Eastern Cape Premier inspects schools readiness in Nelson Mandela Bay

JANUARY 21, 2015

As thousands of children across the Eastern Cape began a new school year on Wednesday following a long festive holiday, Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, visited a number of schools in Port Elizabeth to ensure learning and teaching takes place on the first day.

This is part of the provincial Executive Council's roll-out of the back to school campaign. The province failed to reach the 70% target it has set itself for the 2014 class.

Bottom of the class

For the past few years the Eastern Cape has been sitting at the bottom of the national matric results table.

Several schools in the province -  as well as some in KwaZulu Natal, are now under investigation for alleged group copying during last year's matric exams.

Just like the province, the Port Elizabeth district did not do well although the district results improved slightly from 74% to 74.3%. It slipped from the number one spot as the best performing district to number 5.

Overcrowding and gangsterism

Premier Masualle kicked off his visit at New Brighton’s Lwandlekazi Senior Secondary School - a school plagued by overcrowding over the years, and is expected to visit Gelvandale Secondary School where drugs and gangsterism are the main challenges.

The shortage of teachers is also under spotlight.

An example is Zanokhanyo High School, in Mount Ayliff, which has not been doing well in matric since its establishment in the early 90s – only twelve learners passed the 2014 matric exams out of the 75 who sat for the same exams.

Teachers blame poor student-learner ratios, poor infrastructure and lack of resources as the contributing factors to poor performance.