Ready, set, teach!

Teaching and learning have commenced this morning in many parts of the country as the 2017 academic programme gets underway.

It has largely been a morning full of joyous reunions for many fellow learners and teaching staff after the festive season break, who are eager to start the year on a high note, with enough energy to achieve outstanding results at the end of the school year.

It has also been a morning characterised by palpable nervousness and excitement for thousands of Grade 1 and matric learners, who mark two of the most significant years of any child’s academic career.

While reports from most parts of the country show that learning and teaching are getting underway as planned, Gauteng has committed to systematically and strategically deal with the issue of learners who have not yet been placed.

As part of the school reopening programme, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will today visit Phehellang Secondary School in Parys in the Free State, which attained a 100% pass rate for two years running.

The Free State attained a 93.2% matric pass rate in the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations against a 76.2% national pass rate.

“The performance of Phehellang Secondary School in the past few years is truly remarkable, considering the fact that as far back as 2009, the pass rate was only 47.2%,” said the Presidency.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will be supported by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Free State Premier Ace Magashule, Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe, and senior government officials.

It is expected that various leaders from national, provincial and local government will visit schools in many parts of the country to witness the kick-off of the school calendar.

Gauteng affirms readiness

The Gauteng Provincial Government on Tuesday also announced the state of readiness to start the 2017 academic year.

“All the necessary preparations, including the delivery of Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) and school furniture, have been finalised,” said the provincial government.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura, together with Members of the Executive Council (MECs), are also embarking on the School Readiness Campaign to ensure that teaching and learning takes place on day 1 of the academic programme.

All MECs are expected to visit various schools around the province and conduct community meetings in the afternoon to interact with parents and stakeholders.

The main event on the provincial government’s calendar is the official opening of the newly constructed Braamfischerville Primary School No.2 to be renamed Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela Primary School by Premier Makhura, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, as well as MEC for Infrastructure Development, Jacob Mamabolo. –