SA: All systems go for first day of school

Wednesday officially kick-starts the 2020 academic school year as learners across the country go back to school.

As part of government’s back to school initiative, various MECs will be deployed to schools across the province to oversee the smooth running of the first day of school.

They will assess conditions in each of the schools to which they are deployed, as well as consult with communities on education related matters.

In addition, for the first time, they will also asses Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, as this function will now be the responsibility of the Department of Basic Education.

The start of the academic year will see Gauteng Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC Mbali Hlophe pay a special visit to Kgoro Ya Thuto Secondary in Ratanda, Heidelberg.

During the visit, the MEC will donate sporting kits and books to the school, including planting of trees. Other schools include Ratanda Bertha Gxowa Primary, Lethabo Siyanqoba Primary and Thandisizwe ECD.

“Academic learning and sports education complement each other. We are excited as the department as we will be reviving the school sport league this year. We need to consciously invest in school sport to increase the pipeline of our sporting codes,” Hlophe said.

The Gauteng provincial government identified education and skills development among its apex priorities, and the support of schools and learners, particularly those in rural and underprivileged communities, is of utmost importance.

“Sports education not only teaches learners to maintain physical stamina, but also the habit of obedience, discipline, the determination to win and willpower.

“Combining sports in education can help students to develop a self-motivating spirit to do things on their own,” Hlophe said.

The MEC further called on federations to play an active role at school level.

The oversight visits to schools are meant to ensure that there is effective teaching and learning in all schools and that the necessary discipline is observed, and the appropriate resources are in place.

The visits will seek to monitor that all teachers and learners are in class, on time and teaching, and learning is taking place.