SA Education to focus on teachers, textbooks and time

President Jacob Zuma

The Department of Education will focus this year on the three “Ts” – teachers, textbooks and time – in its endeavors to improve as well as expand public education in South Africa.

“We reiterate our call that teachers must be at school, in class, on time, teaching for at least seven hours a day,” Zuma told Parliament in Cape Town.

“The administration needs to ensure that each and every child has a textbook in a timely manner, and that we assist our teachers to produce the right working environment when it comes to quality teaching to take place.”

Zuma said that the government will continue and is committed to investing in teacher training, especially in mathematics and science. “We will pay special attention to the training of principals, particularly those in under performing schools.”

To track progress, the government this past year began annual national assessments in literacy and numeracy, that happen to be internationally benchmarked, for Grades 3, 6 and 9.

These types of assessments are going to be written at the beginning of every year to test levels of performance, based on what pupils ought to have reached at the end of the previous grade.

Through these tests, the Basic Education Department is expecting that teachers will use the individual results to inform their lessons and provide all of them with a clear picture of where each individual child needs more attention.

Previously, assessment tests were set provincially and administered at any time dutring the year. But from this year, all students within each grade are going to write the same paper countrywide in Grades 1 to 9.

Zuma said that the government would work on extending access to education and learning, particularly for the children of less fortunate parents who are unable financially to provide better education.

“This includes the conversion of loans into bursaries for qualifying final year students. Individuals in Further Education and Training Colleges who are eligble for financial aid will be exempted from paying fees,” the President said.

Additionally, Zuma urged state-owned enterprises to take on a greater role in skills development, saying this certainly will produce much-needed technical skills for the country’s economy.

Source: BuaNews,,,


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