Basic Education Minister optimistic about Eureka
On Monday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga paid a visit to Eureka High School.
“We have received many complaints from the community about this school. Locals claim that students from this school are still hanging around the city and they are not producing the best results,” Motshekga said.
She said it was disheartening to hear such reports.
“The impression from the community is that the school is failing. We need to understand what the issues are. Where did the wheels come off?
“If it’s the foot that’s broken, we know where to fix it,” she added.
The school was placed under administration in 2020 by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE). It was the worst performing suburban school in Springs, with only 54% of learners passing the matric. This is down from 68.1% in 2019.
The school performed poorly even though it participated in the high school improvement program.
“I get discouraged when schools focus only on grade 12 results. By the time learners are in grade 12, it is too late to intervene.
“It is very important to understand the importance of education holistically,” Motshekga said.
Read also: Springs matriculants excel
As part of the GDE intervention program, Jabu Mabuza was appointed as the school administrator in October.
Mabuza believes one of the biggest challenges at the school is the lack of guidance for eighth graders.
“They are usually the ones who cause problems, more so than learners in higher grades. We will meet with parents of eighth graders to give them the code of conduct.
“It’s so they know what’s expected of them, as learners,” he said.
Mabuza admitted that their evaluation processes were not efficient.
“Somehow, somehow, as managers, we are not doing justice to the system and to the learners,” he added.
The school’s class of 2021 achieved a pass rate of 66.9%.
“The quality of the results is good because 30 of the learners obtained a baccalaureate. Forty-two learners obtained diplomas and 23 obtained higher certificates,” said Mabuza.
Sarah Seete, Gauteng East circuit manager at GDE, admitted the community was concerned about the state of the school.
Also read: MEC intervenes at Eureka High School
“There are staff unity issues. There is a serious discipline problem. Since then, we have found that the SGB lacks the capacity to deal with disciplinary matters.
“There is no structure for disciplinary processes. Then we brought in SGBs from a nearby school to help set up the structures,” she said.
Seete said there was a problem with drug trafficking and abuse among learners.
Last Tuesday, Springs police searched the school. The research was carried out by the sector managers, the Social Crime Prevention Unit and the communication service.
“The purpose of the search was to curb the use and sale of drugs to learners. The search yielded positive results when a learner was found in possession of drugs and cigarettes and a knife was seized from a lean one,” explained Capt Johannes Ramphora, Springs SAPS Communications Officer.
Seete said, “I still believe there is potential in the school. But we have to take care of the teachers’ hearts.
“I feel that the teachers at Eureka are discouraged and they feel that the school administration is not supporting them adequately.”
In her closing remarks, Motshekga said she was committed to solving the school’s problems.
“From my many school visits to excellent schools, I have seen that they all have unity between staff, engaged learners and supportive parents,” she said.
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