Two Cape Town schools  have cracked  the Top Ten list for Best School in The World. West End Primary School in Mitchells Plain and Pinelands North Primary School have both been nominated in the World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity.

This is an intiative by T4 Education in partnership with Templeton World Charity Foundation, Accenture and American Express.

The schools have cracked the Top Ten list and if they win the category, they will receive $50 000 in prize money.

According to it’s website: “The World’s Best School Prizes identify, recognise, and celebrate schools’ leading and innovative practices that have had a real impact on the lives of their students and of their community.”

West End Primary is situated in Lentegeur Mitchells Plain and has nearly 2000 learners in attendance. Premier Alan Winde praised the teachers, pupils and the community as he noted that for the past decade there has not been a break-in or burglary at the school.

If West End Primary were to win the World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity, it would use the money to improve and expand initiatives they already have in place as well as implement and initiate new projects. They would also use the prize funds and donations to invest in improving the athletics track, purchasing arts and craft equipment, investing in a sound system for the school hall and improving resources for teaching and learning. The school has also been identified as a pilot school in the community that will introduce Coding and Robotics to the learners who will be able to be skilled for the 4th industrial revolution. World’s Best School Prize website

Pinelands North Primary School has nearly 500 pupils and is “recognised as one of the country’s leading institutions when it comes to fostering inclusivity in education.”

If Pinelands North were to win the World’s Best School Prize for Overcoming Adversity it would use the funds to expand its online school and buy a property close to the school’s premises so it can create a hybrid programme. This would allow an additional 100 students from across all communities to have a vibrant school experience, participating in sporting activities and other extra curriculars. World’s Best School Prize website

The schools will be wittled down to a Top 3 and the winners will be confirmed in October 2022.

The WCED has presented its R28.03 billion budget for the 2022/23 financial year and this is everything you need to know.

Provincial Education MEC Debbie Schäfer tabled the adjusted budget in the Western Cape Legislature on Wednesday 30 March. She says: “The budget tabled here today allocates R2.55 billion to infrastructure in the 2022/23 financial year, which is a significant increase on the previous R1.72 billion target spend for 2021/22. Over the MTEF, spending on this priority will amount to R7.04 billion. This will allow us to put projects that had to be suspended by budget cuts back on the table, like the establishment of a high school in Darling.”

The MEC did not shy away from the negative effects that the lockdown had on schools. “I have recently publicized, we were all disappointed, but not surprised, to discover the full extent of the learning losses that the children of our province have experienced owing to the pandemic,” says Schäfer. She added: ” The 2021 systemic tests revealed a substantial reversal of the gains we have made over many years. These losses were most evident in the Foundation Phase, where daily attendance is critical to ensure that concepts learned are reinforced over time. Redressing the learning losses is a crucial part of the Western Cape Recovery Plan, and it is vitally important that we ensure that the losses in these crucial years are addressed as urgently as possible.”

In summary, the WCED is going to focus on:

No-fee school schools

“I am pleased to announce that, because of our additional allocation, we shall be offering to 160 fee-paying schools catering for learners from disadvantaged communities, the opportunity to become no-fee schools from 1 January 2023, in recognition of their true socio-economic context. This shows the commitment of the Western Cape Government and WCED to our poorer communities,” says Schäfer

ECD

“Equitable Share funding of R289.9 million, and ECD Conditional Grant funding of R95.87 million, has been added to the WCED’s baseline in support of this function for the 2022/23 financial year,” says Schäfer.

Expanding skills

  • Additional investment in the blended-learning priority of R170 million in the coming financial year.
  • 1 290 schools are now connected to broadband and 249 schools have subsidy alternatives to broadband. 752 schools have Local Area Networks (LAN) installed, with a further 553 schools with partial access installed.
  • 32 Schools participating in the Foundation Phase Coding and Robotics pilot project and  96 teachers are currently in training.
  • The number of schools offering agricultural subjects has expanded significantly from just 3 in 2015 to 30 in 2022.
  • Workshops have been completed at Charlie Hofmeyr Secondary, Groendal Secondary, and Skurweberg Secondary. The construction of further workshops is underway at Hexvallei High and Kraaifontein High.
  • The E cubed program for Employability and Entrepreneurship Education. This program uses project-based learning to develop the kind of thinking and skills that learners will need to succeed in the economy. There are 12 schools in the first cohort this year, which will expand to approximately 300 schools by the third cohort in 2024.

 

The Western Cape Education Department has once again called on community members to help protect the province’s schools by reporting theft and vandalism.

The MEC for Education, Debbie Schäfer says 41 incidents of theft and vandalism were reported at 34 Western Cape schools during the past Christmas season.

She says although there has been a decrease in the number of incidents, offenders need to be apprehended and brought to book.

Schäfer says theft and vandalism to school property deprives students of their right to education.

Read more here.

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Provincial Education MEC Debbie Schäfer says the number of Western Cape schools, which have obtained a Matric pass rate of less than 60%, have dramatically decreased.

The number of the province’s schools, who failed to obtain this minimum pass mark, have decreased from 52 to 40, in the 2021 National Senior Certificate examinations.

Schäfer says this decrease in the number of under-performing schools shows that all the hard work and commitment is paying off.

Read Schäfer’s full statement here.

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The Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has encouraged matriculants, who failed their exams or have not obtained their desired results, to make use of the support services available to them.

Schäfer advises Grade 12s to apply for the next session of supplementary examinations to rewrite their exams or improve their results.

She also urges candidates to make use of the Second Chance programme, offered by the Department of Basic Education, to again enroll for examinations.

Read her full statement here.

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