New plans to help poor learners

Education Minister Naledi Pandor has asked the department of education to draw up a plan that will subsidise well-to-do schools to enrol poor learners.

Road rules

South Africa is among the world's worst when it comes to road accidents - a fact that is emphasised every year during the holiday periods when the number of accidents rise.

Parents ask court to enforce fees policy

Education Minister Naledi Pandor and KwaZulu-Natal Education Minister Ina Cronje have been targeted in a landmark legal challenge aimed at protecting poor parents and pupils.

Apples for doctor

Many elderly people are happy to be confined to their sofas and to perform only essential chores in and around the house. But 81-year-old "Tannie" Tienie Roos - actually Dr Roos - is bucking this trend.

Home-grown meals

Schools could soon be dishing out indigenous meals to hungry learners.

Classical doctor

From the age of three, Cheryl McCrindle told her family that she wanted to become an ­animal doctor. They had to believe her. She was already collecting insects and reptiles. She had a pet snake, which one day made a meal of her pet mouse.

A passion for maths and science

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has launched a campaign to enhance the level of statistical interest and literacy among school learners.

At the mercy of the elements

A small girl in a striped jersey draws a picture in the sand. She is a grade R learner at Paulos Ngobeni Primary School in Zitha village, Acornhoek, Limpopo, where for the past 13 years learning has taken place under trees.

Language of assessment

Tachers have not come to grips with assessment yet - but it is not their fault, says Peliwe Lolwana, CEO of Umalusi, the council for quality assurance in general and further education.

Middle management for teachers

A total of 49 middle managers graduated from the Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance (MGSLG) last month after completing its middle management for quality learning programme.

The edge of reason

There have been few times in my life when sheer excitement has rendered me speechless. And even fewer when that excitement has caused my mouth to hang open in a zombie-like gawp.

Upgrading grades

The newly built entrance with a nightwatch shelter, and gates that have been daubed with a fresh coat of creamy white paint, send out a false signal about Moses Mnisi High School (MMHS).

From e-rate to irate

Long-awaited legislation to allow schools cheaper access to the Internet has been approved - more than four years after the Department of Education and the Department of Communications introduced the idea in a policy document.

The medical aid learning curve

Teachers and their colleagues across the public service sector are currently "marking" the government's report card on a vital subject: meeting employee healthcare needs through affordable medical scheme benefits.

Building democratic schools

In a months time, thousands of parents will gather in school halls and classrooms to vote for their representatives on school governing bodies (SGBs). As in any good political battle, there will be jostling for positions and plenty of promises. Once the ballots have been tallied, these parent representatives will meet with teaching and non-teaching staff and learner representatives, often after a work day or on a Saturday. The meetings will take place at least once a term, to discuss, argue and debate issues ranging from the maintenance of buildings to exemption from school fees.

Governing bodies split

The only two organisations in South Africa that have been representing the interests of school governing bodies (SGBs) have both split -- ahead of the next round of SGB elections that will start next month.

Setting up house

Buying a new home has just become a great deal cheaper. In February, Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel announced that all homes under R500 000 will attract no transfer duty. This is a saving of up to R17 000. At the same time, the banks have become far more aggressive in offering better rates for home loans -- you just need to shop around to find the right package.

Passing, for now

Initial impressions of the re-opening of schools in January suggest a huge improvement compared with previous years. Recurring problems include overcrowding, supply of textbooks and state-subsidised transport - but on a far smaller scale than has been experienced in the past.

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