Buti Manamela urges Limpopo schools to pull up socks

School uniforms were handed out to children coming from impoverished backgrounds.

Deputy Minister in the office of the Presidency Buti Manamela has pleaded with pupils from 12 underperforming schools in Bolobedu, Limpopo, to make education “fashionable”.

The schools formed part of the 38 schools in the country that had performed below the 40% pass rate mark in the matric results over the past five years. The worst-performing schools in the country are from three provinces: 13 in Limpopo, 11 from Kwazulu-Natal and 14 in the Eastern Cape. Manamela visited Limpopo in an endeavour to monitor and evaluate the underperformance of pupils.

The deputy minister was also in the area to hand out school uniforms to children coming from impoverished backgrounds who have parents or guardians who could not afford uniforms.

One of the worst-performing schools in Limpopo last year is Alpha Secondary School in the Ga-Matlala area outside Polokwane.

The school scored a 0% pass rate in 2012 but slightly improved four years later to achieve 25%.

The improvement led authorities to plead with the school management team to provide a turnaround strategy.

In Mawa, a majority of the schools have no principals, while the area is riddled with shebeens and taverns where some girls and boys allegedly spend their weekends drinking.

Speaking at a glitzy event at the Ramotshinyadi sportsground on Saturday, Manamela, who was accompanied by MEC for education Ishmael Kgetjepe and cooperative governance, housing and traditional affairs MEC Makoma Makhurupetsa, stressed the importance of good grades.

Manamela singled out the failure of parents to show interest in the education of their children as a reason for underperformance.

Mack Makete, a member of the task team for education, raised issues ranging from a shortage of teachers in critical subjects and the late delivery of learning materials such as textbooks and stationery.

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