South Africa: Government to improve quality of education

Cape Town – Government has set clear targets to improve the quality of learner education in the country by 2014.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga made the announcement today during a briefing following President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.

During his address last Thursday, Zuma said that one of the five key priorities of government this year would be improving education in the country.

Motshekga said that the government aimed at improving numeracy and literacy levels of Grades 3 and 6 from the current averages of 27 percent and 38 percent respectively, to at least 60 percent in the next three years.

To assess progress, she said that they would track performance through the independently moderated Annual National Assessments (ANA) project, which was launched earlier this month in all public schools in Grades 1 to 6 and a sample in Grade 9.

“Performance of Grade 3, 6 and 9 learners in ANA will be reported during March of every year, beginning in 2011. The ANA is set nationally and will provide a benchmark for all schools in the basic education sector,” said Motshekga.

Focus would also be on teacher development, she said, highlighting that next month her department would launch the Integrated Strategic Plan for Teacher Education and development in South Africa.

She further said school principals “must be empowered to manage their schools and ensure a good environment for teaching and learning, and they must be held accountable in maintaining high standards of education in our schools.”

The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (Caps), which included the training of teachers and adaptation of textbooks, would be finalised this year, Motshekga said.

“The Caps will provide teachers with a single curriculum document per subject per grade,” she said.

The minister reiterated Zuma’s call that teachers should be in the classroom on time and each learner should have a text book.

Source – BuaNews – By Francis Hweshe