Update on progress and achievements for 2012/13
Early childhood development
In 2012, the National Curriculum Framework for children from birth to four years of age, as well as Guidelines for Developing Learning Programmes, was finalised.
There are now 19 261 registered early childhood development (ECD) centres with just under 845 000 children receiving ECD and partial care services.
A total of 767 865 learners were enrolled in Grade R and 900 000 Grade R workbooks were provided by the Department of Basic Education.
The Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy campaign for adults reached 2 243 766 adults between 2008 and 2011, with 665 246 adults in classes in 2012.
Despite some challenges in 2012, there were many highlights:
- Over 11 million learners and 24 000 schools benefitted from workbooks and textbooks provided at the beginning of the 2012 academic year. The Department of Basic Education has been monitoring the delivery of educational material to schools since September 2012 to ensure a smoother 2013 school year.
- The Integrated School Health Programme made comprehensive in-school health services available to 290 602 learners by September 2012, exceeding its target of 250 000 learners for the year.
- The national pass rate for the matric class of 2012 was 73,9%. This was an increase of 3,7% from 2011 (70,2%) and an increase of 13,3% since 2009 (60,6%).
Further education and training (FET)
Funding support through bursaries received a boost in 2012:
- R200 million was provided to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme for loans to students who have completed their studies, but have not received their certificates or graduated owing to outstanding debt.
- A further R50 million was provided for postgraduate students who required financial assistance to complete their honours, masters and doctoral degrees.
- Bursaries to students increased from R100 million in 2007 to R1,7 billion in 2012.
More qualified teachers
In 2011, 10 370 newly qualified teachers graduated from public universities. This represents an increase of 74,5% since 2008. By 2014, over 14 000 new teachers are expected to be trained and qualified.
No more mud schools
In October 2012, new schools were opened at villages at Libode and Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape. These schools were the first of 49 mud schools identified for replacement in 2012 under the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative (Asidi).
Asidi is the first programme of its kind to bring together government and private financial institutions in a deal that aims to get rid of all mud schools and inappropriate structures by 2015. With a budget of more than R8,2 billion over the next three years, the programme will replace 496 mud schools, provide water and sanitati on to 1 257
schools, and electricity to 878 schools. Through Asidi, government plans to spend R5,6 billion in the Eastern Cape alone.
Source: Government's year of delivery 2012/2013 [PDF]
Improve the quality of basic education
Minister Motshekga set out the focus in basic education for 2011 as Triple T: Teachers, Textbooks and Time. In the State of the Nation Address of 2011, President Jacob Zuma reiterated the call that teachers must be at school, in class, on time, teaching for at least seven hours a day. The administration must ensure that every child has a textbook on time, and that teachers are assisted to create the right working environment for quality teaching to take place.
To track progress, annual national assessments in literacy and numeracy that are internationally benchmarked are set for grades 3, 6 and 9.
Teacher training, especially in mathematics and science, is another goal. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is strengthening the campaign to attract young people to the teaching profession through the Funza Lushaka Bursary programme.
The School Governing Body elections from 1 to 31 March 2012 provides an opportunity for parents to get involved in the schooling of their children.
Read more on how government is improving basic education.
A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path
The focus of higher education is on expanding access especially for children of the poor. This includes the conversion of loans into bursaries for qualifying final year students.
Significant progress has been made in turning around South Africa's adult education system with enrolment figures reaching 233 000 in 2011. The Mid Term Review Report, released on 1 June 2012, also notes that the Department of Higher Education and Training had increased access to higher education programmes by expanding spaces and options available at FET colleges and universities (Report notes progress in adult education - SANews.gov.za).
In his 2012/13 Budget Vote Speech Minister Blade Nzimande announced an amount of R499 million allocated to all universities for teaching development grants to assist in improving graduate outputs and R194 million for foundation programmes to improve the success rates of students from disadvantaged educational backgrounds.
Over the next two years, R3.8 billion has been earmarked for universities’ overall infrastructure development, prioritising historically disadvantaged institutions. Two new universities are envisaged for Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.
Further education and training (FET) colleges are at the centre of skills delivery to drive the South African economy, thereby reducing unemployment and improving the livelihoods of millions of South Africans. Government has invested resources in public FET colleges to ensure that they deliver quality higher education and become institutions of choice for learners, parents and employers.
Read more about further education and training.
Read more on how government made post-school studies accessible to more young people.
The Green Paper on Post-School Education and Training was published for public comments and consultation early in 2012. The Green Paper provides a vision for the post-school education and training system sets the basis for building a coherent system and a broad policy for:
- expanding post school provision to improve access
- strengthening institutions to improve quality
- setting out a vision and pathways for achieving a coherent post-school system with articulation, collaboration and coordination between the different components, as well as alignment between education and training institutions and the labour market and
- a post-school education and training system that is equitable, accessible and affordable to all sections of the population, including free education and training for the poor.
The National Development Plan 2030 [PDF], released on 15 August 2012, proposes among others:
- Increasing the number of university graduates and the number of people doing their doctorates
- Building two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape
- Building a new medical school in Limpopo and a number of new academic hospitals
- Extending the length of first degrees to four years on a voluntary basi
- Providing full funding assistance covering tuition, books, accommodation and living allowance (in the form of loans and bursaries) to deserving students
- Granting seven-year work permits to all foreigners who graduate from a registered South African university.
