Media Release

7 August, 2012

Proposed school closures: WCED prepares learner placement plan.

Statement by Penny Vinjevold, Head of Education in the Western Cape

The Western Cape Education Department is preparing detailed learner placement plans for learners affected by proposed school closures in the province.

The aim is to improve opportunities for the learners concerned.

We would like to place these learners in schools that are better equipped to provide a quality education.

These plans are proposals at this stage, but are essential as we determine whether to close a public school.

The department looks at how best we can use our resources to improve access to quality education on an ongoing basis.

We have to respond to changing needs. We do so by building new schools, expanding and replacing existing schools and by closing schools, where it is in the best interests of learners to do so.

The department has recommended to the Provincial Minister of Education that he consider 27 schools for possible closure. Twenty of these schools are in rural districts and seven are in the greater Cape Town area.

The preparation of the proposed learner placement plans does not indicate that the Minister has already made up his mind in respect of any of the proposed closures. Each learner placement plan forms an essential part of our planning for each possible closure.

The role of the department in this process is to identify and recommend to the Provincial Minister of Education schools that should be considered for possible closure. The role of the Provincial Minister of Education is then to consider the proposed closures critically in consultation with all interested parties. This process is currently underway.

Most of the schools concerned are very small rural schools that have dwindling numbers and do not have the resources to deliver the full curriculum. They typically offer multigrade teaching, with more than one grade in a class.

Should any of these schools be closed, we plan to place the learners in schools that offer single-grade classes, with one teacher per grade, and better access to quality facilities and activities.

Reasons for the proposed closure of schools in urban districts include dwindling numbers, the poor physical condition of these schools, and poor academic performance in certain cases.

Should any of these schools be closed, the department would like to place these learners in schools that are well maintained, have better facilities, are well managed, achieve better results, and offer a wider range of sporting and cultural activities.

Teachers will typically follow learners to their new schools.

Benefits for the teachers at the rural schools concerned would include the support of more colleagues, teaching single-grade classes and easier access to ongoing professional development.

The learner placement plans include transport for learners in rural areas. In many cases, the learners will find it easier to get to school because buses will pick them up closer to their homes.

The learner placement plans are designed to improve opportunities for about 4 000 learners, starting in 2013.

Success will depend ultimately on how learners respond to these opportunities. Education districts will work with schools to monitor and support their progress.

The department has proposed closing schools in five of the eight education districts in the province.

Eden Karoo

The department has proposed closing 11 schools in the Eden Karoo district. Learner numbers have dropped at all of these these schools, where enrolment ranges from 11 to 101.

The schools rely on multigrade teaching.

We would like to place the learners in schools with single-grade classes with a teacher for each grade.

The new schools in mind are well managed and typically have better facilities. They can offer better extra mural programmes, such as team sports and cultural activities.

The department will organise transport where necessary, for distances ranging from 8.9 km to 23 km.

Cape Winelands

The WCED has proposed closing six schools in the Cape Winelands district. Learner numbers have declined at all of the schools. They all rely on multigrade classes.

Learner numbers at five of the schools range from 12 to 61. Learner numbers have declined at a sixth school, L K Zeeman Primary School, which currently has 284 learners.

The department would like to place the learners in schools that offer single-grade classes with one teacher per grade.

The new schools typically have better facilities, for example, libraries, computer laboratories and sports fields, and offer team sports and greater access to cultural activities.

The WCED will provide transport for learners who would travel by bus for between 6.5km and 11.5 km to get to school.

West Coast

The department would like to close three schools in the West Coast district. The schools have 30, 35 and 36 learners respectively, the number needed for single classes. They rely on multigrade teaching.

The WCED would like to place the learners in larger schools that offer single grade classes, with a teacher for each grade.

The larger schools are well managed, have better facilities and offer more opportunities for team sports and cultural activities. The department would organise transport for distances ranging from 6 km to 27 km.

Metro North

The WCED has proposed closing two schools in the Metro North district. Learner numbers have declined at both schools. The current enrolments are 264 and 305 respectively.

Neighbouring schools with better facilities can easily accommodate the learners. The neighbouring schools are well managed, achieve good academic results and offer a variety of sports and cultural activities.

Metro Central

The department has proposed closing five schools in the Metro Central district, including three high schools. Enrolment ranges from 250 to 652.

