Schools form the basis of our education system. The Department of Basic Education maintains the school system in South Africa, which runs from Grade R to Grade 12 and is responsible for preparing students for life beyond Matric. Alongside the public schools in the country there also exist private schools, most run by the Independent Examinations Board (IEB), which emphasizes critical thinking and academic rigor. Regardless of whether one attends a public or private school, schools lay the foundations of our society by educating each new generation. Read on to stay updated with news on Matric results and other news related to schools.

"The biggest challenge, is to ensure that any policy passed at national level must be supported by an implementation plan at provincial level and that it is tightly supervised,' Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said. "This is one of the things I will be looking into; to ensure that the policies are supported by proper planning and that those proper plans are monitored on an ongoing basis.'

The Gauteng Department of Education has embarked on a five-year strategy to tackle the underperformance of primary school learners in literacy and numeracy in the province. Education MEC, Barbara Creecy, said the strategy seeks to address many causes of underperformance.

Statistics SA has announced that there are more children between the ages of 0 and 9 attending educational institutions than in previous years. However, the growth is not sufficient to meet the Early Childhood Development goals set for 2010.

Teachers are set for a salary increase now that the teaching union, Sadtu, has agreed to the government's revised salary offer. The increase is on a sliding scale between 13% and 10% with effect from 1 July 2009.

Basic Education Minister Motshekga plans to address teen pregnancy by outlining definitive interventions for implementation through the school system. This, following new research that it is crucial for learners to return to school without much delay after giving birth, so as to increase their chances of completing their studies.

The government's non-negotiables as outlined by President Zuma, are that educators must teach, learners must learn, parents must provide support to their children and government must create a conducive environment for learning and teaching.

Four learners of Christel House SA had reason to celebrate recently when their creative writing abilities won their mothers a fantastic prize through the Pick n? Pay-sponsored Aquafresh Best-All-In-One-Mum competition.

Education MEC, Regina Mhaule, not only had to introduce herself to matric pupils in Agincourt village recently, but she also had to educate them about the importance of attending classes regularly. None of the school's pupils passed matric last year.

Recently Gauteng learners from the Zenex Foundation's Learner Programme celebrated the prospect of a brighter future with the "Human Polar Bear?, Lewis Pugh.

Schools in all nine provinces will participate in an innovative competition to promote recycling and environmental awareness, and Coca-Cola will give out 20 000 tickets allocated by FIFA to its top sponsors.

The Western Cape Education Department has entered into a partnership with Mindset Network, which develops and distributes educational content via satellite television. This will enable schools to use lessons for group teaching by receiving digital content from Mindset via satellite.

South African Maths and IT whiz kid, Francois Conradie, impressed the judges at the International Olympiad in Informatics with his computer programming skills and was awarded a bronze medal at the 21st IOI in Bulgaria.

Childline and Naptosa have vocalised their support for an online register that will expose teachers guilty of sexual harrassment. If a teacher's name appears online, then the educator in question is no longer on the SA Council of Educators' register.

The Workshop aims to empower parents with a better understanding of the technology their children are using, by covering cell phone, Internet and gaming technologies.

Over 70 000 school children have received new school shoes across Gauteng through a community initiative that recognises the need to answer basic requirements to ensure successful learning.

Minister Blade Nzimande has recently said that because teachers are a "huge national asset and resource", teacher education must address issues of both values and professional ethics.

Fifteen schools are to be added to the three schools that benefitted from video conferencing and interactive whiteboard technology in an e-learning initiative in Mpumalanga. The project is the first of its kind in South Africa, which reaches almost 1000 pupils.

As part of the Early Childhood Development and Expanded Pubic Works Programme initiative, Limpopo's Education Department will train more than 1 000 pre-school workers, spending part of its R16 billion budget.

Laziness and unaccountability will not be tolerated in the school system, Minister Angie Motshekga has said, while outlining her new zero tolerance policy towards school authorities. It is time to instill a culture of a reading and learning in rural and township schools.

President Zuma is due to meet with the principles of primary schools, despite discouragement from the Department of Education, which cited logistical obstacles. The President will outline his expectations on how the education sector should contribute to overall improvements.

June exams are still fresh in the minds of learners as they take a much deserved holiday break. For matriculants, however, one of the most important exams - the Prelims- are around the corner. These results will form part of their final matriculation mark. Lots of early preparation will be required for this task.

Government has announced it will drop plans to role out the General Education Certificate for Grade 9 - expected to have been introduced this year. The decision comes as part of a drive towards ensuring learners reach matric-level education.

The Department of Education is strengthening managment in schools in Limpopo by sending managment teams, principles and teachers on management courses at the universities of Limpopo and Venda.

Education MEC Mahlubandile Qwase said the Eastern Cape Department of Education has allocated R981 837 000 to demolish 860 mud schools over the next three years.

The "Human Polar Bear' - also known as explorer and environmentalist Lewis Pugh - inspired learners from the Zenex Foundation at Ushaka Marine World in Durban recently. The learners, who had been selected for their capacity in maths and science, were encouraged to "think big about their futures".


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