The Northern Cape Department of Education can confirm that all schools opened today for the 2020 school academic. We have experienced a number of challenges at certain schools where the communities decided to close schools. Anderson Primary in Griekwastad and Homevale High schools were disrupted by community members and therefore these schools were dismissed.


The situation at Anderson Primary is very unfortunate, as we experienced a delay in the delivery of mobile classrooms needed by the school. The Department has indicated that the mobile classrooms will be delivered by the end of the week.


The situation at Homevale High School has been coming on for some time now. Last year, the School Governing Body approached the MEC for Education, Mac Jack, requesting his intervention into the school affairs of Homevale High School. One of the issues related to the appointment of an administrator for this school, to turnaround the situation, as this school is classified as an underperforming school. An administrator was appointed by the Department, and now they are claiming that they don’t want the Administrator. At this stage it is unclear why the SGB would take such a stance on the matter, denying the Administrator an opportunity to proof himself and denying children the right to Education. We are off the view that it is very selfish of the SGB to put their personal needs above that of the learners and the school. If the SGB fails to fulfil and execute in their responsibility and bring about stability at the school, we will be left with no choice to disband the SGB and withdraw all their powers.


We have been reliably informed that the SGB Chairperson closed the school by indicating to the learners that the school is dismissed. We have requested our District office to investigate the matter.


Other challenges that were reported related to learner transport, where one service provided cancelled their contract with the Department in the John Toalo Gaetsewe District. The District office is compiling an emergency submission to appoint a new service provider with immediate effect.


The Department is still receiving late admission applications, and its impacting on available resources, including educators. As the numbers of applications increases on a daily basis, school and Districts must submit a motivation within 10 working days, for the appointment of additional teachers. We are aware that at some schools we do have a shortage of educators and the Department commits itself to appoint these teachers by Monday, 20 January 2020.


We were also informed about the alleged nepotism at Assmang Primary School in Postmasburg. We can assure the public and school community of Postmasburg that all due process were followed in terms of the appointment of the Principal.


Except for these for incidents, the schools reopening went very smoothly with teaching and learning commencing on the 1st day. We reminding Principals, Educators, SGBs and Parents that all schools are being monitored very closely and where challenges are encountered, the Department would intervene and address the situation in the best possible way to normalise schooling. The academic performance of every child is of utmost importance as we want to improve the academic learner performance of learners across all Grades. If Principals are unable to meet and fulfil in these requirements, they’ll be ask to step aside and make way for someone else. This year will be business unusual and sub-standard performance will not be tolerated. We are turning the tide in every school and will do what is necessary to raise the bar of Education in the Northern Cape.