The physical condition of these schools is extremely poor. Two of the high schools have the worst matric pass rates in the province. The third has a drop-out rate of 65%.

The WCED would like to place these learners in neighbouring schools that are well managed, have better retention rates and achieve better matric results.

Most of the alternative schools are well established, well maintained and offer better facilities and opportunities for extra-mural activities.

Proposed learner placement plans

The following is a summary of the proposed learner placement plans for each school.

The proposed plans are work in progress. The department will finalise the plans in consultation with all concerned when the Western Cape Education Minister makes his final decision on the proposed closures in September.

Eden Karoo Education District

Bracken Hill EK Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Multi-grade teaching at the school

Number of learners: 59

Learner Placement Plan

Fraaisig PrimÍr; Hornlee PrimÍr; Sunridge PrimÍr

  • Better extra mural facilities, sport and cultural activities
  • All single grade classes
  • Learning support teacher available

Denneprag Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Dependence on multigrade teaching

Number of learners: 45

Learner Placement Plan

Ruiterbos PrimÍr

  • Single-grade classes
  • Building in good condition
  • Sports and recreational facilities available
  • Better opportunities for single grade classes
  • Learners will participate in systemic testing (previously not done due to low numbers)
  • Social development together with age cohort
  • Good management, leadership, discipline and quality education

Krombeksrivier NGK Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Little chance of future learner growth
  3. Multigrade teaching compromises the delivery of quality education

Number of learners: 18

Learner Placement Plan:

De Waalville PrimÍr

  • Single grade classes; individual attention
  • School offers variety of sports and cultural activities
  • Access to a well-equipped computer lab
  • Grade R facility
  • Well-kept school building
  • Learner support teacher available to assist learners
  • Better literacy and numeracy results
  • Good leadership and management

Langkloof Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Little chance of growth in numbers

Number of learners: 11

Learner Placement Plan:

Molenrivier PrimÍr

  • Participation in sports and cultural activities e.g. athletics and Eisteddfod
  • Access to well-equipped computer lab
  • Grade R facilities
  • School building in good condition
  • Better literacy and numeracy development opportunities
  • Good leadership and management
  • Learners to be transported on existing route

Redlands Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Multi-grade teaching compromises quality education delivery
  3. Poor literacy and numeracy results

Number of learners: 74

Learner Placement Plan:

Karatara PrimÍr

  • All single grade classes
  • Exposure to sports and cultural activities
  • Better infrastructure
  • Teachers well equipped to improve literacy and numeracy performance.

Rietfontein NGK Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. The learners can be accommodated at neighbouring schools
  3. Multigrade teaching compromises quality education delivery

Number of learners: 27

Learner Placement Plan:

Kruisrivier Wes PrimÍr

  • Fewer multigrade classes
  • Learners will be transported
  • Learner attendance more consistent
  • More opportunities for learners to participate in sport codes
  • Feeding scheme remains
  • "No fee school" status remains

Rodewal UCC Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Poor retention of learners

Number of learners: 94

Learner Placement Plan:

De Jager VGK PrimÍr

  • Single grade classes
  • Transport for learners: improve attendance
  • More recreational space ; sport facilities
  • Participation in extra murals (sports teams)
  • Feeding scheme remains
  • "No fee school" status remains

Rondevlei EK Primary

Motivation:

  1. The quality of the education suffers as a result of the multi-grade teaching
  2. Learners are transported from George to the school
  3. The learner numbers have been dwindling

Number of learners: 57

Learner Placement Plan:

George schools; Smutsville PrimÍr; Sedgefield PrimÍr

  • Will have access to sports facilities and participation with other schools
  • Closer to home; some learners within walking distance from Smutsville
  • Single grade classes (no more multi-grade)
  • Safety of learners (no more private transport)
  • Consistency in teacher attendance and teaching

Warmbad-Spa Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Multi-grade teaching is compromising quality education

Number of learners: 62

Learner Placement Plan:

Uitvlugt PrimÍr

  • Merging will improve teaching conditions
  • Less multi-grade classes
  • Learners will be transported
  • More consistent learner attendance
  • More learners per age group enhances sporting team opportunities
  • Feeding scheme remains
  • "No fee school" status remains

Welbedacht UCC Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Unsuitable accommodation
  3. Multi-grade teaching that compromises quality education

