Motshekga: SA education is improving

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. (Gallo)

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. (Gallo)

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Wednesday that national exam results show the country's education system is improving following the revision of the curriculum.

"We have weathered the storm and have turned the Titanic around," she said at the start of a two-day curriculum and transformation conference at the University of South Africa (Unisa), in Pretoria.

"Much work has been done to bring stability in the system. Many schools are fairly functional and those that are struggling are receiving more support from national, provinces and districts." 

Last year's pass rate was 73.9%, a study had showed an improvement in maths and science results, and access to adult education had increased.

"Through Kha Ri Gude, AED and matric rewrite programmes, more adult South Africans have become educated over time," said Motshekga.

She said the department would continue to improve early childhood development programmes.

Training and providing sufficient teachers to all schools was also a priority.

Norms and standards
Motshekga recently gazetted new norms and standards for school infrastructure, which will take 17 years to implement.

Covering areas such as minimum space per pupil in a classroom, toilets and electricity, the draft says: " … [these] norms and standards … must … be phased in before December 30 2030".

In publishing this second draft, Motshekga complied with a July court order which said she must "by September 12 2013, publish for comments, amended draft regulations for minimum uniform norms and standards for school infrastructure …"

Nongovernmental organisation Equal Education took Motshekga back to court in June 2013 for issuing a first draft in January, which was widely lambasted for its lack of specificity.

The new draft is open for public comment until October 11 and Motshekga must publish the final version by November 30.  – Additional reporting by Victoria John

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