Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

2 December, 2011

WCED to issue Grade 1 packs to poorest learners

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

Donald Grant, Western Cape Education Minister, replied as follows to questions from the Cape Argus on Grade 1 school packs for 2012:

The WCED is providing some of our poorest learners in Quintile 1 schools (Grade1-3) with packs in the form of a school bags, writing books, pencils, crayons, etc. and dictionaries (for Grade 3) for Foundation Phase in its 2012 school year plans.

Research has shown that many of the learners in Q1 schools do not own or cannot afford their own school bag, and instead carry their textbooks in plastic bags.

As a result, the books are more likely to be torn, lost or worn down.

Also, rather than carrying them in plastic bags, learners sometimes store the books at home or leave them at school - therefore not properly utilizing them.

In order to make our schools text-rich environments, we are currently rolling out over 2 million textbooks, as well as workbooks to schools, particularly in the Foundation Phase grades, and we want to ensure that these books are fully utilized everyday.

We are appealing to our learners to use them, to look after them and to return textbooks at the end of the year, so that we can pass them on to others.

We also appeal to parents to help us in looking after these books so that everyone can benefit from this investment.

The more books we save, the more books we can buy. By working together, we can ensure access to as many texts as possible and continuously improve the quality of education in the province.

How many bags do you expect to be distributed?

28 611 bags

How many quintile 1 primary schools are there in the province?

301 primary schools

When will the learners receive the bags?

First school day, Wednesday 11 January 2012. We want our learners to be prepared and ready for the year ahead from the outset and to be able to take their new workbooks and textbooks home and back to school everyday starting from day 1. This is the kind of routine that we want all our learners to subscribe to.

What will be included in the bag for each grade?

Items for Grade 1: A school bag and a pencil bag, a 10 pocket display file, 72 pages ruled exercise book, 72 pages unlined exercise book, 12 pack pencil crayons, 24 pack wax crayons, 3 pack HB lead pencils, eraser, 40 grams glue stick, a pair of scissors, pencil sharpener metal double hole, 30 cm ruler, plastic cover 3m roll, clear sticky tape.

Items for Grade 2: A school bag and a pencil bag, a 10 pocket display file, 2 x 72 pages ruled exercise books, 12 pack pencil crayons, 3 pack HB lead pencils, eraser, 40 grams glue stick, a pair of scissors, pencil sharpener metal double hole, 30 cm ruler, plastic cover 3m roll, clear sticky tape.

Items for Grade 3: A school bag and a pencil bag, bilingual dictionaries Afrikaans and English, English and Xhosa, a 10 pocket display file, 2 x 72 pages ruled exercise books, 12 pack pencil crayons, 2 hard covers, 3 pack HB lead pencils, eraser, 40 grams glue stick, a pair of scissors, pencil sharpener metal double hole, 30 cm ruler, plastic cover 3m roll, clear sticky tape.

How did you decide on these items?

The WCED's Foundation Phase Curriculum Planners made the suggestions in line with the items used daily by Foundation Phase learners

How will it be ensured that the pupils receive the bags and all of its contents?

A circular minute has been sent to schools informing them when and how the stationery packs must be handed over to learners. A check list of the contents has been sent to all the schools before delivery. The process with be closely monitored by the district and Head Office officials and they will use a monitoring tool for reporting purposes.

Additional - each Grade 1 parent will also receive a booklet on the first day of school that provides tips on how they can support the litnum development of their children.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or brcasey@pgwc.gov.za.

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za


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2011 Western Cape Education Department