Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

16 October, 2012

School closures: Minister Grant announces plans to improve education opportunities for learners - a summary of key points.

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

Today I have presented a plan aimed at improving the lives of over 4 000 learners in this province. This plan includes measures to enhance the quality of education at some schools and to transfer learners to schools that are better equipped to provide a quality education.

Any decision that I have made has been made with restraint, and has been informed and is ultimately guided by what is in the best interests of the learners.

Having carefully considered each and every representation made to him, I have decided to close 20 schools.

Sixteen are in rural districts and four are in urban districts.

Fifteen of the schools (75%) are small farm schools in rural districts, with learner enrolments ranging from seven to 87, with an average of 41.

The learners attend multigrade classes, with children in several grades in the same class.

The department plans to place the learners in schools that provide better access to single-grade classes, better facilities, extramural activities and team sports, and to schools that achieve better literacy and numeracy results.

Learner numbers at LK Zeeman Primary School in Paarl have dropped to 217.

The learners can attend Amstelhof Primary, about 700m away, where the advantages include better literacy and numeracy results.

The department will close four schools in two urban districts. They include three primary schools and a high school.

The primary schools have experienced a decline in learner numbers, where the learners can attend nearby schools.

The three schools are Lavisrylaan, Valpark and Protea primary schools, with 156, 278 and 204 learners respectively.

The placement schools offer better facilities and achieve better literacy and numeracy results.

Beauvallon Secondary, with 461 learners, has been severely vandalised and is no longer suitable for learners. This impacts on the ability of the school to retain learners.

John Ramsay Secondary can accommodate the learners in safer and better facilities and offers a greater chance of success.

I would like to stress that parents of learners at schools that will close do not have to worry about enrolment for the 2013 school year. The WCED will inform their school of the plans we have in place to accommodate their child/children.

I am confident that my final decisions will improve opportunities for the learners concerned.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  021 467 2377 or

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2012 Western Cape Education Department