The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has made significant inroads in terms of its focus on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
The Chief Director for Curriculum Implementation and Monitoring, Mr Suren Govender, addressed various education stakeholders during the South African launch of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report held at the Kara Institute in Pretoria on 31 November 2016. Mr Govender highlighted that there are basic principles used to determine the performance of the Education System, which are access, redress, equity, efficiency, quality and inclusivity and added: “The DBE has registered significance progress in these areas”.
Mr Govender shared some progress made according to the sector priorities, based on the National Development Plan (NDP): “In terms of access, the Department has increased the enrolment at schools; hence 99.3% of learners from the age of 7 to 13 are currently registered in education institutions. The DBE also succeeded in the provision of Learner Teaching and Support Materials such as Workbooks. Grade 1 to 9 Maths and Language Workbooks/Study Guides are delivered to schools every year. The Department is hard at work in ensuring that schools have access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and has established an education TV channel.
Another progress reported on during the launch was redress. “The DBE‘s No Fee School Policy had also played a crucial role in transforming the education system for the better. Approximately 80% of learners registered in South African schools do not pay school fees. The Department is also providing a nutritious daily meal to 9.6 million learners in 21,177 schools across the country through the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). A total of 386,446 learners benefited from scholar transport.
Mr Govender also hailed Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, for having
spearheaded the neglected non-academic stream to address quality and efficiency within the schooling system. The DBE has introduced a Three Stream Model providing Academic, Technical Occupational and Technical Vocational support to those learners who experience challenges in the Academic Stream. “The Academic Stream focuses on Grade R to 12 CAPS. The Technical Vocational Stream offers six subjects: Engineering Graphic Design, Civil Technology, Electrical Technology, Mechanical Technology, Technical Maths and Technical Science; whereas the Technical Occupational Stream will be comprising of 26 subjects: Arts and Crafts, Hairdressing, Office Administration, Panel Beating and Spray Painting, amongst others”.
Mr Govender stated that, although there has been a significance achievement in terms of improving quality education, more still needs to be done to address the high dropout and failure rates. However, during 2017, the DBE will continue to advance towards Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and the Promotion of Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All.