Gauteng schools ready for 2014

A further four schools will be opened next April, bringing the total number of new learning facilities in Gauteng for 2014 to 28.

JOBURG SOUTH – Education MEC Barbara Creecy said Gauteng schools are ready for 2014, with learning and teaching set to get off to a flying start on January 15 next year.

“Preparations for the coming academic year started in April this year, when the Gauteng Department of Education brought its admissions process forward to make sure that every school and every learner in the Province had sufficient time to avoid any last minute rush for enrolments. “Starting with the admissions process early helps the Department plan better for infrastructure, learner and teacher support materials, teacher recruitment, nutrition, scholar transport, and other support programs,” MEC Creecy said.

GDE schools have received 131 000 applications for Grade 1 and 114 546 applications for Grade 8 for 2014. The majority have already been placed in schools, among them the 24 new schools the GDE takes into service in January 2014.

A further four schools will be opened next April, bringing the total number of new learning facilities in Gauteng for 2014 to 28.

As part of the Department’s annual schools readiness campaign, GDE officials have in recent weeks visited schools across the Province to check on preparations for 2014, and to ensure that teaching and learning can get underway without major challenges on the first day of the academic year.  During the readiness campaign, over 2000 schools were visited by district officials and senior departmental managers.

Schools visits checked on learner admissions, textbook orders and deliveries, academic preparedness, and staffing for the new school year. “All Gauteng schools have placed orders for the textbooks they need for 2014, and we are currently monitoring delivery and top up orders, particularly for those schools that require the Department’s direct assistance to purchase the new CAPS textbooks for grades 7, 8, 9 and 12,” MEC Creecy.

As part of the early preparations process, 99 posts for school principals which are vacant as the result of retirements and resignations have been advertised and the recruitment process is underway. These positions will be filled by the time school starts next year.

Besides the massive program to build new schools and additional facilities in existing schools, in response to rising demand for places in Gauteng, the Department’s infrastructure planning includes a long term program to merge and in some cases close some underutilised schools as a contribution to ensuring optimal utilisation of resources. As part of this program, the Department has formalised these mergers and closures as required.

“With 28 new schools coming into service in 2014 and our inspections showing that schools are well prepared, we go into the new year ready to ensure that teaching and learning can take place across the province from day one of the new academic year,” said MEC Creecy.

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