South Africa 16.4.2014 06:15 am

School exodus ‘not a problem’

FILE PICTURE: Gauteng MEC for Education, Barbara Creecy visited the Penelopele school in Midrand,2 April 2104 which is part of the Secondary School Improvement Program (SSIP), one  of the Gauteng Department of Educations key intervention strategies to turnaround performance in priority schools around the province.Picture: Neil McCartney

FILE PICTURE: Gauteng MEC for Education, Barbara Creecy visited the Penelopele school in Midrand,2 April 2104 which is part of the Secondary School Improvement Program (SSIP), one of the Gauteng Department of Educations key intervention strategies to turnaround performance in priority schools around the province.Picture: Neil McCartney

The Gauteng education MEC Barbara Creecy yesterday lost her cool as she dismissed there was a need for a strategy to retain pupils in public schools.

This was after The Citizen on Monday published the plight of more than 4 500 public schools shut down across the country partly due to a dwindling number of pupils in the past 20 years and cited some of Gauteng’s 88 of such examples in Soweto.

“If the fact that 73% of pupils are in township schools does not convince you, I can’t convince you,” the visibly upset Creecy said as she refused to answer questions from journalists about admissions during a press briefing organised alongside a 20-Year Review Conference on the status of education in Gauteng held in Turfontein, south of Johannesburg.

When the newspaper alerted the MEC to a lack of demand in several public schools in the townships since admissions opened for 2015 on April 7, while parents slept in queues outside former Model C schools in suburban areas desperate to find places for their childrin belief thaten there believing they offer better quality education, Creecy disagreed.

“Seventy-three percent of pupils are in township schools, it doesn’t require a strategy to retain them,” she said.

The closing date for applications is May 27.

The Citizen this week visited six more public schools in Soweto that still boasted good reputations – pupil numbers ranged between 400 and 1 500 – have healthy academic records as well as great facilities that in some cases included reasonably equipped sports grounds.

The schools included Fons Luminis Secondary School in Diepkloof Phase 3 and Reasoma Secondary School in Protea North, popular for producing the highest number of matric ulants with a university entrance pass.

 

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