Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

17 January, 2011

Western Cape schools ready for 2011

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

“So far, all reports indicate that we have had a smooth start to the 2011 school year,” said Western Cape Education Minister Donald Grant on Monday.

This morning Minister Grant and other education officials visited schools across the province to assess school readiness and to wish learners and educators well for the 2011 academic year.

They were also on stand-by to provide assistance at schools where there were late registrations and any other last-minute tasks that were to be completed.

“The department found that the overwhelming majority of schools were well prepared, however, there have been isolated reports of late enrollments and registrations at some of our schools,” he said.

“Every year late registrations continue to be an issue, despite an extensive early enrolment campaign during 2010. However, Education officials are on the ground attending to these matters and we are determined to ensure that each and every child in the Western Cape is in school and placed as soon as possible.”

Grant said that if any other problems arise, the Department would respond on case by case basis.

“This year, the Department is focusing on the protection of instruction time. Last year we experienced several disruptions and therefore in 2011 we are determined to ensure that every hour of every school day is fully utilized,” Grant said.

“Another focus of ours is on delivering quality education, starting with literacy and numeracy in the foundation phase.”

This morning, Grant visited Golden Grove Primary where he addressed the new Grade 1 learners and their parents. He delivered a WCED Parents Guide to the parents of the Grade 1 learners - called “Welcome to Grade 1 Parents’ Guide”.

The guide welcomes parents and their child to Grade 1, and includes some suggestions as to what parents must do to support their child in the first year of school.

It provides a snapshot of the Language and Mathematics syllabuses and how parents can help their children in these subjects. It also includes information on what children must know and be able to do by the end of Grade1 and recommended reading lists.

Some of the tips to help children develop their language and mathematical skills include making your child conscious of the alphabet, reading your child a story every night before they go to bed, thinking and talking maths to your child, like, for example, “How many nails did we buy? Which bucket holds more water?”

“Grade 1 is a very important year and we need to encourage all our parents and caregivers to assist our learners in building their language and mathematics skills, everyday,” Grant told parents.

“My best advice to parents would be to take an active interest in their education, build relationships with their teachers and participate in their schools activities. Monitor your children's interests over the years and help guide him or her onto the right path. Research has shown that the greater the family and community involvement in schools, the greater the learners’ achievement and the school’s success.”

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

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