Schools break up for the summer holiday
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
Learners officially go on holiday today, 4 December 2019.
I would like to wish each and every one of them a happy and safe holiday. I am sure they will take a break from school work, but continue reading for pleasure during their holidays.
There is much to learn in the activities that they will participate in, no matter where they are. Parents can also encourage fun engaging activities that will stimulate minds or test their knowledge.
On Friday, our principals and teachers will commence their leave, with the official closure of the schools for the 2019 school year. I would like to thank our teachers, principals and administrative staff for their commitment during the 2019 school year. May they also have a safe and happy break so that they come back rejuvenated for the exciting and challenging year ahead.
I trust that they will leave having prepared for the opening of schools in 2020. There is much to prepare in terms of class lists, timetables and learner admissions following the promotion and progression process.
The WCED delivered textbooks and stationery orders in October, and we are currently placing an additional 109 mobiles in schools to prepare for growth.
Schools will also be issuing to learners their end of year report cards. I am aware of schools in the past who have refused to release report cards because of non-payment of school fees. This is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Schools are not allowed to withhold learner results for any reason whatsoever. I would like to appeal to parents to report any such practice to their nearest district office so that we can investigate and take further action, as required.
Having said that, I would, however, like to also appeal to parents to try and settle their outstanding fees, if they are in a position to do so. Our schools are struggling and the immediate future is going to get more difficult, not easier.
To our officials who have worked tirelessly throughout the year, I wish also, a much-deserved break, and want to especially acknowledge those who are busy with the Matric exams and will not get any break at all at this time.
To the citizens of the Western Cape, please look out for our children. There are always dangers lurking and I ask that we all collectively keep an eye out to ensure their safety.
As part of holiday activities organised by the Safe Schools division of the Western Cape Education Department, learners can look forward to activities like snorkling, beach cleanups, yoga, arts and crafts, as well as indigenous games.
Safe Schools Field Workers in each of the eight education districts organised the programmes in conjunction with partners in various sectors, including government, the police, NGOs and the private sector.
The holiday programme aims to provide constructive activities to keep children safe during the holidays.
Some learners will be attending Safe Schools Development Camps. These camps have been organised for learners from areas where gangsterism, substance abuse and a high crime rate are rife, to help them develop resilience and the self-confidence required to deal effectively with responsibility in schools and the community. Programmes will also focus on life skills, leadership and safety and health awareness.
At least 3000 children are expected to attend the programmes.
I also ask that our communities continue to monitor the activities in and around schools. Should they see anything suspicious, they are to please contact SAPS immediately. Burglary and vandalism is a reality we face, and while additional resources will be placed at selected schools, we cannot always know when and where a school will be targeted.
Please whatsapp Bronagh Hammond for the following soundbites:
- Wishing teachers and learners well: Brian Schreuder – Head of Department
- Report cards : Bronagh Hammond – Director: Communication for the WCED
- Next year preparedness: Bronagh Hammond - – Director: Communication for the WCED
- School holiday programmes: Bronagh Hammond – Director of Communication
Please let me know what you require and will send.
Western Cape Education Department
072 7241422 (please whatsapp or sms me if unavailable)