Speaking notes by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga on her Budget Vote speech
16 May 2012Thank you so much for your time and for accepting our invitation. Tomorrow we are tabling our budget vote speech but we felt we should share with you some of the highlights.
This being the midterm of our office, we will give a brief overview of where we are as a sector in discharging our constitutional mandate.
The 2012 supplementary exams have been completed and the results have been released. The overall pass rate combining the November 2011 and March 2012 examinations is now 72.7%. In November 2011, we surpassed 70%.
To improve both quality and quantity of passes in Math and Science, we are implementing a new national strategy for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. It reinforces Dinaledi Schools programme which has received a conditional grant of R99.7 million for 2012/13.
This June, we will convene a Math and Science lndaba, with key education stakeholders involved in the teaching of maths and science.
We will respond to concerns raised about standards. There is evidence to demonstrate the high standards of our National Senior Certificate (NSC).
Without going to detail, to obtain admission to university study for bachelors, with the old Senior Certificate a candidate needs to pass 4 subjects at 40% and 2 at 33.3%. In the case of the NSC, admission to bachelor studies requires a pass in 4 subjects at 50% and the remaining subjects at 30%, provided the home language is passed at 40% and the language of learning and teaching at 30%.
The NSC requires a candidate to offer 7 subjects, while the old Senior Certificate requires only 6 subjects.
In fact, the NSC pass requirements are higher than the Senior Certificate.
This year, we have extended the National Workbook Programme to cover Grades 7, 8 and 9. The allocation for the 2012/13 financial year amounts to R811 million for expanding distribution of workbooks to Grade 9 learners.
In 2012, we are providing 54 million books to learners, at no cost to the parent or learner. This is history in the making.
In line with our commitment to inclusive education, workbooks for Grades 1 to 6 were adapted and are currently being brailled. Grade 7 to 9 workbooks are also being adapted for Braille.
We are attending to concerns raised, including on thorny matters around packaging, delivery and quantities.
The ultimate objective is to ensure that every learner has a textbook for every subject. In this regard, the national catalogue provides for the support and the implementation of the national curriculum statement.
Provinces are also expected to ensure that we centralise no-fee schools purchase of textbooks to increase textbook coverage and to ensure value for money. We are also investigating a possibility of the state printing of textbooks to ensure that we increase textbook coverage from 45% to at least 85% by 2014.
Through the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI), we will continue to do more to fast-track provision and improvement of school infrastructure. This programme has been given a further boost by being included in the work of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee.
The total Education Infrastructure Grant allocation for the 2011/12 financial year was R5,498,300 billion. During adjustments, this budget was increased to R5,729,183 billion. Total spending on the adjusted budget as at the end of March 2012 is R5,254,316 billion or 92%. The total budget allocation for the Education Infrastructure Grant in the 2012/13 financial year is R 5,822,398 billion.
Currently, 50 inappropriate schools are in construction for completion in August 2012. In 2011/12, 55 schools were provided with water, 115 with sanitation and 48 with electrification. We are putting in place framework agreements intended to raise the number of Implementing Agents, built environment professionals and contractors to the sector.
In partnership with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and other partners in education, on 10 April 2012 we launched the 94+ Schools Infrastructure Project as part of International Mandela Day.
In this unique way, we will preserve his legacy. We invite everybody to make this a success by supporting schools of their choice. In this way, together we will and must unleash the greatest birthday wish for Madiba and sing in unity in celebration of this great icon of our time, come 18 July.
All selected schools in Gauteng, Western Cape and part of Kwazulu-Natal have been adopted by various companies for renovation. We thank all companies involved in the project.
NEEDU (National Education Evaluation and Development Unit) is another element of our accountability system. Dr Nick Taylor, former CEO of JET Education Services and current member of UMALUSI Standards Committee, became new CEO on 1 May 2012. He replaces Prof John Volmink.
For 2012/13, NEEDU has been allocated R12.5 million. We gazetted the NEEDU Bill in December 2011. We thank you for valuable comments received.
We will continue using our Annual National Assessments (ANA) to monitor performance of learners in the critical foundational skills of literacy and numeracy. Following the baseline ANA conducted in February 2011, we have provided feedback to teachers. This has taken the form of reports and high-quality test competencies and confidence in tackling their work.
An allocation of R75 million to strengthen the existing programme and expand assessments to include Grade 9 has been secured for 2013/14 and will reach R160 million in 2014/15. September 2012 is the date for the 2nd round of ANA.
Following a Cabinet decision pertaining to the full implementation of the Section 100(1)(b) intervention in the Eastern Cape Education Department, and the High Court Order of 20 March 2012, accompanied by the Deputy Ministers whose Ministries are involved in the 5-a-side MINMEC Task Team, we visited the Eastern Cape to work with the province on processes related to the full implementation of the intervention.
(a) On 18 April 2012, Cabinet reaffirmed that the intervention in the ECED must be implemented in terms of Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. Cabinet approved the Monitoring, Oversight and Evaluation Report and its recommendations; and further reaffirmed that the Minster of Basic Education, assisted by the task team of Deputy Ministers, is mandated to oversee full implementation.
Cabinet strongly emphasized that the stabilization and normalization of the ECED must be prioritized to give effect to the Cabinet decision and recommendations that were approved, a structure comprising dedicated intervention teams from the national and provincial departments was constituted.
(b) The intervention task teams will continue to implement all directives from
We are pleased to stress that there is a renewed and unequivocal commitment towards a shared vision towards quality education.
On Limpopo there is an unfortunate situation regarding textbooks which are unable to speak on due to its legal nature.
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Issued by: Department of Basic Education
16 May 2012
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