Number of learners: 101

Learner Placement Plan:

Rooiberg PrimÍr

  • Reduction of multigrade classes
  • School building more conducive to teaching and learning
  • More opportunities for learners to participate in sport codes
  • Learners will be transported
  • Feeding scheme remains
  • "No fee school" status remains

Wittedrif Primary

Motivation:

  1. The establishment of one viable primary school for the community
  2. The donation of a new school will enhance the learning opportunities for all primary school learners in Wittedrif
  3. Multigrade teaching will be terminated
  4. There is no land available for future expansion at Wittedrif Primary School

Number of learners: 218

Learner Placement Plan:

The WCED is planning to build a new school in conjunction with a partner.

  • Share sports facilities with high school
  • Single grade classes
  • More recreational space
  • Opportunities for development of building and facilities
  • Strong leadership: sharing of experience
  • Community building

Cape Winelands Education District

Bergrivier NGK Primary School

Motivation:

  1. Continuous decline in learner numbers
  2. Eradication of multi-grade teaching

Number of learners: 61

Learner Placement Plan:

Soetendal PrimÍr

  • Better literacy and numeracy results
  • Transport will be instituted to pick up learners en route at Haaskraal; Modesto; VoŽlgesang; Middelpos; De la Fontaine; Goedehoop and Sanddrif (traveling time Ī 25 min)
  • No more multi-grade classes : teachers prepare and teach focused grades and subjects
  • Learners can participate in team sports
  • Better service delivery and use of resources

Bosplaas NGK PS

Motivation:

  1. Continuous decline in learner numbers
  2. Multigrade teaching compromises quality education

Number of learners: 39

Learner Placement Plan:

Rondeheuwel PrimÍr

  • Good literacy and numeracy results (No tests at Bosplaas due to low numbers)
  • Transport instituted (Ī 25 min traveling time)
  • Pick-up points: Sonkwasdrif; Swartland Waterwerke; Bosplaas
  • Learners will walk short distances
  • Single-grade teaching (teachers prepare and teach focused subjects and grades)
  • Learners can participate in team sports
  • Improved service delivery and use of resources

Hoopsrivier NGK Primary School

Motivation:

Low learner numbers (18)

Learner Placement Plan:

Vergesig PrimÍr

  • No more multigrade teaching
  • Teacher does not have to attend to principal's duties
  • More programmes offered to learners (sport and cultural activities)
  • Access to facilities such as computer labs; science laboratory; library

L K Zeeman Primary School

Motivation:

  1. The school building is under-utilised
  2. Gradual decrease in learner numbers
  3. Nearby schools have accommodation

Number of learners: 284

Learner Placement Plan:

Amstelhof PrimÍr

  • No multi-grade classes
  • Better equipped: learning support material; library; school hall; sport fields
  • Better literacy and numeracy results
  • Comprehensive extra mural activities
  • Within walking distance
  • Better distribution of work load for teachers

Tonko Bosman

Motivation:

  1. Decline in enrolment
  2. Unsuitable infrastructure

Number of learners: 22

Learner Placement Plan:

Raithby PrimÍr; Weber Gedenk PrimÍr

  • Better test results (ANAs; Systemic)
  • No more multi-grade classes; learners in homogeneous age groups
  • School building and facilities in better condition
  • Learners will have access to sports and cultural activities
  • Teachers prepare and teach focused grades and subjects

Wansbek VGK Primary School

Motivation:

  1. Learner numbers below 25

Number of leaners: 12

Learner Placement Plan:

Le Chasseur PrimÍre Skool

  • No more multigrade teaching
  • Focus on teaching without having to perform duties of the principal as well.
  • More sports and cultural programmes
  • Access to facilities such as computer and science laboratories, and library.

