School closure hearings reach final round

 CAPE TOWN- The Western Cape Education Department said at the weekend it has reached the final round of public hearings involving the potential closure of 27 schools.The institutions have been targeted because of poor performance and dwindling pupil numbers.

More than 4,000 pupils may be affected.

The department embarked on a public participation process earlier this year, giving governing bodies the chance to plead their case.

Some have rejected the closures, saying they deserved another chance, while others claimed they had pass rates of 80 percent.

The department’s Paddy Atwell believes the hearings, which conclude on Monday evening, have been a success.

“The department has concluded 25 of the 27 hearings so far. The hearings have gone very well; they’ve been well attended as peaceful. The department is collating all representations and will provide these to the minister for his consideration.”

He said the public hearings will be concluding on Monday evening.

“The minister will make his final decision by the end of September. The last two public hearings will take place in Oudtshoorn on Monday evening.”

Last week the ANC Youth League and supporters marched to the legislature protesting the closure of 27 schools in theWestern Capeas well as service delivery.

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