Pretoria: Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant says plans are in place for 2013 to accommodate learners who are currently in schools that will close down.
Grant on Tuesday presented a plan aimed at improving the lives of over 4 000 learners in the province. The plan includes measures to enhance the quality of education at some schools and to transfer learners to schools that are better equipped to provide a quality education.
He explained that any decision he took had been made with restraint and had been informed, and was ultimately guided by what was in the best interests of the learners.
“Having carefully considered every representation made, I have decided to close 20 schools – 16 in rural districts and four in urban districts.
“Fifteen of the schools (75%) are small farm schools in rural districts, with learner enrolments ranging from seven to 87, with an average of 41.The learners attend multigrade classes, with children in several grades in the same class,” said Grant.
He said the department planned to place the learners in schools that provided better access to single-grade classes, better facilities, extramural activities and team sports, and to schools that achieve better literacy and numeracy results.
“For example, at LK Zeeman Primary in Paarl, learner numbers have dropped to 217. The learners can attend Amstelhof Primary, about 700m away, where the advantages include better literacy and numeracy results.”
The department will also close four schools in two urban districts, including three primary schools and a high school.
Grant noted again that the primary schools had experienced a decline in learner numbers. The three schools are Lavisrylaan, Valpark and Protea primary schools, with 156, 278 and 204 learners respectively.
“The placement schools offer better facilities and achieve better literacy and numeracy results. Beauvallon Secondary, with 461 learners, has been severely vandalised and is no longer suitable for learners and this impacts on the ability of the school to retain learners.
“John Ramsay Secondary can accommodate the learners in safer and better facilities and offers a greater chance of success,” Grant noted.
He said he was confident that his final decisions would improve opportunities for the learners concerned.