With 36 new schools opening in Gautengprovince alone in early 2012, morechildren will be able to receive a soundbasic education. (Image: Shamin Chibba)MEDIA CONTACTS • Charles Phahlane Communications head, Gauteng education dept +27 11 355 1530 or +27 71 860 4496. RELATED ARTICLES • SA businesses urged to adopt schools • SA prioritises quality education • Zuma: SA to meet 2015 education goal • Tackling SA’s education challenges • Can drive raises R8.5m for educationEmily van RijswijckThe Gauteng Department of Education is making good on its promise to step up education efforts, with 36 new schools opening and 500 additional teachers reporting for duty in the first term of 2012.Another 300 pre-fabricated classrooms will also be added to existing schools where overcrowding is a problem.Thirteen of the schools will be ready to accept pupils when inland provinces start their 2012 academic year on 18 January, while another five will open later in the month.The remainder of the schools will be opened during the rest of the first term.While the majority of the new school buildings are pre-fabricated buildings, five of the new schools are solid brick and mortar structures.This brings the number of primary and secondary schools in the province to 2 595 – including independent, non-subsidised schools – with almost 72 000 teachers.The buildup to the new school year already starts six to eight months before, with teachers required to place orders for their support materials in May and actual pupil admissions taking place from August to October the year before.“It’s all systems go for the start of the new academic year,” education MEC Barbara Creecy confirmed at a recent press briefing, adding that the new facilities will go some way towards alleviating pressure in some of the overcrowded schools.Demand for learning space Of the nine provinces, Gauteng has seen the biggest rise in pupil numbers in recent years.According to Creecy, pupil numbers has been growing on average by 2% over the last five years, which means the province has to make space for about 36 000 additional children each year.The province has over 2-million pupils, while more than 14-million children attend school countrywide.“There is no other province that has experienced this level of demand for learning space,” said Creecy in her mid-term budget speech last year.In areas such as informal settlements, where it’s not always possible to build new schools, the education department has expanded its scholar transport scheme to accommodate these already disadvantaged children.In addition a budget of R100-million (US$12.5-million) has been allocated for pre-fabricated classrooms in schools where there is overcrowding.“We will provide 300 pre-fabricated classrooms and 100 pre-fabricated ablution blocks within the financial year,” said Creecy.Maintenance work at existing schools is also ongoing, with work in progress at 42 sites.Schools at the coast opened one week before, with the Western Cape Education Department welcoming pupils at 11 new schools in 2012. In 2011 the Gauteng education department opened six new schools.Aiming for millennium goals South Africa aims to eliminate all mud schools over the next three years and to improve basic safety and functionality of about 3 600 schools by 2014 as part of its contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals, said President Jabob Zuma during a Parliamentarian session after his State of the Nation address in 2011.The Millennium Development Goal for education is to ensure that, by 2015, the majority of children all over the world are able to access and complete a full course of primary schooling. The government also hopes to increase enrolment rates in secondary schools to 95% by 2014.According to basic education minister Angie Motshekga, concerted efforts on the government’s part has resulted in rises in gross enrolment rates by 20% in primary education and about 15% in secondary education.“In fact, South Africa has almost achieved universal access in primary education,” said Motshekga at a December 2011 meeting on building public-private partnerships in education.Statistics South Africa’s 2010 general household survey found that nationally, 72,8% of persons aged 7 to 24 were attending educational institutions.Steady gains have been made since 2002, yet the number of young people not studying remains unacceptable – most respondents indicated that this was for financial reasons, a situation that the government is addressing. The right to basic education is entrenched in South Africa’s Constitution.Helping children to learnJust in Gauteng alone, almost 900 000 learners are attending the 1 237 no-fee schools, said Creecy. Of these children, over 800 000 also benefit from the government’s nutritional programme.Nationally, Statistics South Africa recorded that the percentage of pupils countrywide who paid no tuition fees increased from 0.7% in 2002 to 54.6% in 2010.To keep up with rising demands, the Gauteng education department’s budget has increased by over 13% from 2010/11 to 2011/12, with R25.9-billion ($3.2-billion) allocated for the current financial year.“Almost 74% of this budget will be spent on salaries for teachers, school administrative staff and office based personnel,” said Creecy.