Spending on education will grow from R207 billion in 2012/13 to R236 billion in
2014/15. Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan made additional allocations of R18.8 billion over the medium term in his 2012 Budget Speech, including equalisation of learner subsidies for no-fee schools and expanded access to grade R. An amount of R235 million was added to the baseline of the national department of Basic Education over the three-year spending period to extend the national assessments system.
An additional R850 million was allocated to improve university infrastructure, including student accommodation facilities.
Outcomes for education
The education ministers and MECs have signed delivery agreements based on Outcome 1: Improved quality of basic education [PDF] and Outcome 5: A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path [PDF]. These documents list standards against which performance are measured.
Programmes and initiatives supporting education
- The Gauteng Department of Education has launched an after-school support programme targeting 791 under performing primary schools in the province.
- Minister of Further Education and Training Blade Nzimande announced changes to the National Students Financial Aid Scheme that will help needy students to complete their studies.
- Minister of Basic Edcuation Angie Motshekga launched the Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development [PDF] on 5 April 2011. This Framework will help address many of the challenges and quality issues plaguing the education system.
>> Angie Motshekga: Launch of Strategic Planning Framework for teacher Education and Development
- Government will empower principals to manage their schools and they will be held accountable for maintaining a high standard of education in schools. All principals and deputy principals will enter into performance contracts in the future with clear performance targets. This will help to strengthen accountability in and district support for schools.
- Government will track performance through the independently moderated annual national assessments in all public primary schools for learners in grades one to six and a sample of learners in Grade 9. More than 19 000 schools participated in 2011.
>> Angie Motshekga on the annual national assessments results 2011
Report on the Annual National Assessments of 2011
- Government will continue investing in teacher training, especially in Mathematics and Science, through the Funza Lushaka Bursary programme.
- In higher education, government increases access for poor youth by, among other things, converting loans into bursaries for qualifying final-year students.
- In future, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will not start charging interest on student loans until 12 months after a student has graduated or left university. This will apply to all the NSFAS loans to students registered on 1 April 2011 and moving forward.
- A further R50 million has been provided for postgraduate students who require financial assistance to complete their Honours, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees. These students will enter into loans agreements with NSFAS and the money they pay back will be earmarked to fund future postgraduate students.
- Starting from the 2011 academic year, government will introduce free education for the poor at undergraduate level. Students in further education and training colleges who qualify for financial aid will not pay academic fees. This will assist in increasing access to the colleges for students from poor families as well as help the country to meet its needs for intermediate and technical skills.
- A national skills fund project called National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) has been initiated to recruit and develop youth between the ages of 18 – 35 years to be trained as para-professionals in rural areas.
- Early Childhood Development - a comprehensive approach to programmes and policies for children from birth to nine years of age.
- Kha ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign - teaches adults to read and write.
- The Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign - calls on all individuals and organisations to assume responsibility for improving the quality of education.
- The Bill of responsibilities - the Department of Basic Education, Lead SA and the National Interfaith Movement are driving this campaign to instil a rights and responsibilities culture in pupils.
- Intervention in the Eastern Cape Department of Education - the Minister of Basic Education assumed responsibility for the areas in which the provincial department was struggling to meet minimum standards of service delivery, such as failure to provide textbooks and stationery to Section 20 schools and suspension of the scholar transport programme.
- Schooling 2025 is a long term plan for the basic education sector which will allow for the monitoring of progress against a set of measurable indicators.
- The Content Company has piloted a device that will help rural scholars bridge the digital divide. The device will connect underprivileged schools to live online information, without the complications normally associated with using modern computers in these areas.
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What Government says about education
- Minister Angie Motshekga on progress regarding Section 100 intervention in Limpopo, 13 September 2012
- The biggest test yet for education, 12 September 2012
- Basic Education releases Mind the Gap study guides for grade 12 learners, 29 August 2012
- Minister Blade Nzimande: Media briefing on higher education developments, 23 August 2012
- Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana: Apply Now Campaign, 18 August 2012
Minister Blade Nzimande: Meeting with Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges, 1 August 2012
Eastern Cape Education on Back to Basics campaign, 6 July 2012
Minister Blade Nzimande on artisan development, 4 July 2012
- Higher Education and Training invites public comment on Draft Policy Framework for Provision of Distance Education, 29 May 2012
- Minister Angie Motshekga: Basic Education Dept Budget Vote debate 2012/13, 24 May 2012
- Minister Angie Motshekga: Consultative workshop on framework for monitoring basic education rights, 19 July 2012
- Minister Angie Motshekga: Basic Education Dept Budget Vote 2012/13, 17 May 2012
- Minister Angie Motshekga: Briefing on Basic Education Budget Vote, 16 May 2012
- Higher Education and Training on amendments to Further Education and Training Colleges Act and Skills Development Act, 15 May 2012
- Minister Angie Motshekga: Intervention on Eastern Cape Education, 25 April 2012
- Minister Blade Nzimande: Higher Education and Training Dept Budget Vote 2012/13, 24 April 2012
- Minister Angie Motshekga: Human Development Ministerial Cluster briefing, 17 February 2012
- Basic Education partners Tiger Brand Foundation to provide learners with nutritious breakfast, 13 February 2012
- MEC Barbara Creecy tackles latecomers at Soweto school, 13 February 2012
- More speeches and statements