Location Of Theft in AQUA BLUE
URL Of Linked Article In STEEL BLUE or GREEN
Full Content Of Article In BLACK
Theft Description In Body Of Article in RED

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Joburg school shock

IOL newss ep 26 st school3
Police search children at a Joburg school for weapons and drugs in this file picture. A Gauteng legislature committee found that drugs and weapons are prevalent at under-performing Joburg schools. Picture: Antoine de Ras
Children attending Joburg’s worst schools stand the greatest risk of being injured or killed getting there.
When they arrive, the computer equipment is most likely to have been stolen.
Many of their classmates will be using drugs and carrying lethal weapons – at school.
And, at one school – Senaoane Secondary in Soweto – teachers have actually been accused of drinking during school hours.
These are just some of the shock findings of the Gauteng legislature standing committee on education’s investigation into underperforming schools in three Joburg regions – despite the fact that the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) overspent its budget for the last two years.
The committee found continued poor performance in primary schools, poor performance of previously disadvantaged pupils in maths and science, a high repeat rate in Grades 10 and 11, and in all grades at primary schools.
The committee discovered a high dropout rate in secondary schools as well as a shortage of reading material in indigenous languages. The GDE had also failed to recruit appropriately qualified teachers for social sciences, a subject combining history and geography.
Committee chair Ammonite Chueu said these problems continued to to beset public schools even though the department overspent its budgets for public ordinary school education in both the 2008/9 and 2009/10 financial years.
Chueu’s team found underperforming schools in three regions – Joburg north, central and west, which includes Soweto.
Joburg north has 38 under-performing primary and 24 secondary schools and Joburg west 38 primary and 15 secondary underperforming schools.
There were no numbers for Joburg central.
The committee raised its concern about pupils on the roads getting to and from school. About 4 400 pupils are being transported to school in Diepsloot and Cosmo City.
“The challenges faced are the late-coming of learners to the bus station and unroadworthy vehicles,” said Chueu.
Also, pupils were often embroiled in violent behaviour and schools were being burgled.
Now the GDE district office wants to hire security guards, to protect schools from those “stealing taps, fence and water meters”.
Other matters in the report included:
- Gauteng Online – 72 primary schools and 29 secondary schools are equipped with GoL laboratories, 559 teachers are trained in basic computer skills and 309 have advanced training on computers. However, schools face problems with the theft of computers.
- Pupil-teacher ratio – In Soweto, there are enough classrooms, but because of the language groups, the ratio sometimes rises to one teacher to 40 pupils; in Randburg schools it’s 1:35. Cosmo City and Diepsloot have high teacher-pupil rations because of immigration of people from other provinces.
- Pupil attendance – A problem, particularly among those who use public transport and those from child-headed families.
- School Governing Bodies – These do not function well in township and rural schools.
- Teacher unions are seen as a problem because district officials are unable to observe teaching and learning because unions say they have to follow the Integrated Quality Management Systems.
- Teachers refuse to be redeployed to other institutions.
- Teachers are required to do multi-grade teaching because of the declining number of pupils.
- Pupils in most township schools use illegal substances and come to school with dangerous weapons.
- A high incidence of vandalism in schools.
- Theft from and security of learners was identified as a critical problem in Soweto and other parts of the western townships.
- Divisions between principals and teachers hinder education.
The committee is expecting a formal report from the department by October 31, along with progress reports on the construction of schools and safety of pupils including plans to combat theft of computers in the schools.

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