West Coast Education District

Klipheuwel Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. No feeder community

Number of learners: 30

Learner Placement Plan:

Lutzville PrimÍr; Uitkyk PrimÍr

  • Single grade classes
  • Social development with age cohort
  • More opportunities e.g. Eisteddfods; enrichment programmes
  • More sports and cultural activities
  • Exposure to systemic tests (no testing at small schools)
  • Better feeding scheme
  • Transport for all learners
  • Better and more resources
  • Full primary school R - 7(9)
  • Better Lit/Num results

Nuhoop NGK Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Multigrade teaching

Number of learners: 36, including Grade R

Learner Placement Plan:

Middeldeurvlei PrimÍr

  • Single grade classes
  • Full primary school up to Grade 7
  • Good, stable, staff compliment with better work load
  • More learners at Middeldeurvlei open up opportunities for team sports
  • Bus transport for all learners; traveling time 30 - 45 minutes
  • Established Grade R class

Urionskraal NGK Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. No feeder community

Number of learners: 35

Learner Placement Plan:

Van Rhynsdorp schools; Maskam PrimÍre Skool

  • Single grade classes
  • Social development with age cohort
  • More opportunities, for example, Eisteddfods; expo's; enrichment programmes
  • More efficient feeding scheme
  • Grade R class
  • Transport for all learners
  • Better literacy and numeracy focus and results (no testing due to low numbers at Urionskraal)

Metropole North Education District

Lavisrylaan Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Preparatory school within 500m offering the same curriculum
  3. Enough provisioning at neighbouring schools

Number of learners: 264, including 62 Grade Rs

Learner Placement Plan:

Helderberg PrimÍr; Bishop Lavis Primary School

  • Well maintained school buildings
  • Good academic results
  • Learners become part of an integrated primary school (grades R - 7)
  • Learners exposed to a variety of sports and cultural activities
  • Better work load distribution for teachers
  • Ethos of a well-managed school
  • Better use of facilities

Valpark Primary

Motivation:

  1. Dwindling learner numbers
  2. Neighbouring schools can accommodate all the learners

Number of learners: 305

Learner Placement Plan:

Helderberg PrimÍr; Bishop Lavis Primary School; Hillside Primary; Parkvale Primary

  • Alternative schools close by
  • Better literacy and numeracy results (by 20% and higher)
  • Rich sports and cultural activities
  • Better learning environments

Metropole Central Education District

Athwood Primary

Motivation:

  1. The systematic theft and burglary of the school on a regular basis has rendered the school unsafe
  2. It has become economically unviable to continue to maintain on-going vandalism and damage to the school when it re-occurs

Number of learners: 450

Learner Placement Plan:

Morgenson Primary

  • Learner and educator safety
  • Well-maintained facilities
  • Good leadership and management
  • Opens up new possibilities in the Athwood building to serve the community in another way.

Beauvallon Secondary School

Motivation:

  1. Consistent underperformance in all grades, 8 to 12
  2. High dropout rate

Number of learners: 521

Learner Placement Plan:

John Ramsay HS; Bishop Lavis HS

  • Better academic programmes and success rate
  • Higher matric pass rate
  • Better throughput rate
  • Better facilities
  • Safer environment

Peak View Secondary School

Motivation:

  1. Very poor condition of the buildings
  2. Declining academic performance in all grades, 8 to 12
  3. Poor NSC results over a number of years

Number of learners: 652

Learner Placement Plan:

Bridgetown High, among others.

  • Better physical resources
  • Good management and leadership
  • Consistent academic performance
  • Schools closer to residences will impact on late coming - (time on task)
  • Academic success will curb high drop-out rate
  • Exposure to extra-mural activities (sports and culture)
  • Higher matric pass rate : better future options
  • Support programmes for Gr's 8 and 9
  • Bridging course for iXhosa speakers

Protea Primary School

Motivation:

  1. Diminishing learner numbers

Number of learners: 205

Learner Placement Plan:

Central Park; Boundary; Disa; Mimosa; Nerina primary schools; (or school of choice)

  • All learners within 500m radius from schools
  • Wider choice of educational programmes
  • More extra-mural (sports) programmes

Zonnebloem Nest Senior School

Motivation:

  1. Very poor condition of the buildings
  2. High dropout rate

Number of learners: 309

Learner Placement Plan:

Wide range of schools to choose from in the immediate vicinity, including Walmer; Trafalgar and Harold Cressy high schools, among others.

  • Schools offer wider subject choices
  • Better facilities such as laboratories, hospitality and consumer labs; art and music
  • Well managed, established schools
  • Throughput and pass rate higher; better chances of success
  • Enrichment and intervention programmes starting in Grade 8
  • Wider choice of extra-murals and cultural activities
  • More recreational space

Click here to view the Proposed Learner Placement Plan Presentation (pdf 1 185 KB )


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