DBE’s Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST), Curriculum Innovation and E-Learning Directorate held a two-day seminar focusing on improving the MST Conditional Grant implementation in all provinces across the country. The Limpopo Department of Education recently hosted the MST Conditional Grant Inter-Provincial Meeting in Bela-Bela, Limpopo to consolidate strategies aimed at strengthening the performance of these subjects in public schools.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss matters relating to the conditional grant, to ensure 100 percent expenditure by all provinces at the end of the current financial year 2022/23, and to support underperforming provinces. Some of the challenges highlighted in the meeting included the underperformance in Mathematics and Science subjects in provinces. The delegates were concerned about the declining numbers of learners taking Mathematics as a subject.
The DBE, together with provincial delegates, conducted a monitoring and support visit to one of the beneficiary schools, Settlers Agricultural High School, to ensure that the MST Grant has been effectively implemented. School principal, Mr Katlego Abram Letsoalo, said: “The school should be securing food for the country, however, due to a lack of equipment and old infrastructure, it is difficult for us to produce. We plead with Government to support us with infrastructure and equipment for ploughing. The school currently has 129 hectares which is used for cultivation, and for us to be able to work the land, we need funding to help ensure that our dream for being agriculturally focused is realized”.
The DBE devised a 2023/24 MST Conditional Grant Payment Schedule which will ensure that every province benefits from the Grant, with every province receiving their first transfer in May 2023, the second transfer in August 2023, the third transfer in November 2023, and the fourth transfer will be made in February 2024. The PEDs were also requested to identify and analyse areas requiring support in Mathematics, Science and Technology, as well as to ensure compliance with reporting requirements by providing consolidated monthly expenditure and quarterly reports, including additional monitoring or diagnostic reports and reviews as and when requested.
Ms Elspeth Khembo, Director MST, Curriculum Innovation and E-Learning said: “The MST Conditional Grant implementation has shown a significant improvement over the years. However, the DBE intends to expand the programme to ensure that implementation is strengthened across provinces and all learners in the country benefit from the programmes instituted. The DBE will continue to monitor and support provinces in the implementation of the MST Grant. The Coding and Robotics, Three Stream Model and Teaching Mathematics for Understanding will also continue to be funded from the MST Conditional Grant during the 2023/24 period”.