CCH Tax Day ReportThe Georgia Department of Revenue has updated its announcement concerning state tax relief to the victims of Hurricane Matthew to include Brantley, Candler, Emanuel, Evans, Jenkins, Long, Pierce, Tattnall and Toombs counties. (TAXDAY, 2016/10/19, S.2 )The updated news release can be viewed on the department’s website at http://dor.georgia.gov.Press Release, Georgia Department of Revenue, October 26, 2016
Delhi Police on Monday unveiled its massive security plan for Commonwealth Games 2010, which includes deployment of heli-borne snipers and a four-layered protective cordon around the venues and Games Village.Announcing the security strategy, city Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal told reporters, “we are not only looking into the security aspects of the Games, each and every aspect of the city’s security will also be addressed.”We are working closely with several agencies connected with the Games. We assure you a safe and secure Commonwealth Games,” he said.According to the plan, the Games venues, Games Village, practice venues, parking lots and the Indira Gandhi International Airport will have a four-layered security cordon.Explaining aspects of the plan, Special Commissioner (Administration) Neeraj Kumar said the security at prominent Games-related venues will have “outer, middle, inner and exclusive” security zones.At the outer cordon, he said, the traffic will be stopped and access will be controlled. At the middle cordon, security personnel will channelise the spectators to their designated seats while in the inner cordon, the barcode reading of tickets will take place and the spectators’ photos captured.”There will be surveillance from the skies with the help of the Air Force. There will also be the deployment of heli-borne assault teams to thwart any attempts by terrorists,” Kumar said.
It’s debatable whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s collision with Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman was intentional or not. But the fact that on-field umpires Enamul Haque of Bangladesh and Rod Tucker of Australia didn’t even mention the bowler’s role in the official report submitted to the match referee Andy Pycroft raises eye-brows.It is clear that Rahman had no reason to cross over to the other side of the pitch in his follow through because neither was the ball played towards that side, nor the leftarm pacer was bowling round the wicket that he ran into Dhoni as the latter was completing the single.While it is wrong to think that having a Bangladesh umpire on the field helped the debutant’s case, it is learnt that only after India skipper Dhoni explained his version of the whole episode did the match referee go ahead and ask Rahman to explain his side of the story. And it was the bowler himself who accepted that he was also at fault for standing in the way of Dhoni and the return crease.Initially only Dhoni was summoned by the match referee after his collision with Rahman on Thursday night was reported by the on-field umpires. But Dhoni pleaded innocence and explained the whole situation to the match referee and said that it was a case of either banging into partner Suresh Raina or stopping in his track to see the Bangladesh team run him out because Rahman was clearly in line with him. At that moment, Dhoni tried his best to minimise the impact and that is why he had lifted his elbow and had no wrong intention.advertisementThis is when the referee saw sense in what Dhoni was saying in his defense and checked the video footages and decided to get Rahman’s interpretation of the whole scene. And it was Rahman himself who agreed that he was at fault and walked across in his follow through without being aware of his position. He pleaded guilty. In the end, Dhoni was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and Rahman 50 per cent.Explaining the decision, match referee Pycroft said: “Dhoni defended the charge on the basis that the bowler was on the wrong line and realising that he couldn’t avoid the collision, he used his hand and arm to push him away as he went through to ‘minimise the impact’.”However, my assessment was that Dhoni deliberately pushed and shouldered Mustafizur, which was inappropriate. Even if there was a narrow gap between the runner and the bowler, an experienced Dhoni should have tried to avoid the collision. Mustafizur admitted his guilt and accepted the proposed sanction.”