South Africa: Ministers promise better education

Pretoria – Several ministers have pledged to ensure South Africa’s children get only the best education at school – one of government’s top priorities.

“Our children and young people need to be better prepared by their schools to read, write, think critically and solve numerical problems. These skills are the foundations on which further studies, job satisfaction, productivity and meaningful citizenship are based,” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

The minister added that education was a prerequisite for the country’s long-range development goals and rolling back poverty.

Motshekga, along with the Ministers of Home Affairs Dr Nkosazane Dlamini Zuma, Communications Siphiwe Nyanda, Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi, Science and Technology Naledi Pandor and Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya, co-signed a Delivery Agreement for Outcome 1 on Friday morning.

Outcome 1’s objective is to improve the quality of basic education. It’s the first of the 12 Outcomes approved by Cabinet earlier this year to improve performance and service delivery.

Motshekga said the signing ceremony was a milestone in improving the schooling system of the country and that the delivery agreement was a negotiated charter reflecting the commitment of the key partners involved in the direct delivery process.

She explained the signatories of the agreement formed a team of delivery partners, which further included teacher unions, school governing bodies, faith-based groups, business, Umalusi as a quality assurer, SA Council of Educators and universities.

The agreement is based on the four outputs:
* improving the quality of teaching and learning
* undertaking regular assessment to track progress
* improving early childhood development
* ensure a credible, outcomes focused planning and accountability system

The four outputs are followed by eight sub-outputs, which relate to the 27 goals of the Action Plan to 2014: Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2025 — a long-term plan for transforming basic education in South Africa.

The sub-outputs are:
* improve teacher capacity and practice
* increase access to high quality learning materials
* establish a world class system of standardised national assessments
* extract key lessons from ongoing participation in international assessments
* universal access to Grade R
* improve the quality of early childhood development
* strengthen school management and promote functional schools
* strengthen the capacity of district offices

Source – BuaNews