The Western Cape Education Department last week dished out 53 awards in 12 categories to schools for improvement and excellence in the department’s systemic tests held last year in October.
Wallacedene Primary School was honoured with an award for overall improvement in Grades 3 and 6 in the category for schools with enrolments of 600 or more pupils at a ceremony on Thursday February 18.
Systemic tests measure the performance of pupils in language and maths in Grade 3, 6 and 9.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said: “A quality education enables people to gain access to an improved quality of life, and a better chance of employment, or the chance to create employment for others.
“A quality education starts with all pupils having mastered literacy and numeracy at internationally benchmarked levels, with their education having included information literacy to prepare them for the modern economy.”
She added: “The provincial government has implemented a number of interventions to improve the quality of education and reduce the dropout rate in our province.”
Ms Schäfer explained the measures include a piloting project for Grades R to 3 to provide structured and focused support for improved learning in the Foundation Phase in 105 schools.
This is aimed at ensuring all Grade 3 pupils read and write at the required level before the end of Grade 3.
She said also being launched, were new mathematics and language strategies, which seeks to further improve the quality of teaching and learning in all grades to ensure better learner performance and greater retention of pupils in the schooling system.
She said the systemic tests conducted showed the department their interventions are working, and that the quality of teaching and learning in Western Cape schools was improving.
“The maths results last year were particularly pleasing, the pass rates increasing from 2014 by 3.6% in Grade 3, 7.3% in Grade 6 and 7.3% in Grade 9,” she said.
Just over 229 715 puopils from 1 495 public and independent schools in the province wrote the systemic tests and 6114 pupils from 89 independent schools also took part.
El Shaddai Christian School in Durbanville (schools with fewer than 30 pupils writing grades 3 and 6) won an award for overall excellence in independent schools. Melkbos High (in the category for schools with enrolments of less than 600) scored an award for overall improvement among its Grade 9s; Durbanville Voorbereidingskool, an award for excellence in Grade 3, where schools do not have Grade 6; and Durbanville Primary won an award in the same category.