Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

6 July, 2011

Good turnout at Grade 12 winter schools

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

This morning, Premier Helen Zille and I made a surprise visit to schools in Khayelitsha to assess the WCED Grade 12 Winter School Programme.

With only 102 days to go before the start of the 2011 National Senior Certificate Examinations, the WCED have initiated a number of targeted and sustained interventions to assist Grade 12 learners in preparation for the National Senior Certificate examinations, especially at underperforming schools.

Interventions include intensive management support from our district offices, subject specific support for schools with historically low pass rates, increased textbook provision for Grade 12s, after-school and weekend telematics classes and tutoring programmes.

This holiday, the WCED have offered extra support by arranging a winter school programme at 169 high schools in the province. Each of these schools will receive specialised tutoring in subjects such as Mathematics, Physical Science, Geography, Life Sciences, Accounting and Economics.

This year, we have developed strict criteria in terms of tutor selection (proven record of success at the schools at which they teach) to ensure that these learners are receiving the best possible tuition from recognised experts in their fields.

This morning, I visited three schools to determine the programme's success and to encourage and motivate learners ahead of the upcoming examinations. The first school we visited was Kwamfundo Secondary. This school achieved a 42.6% pass rate in 2010, and are now aiming to achieve a 70% pass rate at the end of the year. Turnout at this school has been above 70%.

The Premier and I sat in on one of the Geography sessions, hosted by a very qualified and engaging educator, Ms Moipone Sam, from Masiphumelele High School in Fish Hoek. After sitting in on a mathematics literacy class, we then visited Matthew Goniwe High School - one of our star performers in 2010. The school achieved an 86.9% pass rate last year, compared to 45.5% in 2009. The challenge now for this school is to ensure that they remain at this high level, and to improve their results even further.

The turnout of learners at this school for the Winter programme has been as high as 90% and I was most encouraged to see, as I walked in through the front door, on display a board with subject targets for the NSC - an encouraging, clear and ever-present reminder of what learners need to achieve come October 2011.

After attending an accounting session, I then visited Sinako Secondary. Sinako performed poorly in 2010, achieving 35.4%, compared to 47.4% in 2009. I was therefore pleased to have learnt that learner attendance at the school this week was as high as 90-95%. Given that it was lunch break, I had the opportunity to chat with the learners and gauge how they felt about the programme. Feedback was positive. They informed me that they were enjoying the programme, and were especially pleased with the quality of educators that were hosting the classes.

In conclusion, I am happy with the roll-out of the Grade 12 winter programme so far. Initial reports from the other districts also indicate high attendance rates at their programmes.

I would like to remind Grade 12 learners that they can also make use of the Mindset Learn Matric series on DSTV and Top TV between the 4th and 15th of July (weekdays), between 9am to 5pm.

This programme includes examination paper overviews, crucial tips for all the major topics, detailed worked solutions and explanations of specially selected past exam questions and, live phone-in sessions. It will cover subjects such as Mathematics, Physical Science, Geography, Life Sciences, Accounting, Economics and English First Additional Language. Schools involved in the Telematics programme are broadcasting the Mindset programme, which is supported by learner and facilitator guides.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

Visit our website:

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