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Tough year for WC Education Dept - Grant

The Western Cape Education MEC thanked everyone for persevering despite tough challenges in 2012.

Donald Grant thanked everyone for persevering despite tough challenges in 2012.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant on Wednesday said the 2012 academic year has been one of the toughest yet.

The department had to deal with controversy around the closure of 20 schools, violent protests about overcrowding in Grabouw, and learner absenteeism due to violent strikes and protests.

The academic year comes to an end in two weeks.

Grant paid tribute to teachers and department officials for persevering despite the circumstances.

"I'm extremely grateful to the department for delivering on our key outcomes despite the challenges. We will only see the results early in 2013."

Meanwhile, a local attorney revealed he intends to file an urgent interdict to force the department to withdraw his decision to close 20 schools.

Grant decommissioned the institutions, citing poor performance and dwindling pupil numbers.

The number of schools was reduced from 27 to 20, following a series of public hearings.

Attorney Gerald Andrews said he has been mandated to take action by 18 of the 20 schools.

"We're busy drafting the papers. The process has been very frustrating due to the fact that the schools are far apart. We should be able to issue it [the application] by Friday."

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