the school for giving up their time and fully embracing a new style and approach to education.

Tomorrow, the school will be receiving an award for “Overall improvement in performance in the context within which a school operates”.

In this category, awards are made to schools that have shown the greatest improvement in Numeracy and Literacy at grade 3 level over the period 2008 to 2010 relative to the context within which the school operates.

The ‘context within which a school operates’ is based on the national quintiles (1-3) in which schools are currently categorized.Improvements are measured in terms of both pass rates and mean scores.

All awardees in this category will receive a certificate as well as a monetary incentive of R20 000 for the purchase of teaching and learning support material.

It is evident that Impendulo Primary well deserves to be one of our most improved schools and I can only look forward to see what they can achieve at the end of this year.

Again, I would like to say how proud I am of this school.

I visited this school during the June/July holidays and I saw then, as I see now, the passion their whole team has for education.

I would like to end by quoting Mrs Busika: “When Mr Grant came in June, he saw us working hard, planting the seeds. Today we are bearing the fruits.”

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

Visit our website:

return to: WCED Home page | Media Releases Index page
© 2011 WCED