“Excellence in the basic education sector is not a choice, but an integral part of building a high performing public schooling system in our country. We have to have our own “new dawn” in the sector for us to truly be the repositories of the dreams of millions of our children,” said Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, in her keynote address during the Matthew Goniwe Lecture held on 10 May 2018 at the SABC in Auckland Park under the theme: “The Pursuit of Excellence in Learning and Teaching in the 21st Century”.
“In commemorating the life and times of the legendary educationist and anti-apartheid activist, we must not do so for the sake of nostalgia, but for the future. Ntate Goniwe was ahead of the pack. He understood the four essential rules of teaching and learning in the 21st century. In the main, Goniwe knew that education was a stepladder out of poverty, oppression and hopelessness. He delivered education for liberation. This explains why he was a brilliant teacher because he understood that learners come from a community hence; he was also a community leader. He also understood that teaching must be located within a context; hence he took up the cudgels to liberate his people. He was guided by the principle that we are citizens before we become professionals, hence he could manage all these roles seamlessly. He viewed these roles as complementary and in the service of humanity,” said Minister Motshekga.
In her speech, the Minister made reference to the Standards for Principalship; the development of teachers; and to teacher self-diagnostic assessments in order to see where development needs should be emphasised for the basic education sector to tackle the 21st Century head-on. Minister Motshekga subsequently highlighted education researcher Jennifer Rita Nichols’s four Essential Rules of 21 st Century learning as a good guideline for the sector. To prepare for the hurricane that’s the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the use of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) is essential to prepare qualified and competent school leaders who will be able to produce critical thinkers who can face any unpredictable and unforeseen future.