3rd February 2017
Yesterday, The Standing Committee on Education was briefed by the Western Cape Educational Department that the Provincial Teacher- Learner Ratio is currently 1:34.94.
As Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Education in the Province, I am pleased that the WCED is in the process of initiating several plans to ensure that the teacher-learner ratio decreases over the course of the year.
Plans initiated by the WCED have included increasing the amount of teachers throughout all 8 districts across the Province- this has been made possible through increasing the amount of teacher posts allocated per district.
In instances where there has been an increasing need for classrooms, the Department has built mobile schools to ensure that learners are given the space and opportunity to learn. 3 new schools have already been opened in January 2017, namely; Somerset HS, Zwelithemba and Tulbach.
Where funding and resources have served as a limitation to the Department -efforts made have included the building of mobile class units of which 144 have already been rolled out- the Department is also now in the process of providing a further 34 units to areas were pressure is experienced.
Massive challenges to decreasing the current teacher-learner ratio have included some school governing bodies using strict feeder zone criteria thereby decreasing teacher-learner ratios of certain schools at the expense of others.
Additional pressure includes the increase in learner enrolment experienced over the years. In 2017, the placed enrolment is above a million. Most recent evidence suggests that every year since 2013-2017 our schools have experienced learner growth rates of approximately 18 000.
The Department highlighted that there has been almost a 100 000 student over the past 5 years (2013-2017) which has added pressure to the teacher-learner problem over time.
Despite the challenges we face, the DA-Led Western Cape Government remains committed to improving lives, creating jobs and eradicating poverty to ensure our youth have access to opportunities that will improve their lives.
Basil Kivedo, MPP-082 442 4412
Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Education in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament
DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Education