President Jacob Zuma called for the return of school inspectors during the delivery of his political report at the ANC elective conference in Mangaung on Sunday."I want to see [school] inspectors back," he declared.
Breaking from his prepared speech, Zuma said the introduction of school inspectors would happen even if it was opposed.
"Some might oppose this. Some of our friends in labour, even, don't like this idea. If they don't, then we will just send them to find teachers not doing their work," he added.
The president also called on teachers to take more pride in their work and to stop coming to school in their "T-shirts and takkies." He said teachers should be "in school, in class, on time, teaching for seven hours every school day next year". His comments come after an extremely trying year for education in South Africa.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga released the annual national assessment results in early December, revealing shocking facts about South Africa's education.
They showed that grade nine pupils had performed appallingly in maths, scoring an average mark of just 13%.
According to the results, Grade 3 literacy rates stood at 52% and numeracy at 41%. The poor showing of results followed the non-delivery of textbooks to thousands of grades three, six, nine and 10 learners in Limpopo.
Zuma did mention the Limpopo textbook saga during his address, describing it as "an occurrence that should never happen again".