Bhisho backs subject advisers

MAKING A POINT: Education MEC Mandla Makupula addresses 100 newly appointed subject advisers from across the province during the first day of a three-day workshop at the East London International Convention Centre yesterday Picture: ZOLILE MENZELWA
MAKING A POINT: Education MEC Mandla Makupula addresses 100 newly appointed subject advisers from across the province during the first day of a three-day workshop at the East London International Convention Centre yesterday Picture: ZOLILE MENZELWA
The Eastern Cape department of education will avail resources to subject advisers including cars to ensure they fulfill their mandate.

This was said by education MEC Mandla Makupula on the sidelines of the first day of the three-day workshop for 100 newly appointed subject advisers at the East London ICC yesterday.

The lack of resources was highlighted by two newly appointed subject advisers as one of the issues that would hinder them from doing their job.

Makupula said the department was considering either providing subsidised cars or buying departmental cars.

“We are training subject advisers and we have appointed a service provider. We have provided them with laptops and 3G cards. While the department is mobilising resources government cars are transporting them,” he said.

Makupula said the department had been working well with unions in the past five years, pointing out that the last strike was in 2012.

“It is not because there are no problems but the open-door policy that we use works. When unions raised challenges I attend to them and I also point out the problems they are giving me and we work well together,” he said.

Makupula said a reference group was reviewing the department’s organogram and unions were taking part. He said the stability was not due to magic but to good working relations.

Being a rural province was no excuse to lag behind other provinces.

He said 2000 of the province’s 5500 schools were small and unviable.

“We need to rationalise the schools which is not about closing schools but about getting communities to participate in the education of its children.”

He said the problems experienced in matric started from the foundation phase.

One of the newly appointed subject advisers, Ayanda Simayi, said the lack of resources would be the only thing that would hinder her from doing her job. Simayi, a life sciences subject adviser from the Nelson Mandela Metro area, said it was critical to uplift the pass quality. She said it was important to do school visits and not advise schools from the office without knowing the challenges schools faced at the workplace.

Mzwabesuthu Masabalala, an English adviser from the Amathole East district, said inadequate content language teaching was a problem.

“We are hoping to bring together an approach that will enable teachers to teach the new curriculum in the right way,” he said.

He felt there was hope in the province that the matric pass rate could be improved, the pupil-teacher ratio also had to be improved. — zolilem@tisoblackstar.co.za

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