<html> <head> <title>Key focus must be to address inequalities, says Rasool

Key focus must be to address inequalities, says Rasool

Key focus must be to address inequalities, says Rasool

20 January 2000

Education Minister Kader Asmal received a memorandum this morning (Thursday 20 January) calling for the amalgamation of the former model C and DEC schools in Lamberts Bay in the Nortwest Coast.

The memorandum was handed to him by representatives of that community at his last stop at Westerford High School in Newlands.

In Lamberts Bay there are two primary schools, one for predominantly the white community and one for Coloureds and Africans. The ANC is of the opinion that one school should become an integrated primary school and the other a high school, since high school pupils of both races travel to far-surrounding towns.

Earlier in the morning he visited Silverstream Secondary in Manenberg and Langa High on the invitation of the ANC Western Cape.

He was accompanied by ANC Provincial Leader Ebrahim Rasool, Provincial Secretary Mcebisi Skwatsha, ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore and MP `s Sue van der Merwe and Rhoda Joemat.

The ANC invited the Minister to observe for himself the inequalities that still persist in the Western Cape Education Department.

The matric results in the three schools for the 1999 year were as follows:

  • Silverstream: 73,4% pass rate with two exemptions
  • Langa: 26% pass rate with five exemptions
  • Westerford: 100% pass rate with a distinction rate of 93%

Commenting after the visit Mr Rasool said:

"It is clear that persistent inequalities remain in the Western Cape Education. The key challenge is to ensure greater equity between our racially divided schools.

"The matric exemptions are perhaps the clearest indicator of inequalities, with ex-DET and DEC schools getting less than 20% exemption rate, while former model C-schools are mostly above 50%.

"Thirdly, the lack of adequate maths, science and computer literacy facilities is a key issue which results in black students not being prepared for the technological era.

"We have to aim to build the administration capacity at schools on the Cape Flats as it seems that teachers are drawn into administration tasks while they should be in the classroom.

"We are in the process of verifying pupil-teacher ratios as early indications are that former model C-schools have a ratio of 1:30, Coloured schools 1:45, and African schools 1:60 .

"As the ANC we see today`s visit as part of our provincial initiative which aims to do the following:

  • deploying our MP`s to all schools to analyse the focus areas and report on each school so that a composite report can be compiled for the whole province;
  • focus on science, maths and computer education to ensure that we improve the quality of education so that all learners have a future;
  • developing a proposal for the pooling of maths, science and computer resources so that they are broadly availabale, calling on tertiary insitutions to make students and teachers available for workshops and upgrading teacher skills and calling on business to invest in scientific, commercial and computer resources at schools;
  • to ensure that MP`s maintain a constant presence at schools to monitor progress;

"We believe that if we work together and address the resource issues we will be able to meet the 5% improvement target set by Minister Asmal. We also urged the minister to move speedily to integrate the two schools in Lamberts Bay."

Issued by African National Congress Western Cape

For any further comment, contact DIP-HEAD Cameron Dugmore: 082-894-7553

For any media enquiries, contact ANC Media Officer Gert Witbooi: 082-570-9118