Schools

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 new Bill of Responsibilities for the youth of South Africa, which will be taught in all schools as part of life orientation skills, was unveiled by the Minister of Education Naledi Pandor in February.

An innovative cell phone based programme aimed at improving maths performance is being piloted in two schools in the North West Province.The pilot project known as "M4Girls' uses Nokia 6300 cell phones that are pre-loaded with educational material to help improve the mathematics performance of Grade 10 learners. The project is an official world first for Nokia .

Schoolchildren in Kliptown, Soweto have become the first in South Africa to benefit from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) campaign, reports the Mail and Guardian.
One hundred children from the Kliptown Youth Programme have joined the community of 250 000 children from developing countries across the world in being owners of the worlds cheapest and child-friendliest laptops.

Forty-two schools from all over the country received over R2 million in prizes as Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Minister of Education Naledi Pandor honoured the Most Improved Schools of 2007.

The Education Department has been given the thumbs up for its efforts to increase teacher salaries. Education expert, Professor Tom Bisschoff of the Witswaterstrand University’s Education and Management said the move will encourage new teachers to join in the field.

A lack of parental involvement, bullying and punishment for late-coming are some of the reasons why there is a high rate of absenteeism among South African pupils, according to a report.

On the issue of drop out, the committee concluded: "There is a problem of learner retention, which is more pronounced after Grade nine.

Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka has praised educators for their commitment to education as well as the impact their work was having on addressing the country?s skills shortage.

In an effort to promote, protect and equalise educational opportunities for disabled learners, R5.4 million has been allocated to 27 special schools by the Limpopo Premier?s Discretionary Fund.

Bergvliet High School in Cape Town is the first school in the country to convert from chalk blackboards to interactive whiteboards. The school has swapped all its blackboards for whiteboards at a cost of R1,5million. "It makes our pupils better learners", says Deputy Principal Stephen Price. "It makes us want to teach and our learners want to learn!"

Western Cape Education MEC Cameron Dugmore has called for the Public Service Commission to investigate the appointment procedures for teachers and non-academic staff at schools in the province. This follows a school employee being convicted of raping a colleague at Villiersdorp Secondary School.

Three top Limpopo teachers will compete for the Aggrey Klaaste Maths, Science and Technology Educator of the Year awards to be held on Thursday evening.

The teachers each won R5 000 cash in the provincial leg of the competition last week.

The Department of Education is horrified to receive a copy of a notice issued by the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (SADTU), calling all its KwaZulu-Natal Northern Natal members to a Teacher Forum, a school day, starting at 10h00.

Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) Chief Executive Officer, Ntombenhle Nkosi, is to appear before Durban?s Equality Court to challenge the Durban High School for discriminating against her son?s language.

Study mate is a Department of Education's publication that was developed in 2007, as part of the recovery plan to assist learners to catch up with teaching time lost during the public service in 2007.

Sahara Computers has increased its ongoing contribution to the South African education sector with confirmation of a long-term, multi-phase project to fully digitize schools in Gauteng.

The Western Cape Department of Education is to conduct a full investigation into the cause of a school bus accident involving pupils and teachers from Beacon School in Mitchell?s Plain. About 40 pupils and six staff members were injured when the school bus overturned on the R300 outside Bellville.

Primary school learners in the Western Cape are to receive training in an internationally recognised information technology (IT) programme.

Parents have been urged play a more active role in bringing up their children so as to avoid the high incidence of crime in schools, says Education Minister Naledi Pandor.

Johannesburg scholars are set to benefit from a newly opened laboratory which will provide a free facility for Grade 10 - 12 physical science experiments as well as teacher training.

Old Mutual has risen to the "Lapdesk Challenge? and pledged R3 million for the purchase of 60 000 lapdesks to be distributed in 74 schools throughout South Africa.

"We have one freedom inside us that nobody can take away, the freedom of reaction/attitude in any given circumstance.' Viktor Frankl, the psychologist and concentration camp survivor.

The Mpumalanga Education Department has set aside R20 million to increase the number of no fee schools from 952 to 1 440 this year.

The North West government has set aside funds to ensure 716 additional schools to benefit from the no-fee school status this year.

A high drop out rate after Grade 9 and poor quality of education indicate a serious need to improve resources, teaching and increase the assessment of learners, says Minister of Education Naledi Pandor.

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