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DBE outlines responses to the challenges posed by COVID-19

The DBE remains positive that, through the implementation of the Funza Lushaka Bursary, the Basic Education Sector will produce teachers who will meet the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Minister Motshekga announced that processes are underway to finalise an analysis of teacher supply, demand and utilisation in the sector. “We are in the process of reprioritising the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme's priority areas. This is a response to emerging areas of specialisation motivated by amongst others, 4IR and new policy imperatives. For teachers already in employment, there are opportunities abound to diversify their teaching. In 2019 alone, we offered computer skills training to over 43,774 teachers. During the same year, we enrolled approximately 72,000 teachers in the Coding pedagogy with one of the most prestigious and largest universities on the continent, the University of South Africa (UNISA),” added the Minister.

Coding, as a subject is piloted in several schools across the country. The DBE is cooperating with Google, Teen Geeks and other businesses for the development of a Coding platform that would use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to customise teaching and learning. Plans are also afoot to introduce a Robotics Grade R to 9 curriculum to ensure that the schooling system produces learners with the foundations for future work, with skills for the changing world.

Minister Motshekga pointed out that the DBE and Provincial Education Departments (PDEs) will still be required to place additional focus on empowering women for leadership positions in education saying, “According to the teaching and learning international survey (TALIS) 2018, 60% of South African teachers were female which compared reasonably well with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 68%.  However, the TALIS also indicated that only 22% of principals are female. This is less than half of the OECD average of 47%. In comparison, 51% of principals in Saudi Arabia are female. We are seized with a matter of low participation rates of women in Principalship. If I had my way, South Africa would have 51 percent of women principals by 2025.”

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