Partnerships for rural education to improve quality learning outcomes in the basic education sector

The DBE’s Rural Education Directorate’s Edulution Project and Enabling Rural Schools Project (ERSP) are critical in transforming rural education for the better. A team of rural education experts are consistently conducting oversight and monitoring visits to schools in rural communities to ensure the improvement of literacy and numeracy. 

The National Framework for Rural Education advocates for full participation of rural communities in education mattersThis has been a central pillar of all projects achieved through partnerships. These privately funded projects do not only focus on improving Mathematics, Reading and ICT provision in primary schools, but have also provided work opportunities for rural youth, thus enhancing livelihoods. 

The Edulution Project utilises Technology to deliver National Senior Certificate-aligned Mathematics content to learners in Grades 4 – 6 in rural primary schools. The ERSP focuses on the Foundation Phase of primary schooling and foregrounds reading for joy as an essential building block to promote quality education, achievement and progress. Currently, Edulution and the ERSP are being piloted in the KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and North-West Provinces. Director for the Rural Education Directorate at the DBE, Dr Phumzile Langa, said that the direct intervention by the DBE and the private sector in improving quality learning and teaching in the General Education and Training (GET) band should assist teachers in the teaching of Mathematics and reading comprehension. “In our intervention strategies, we always take guidance from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), to address learning gaps outlined in these studies. PIRLS is a large-scale assessment designed to inform educational policy and practice by providing an international perspective of teaching and learning in reading literacy. TIMSS is intended to measure how well students have learned the mathematics and science curricula in participating countries.”

Dr Langa further added that, “despite Government’s efforts to provide access to quality education for all, the global financial constraints, coupled with population growth, make it difficult for the public sector to meet demands. International trends show that only with collaborative efforts and by leveraging the power and resources of Government, business and civil society can we hope to tackle the challenges in education provision. In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) the President underlined the importance of partnerships between the public sector and other role players in addressing the challenges facing the country. It is against this backdrop that the Rural Education Directorate adopted a systematic approach in educational partnerships for the improvement of the quality of education in rural schools. Through these partnerships the Directorate is implementing privately funded projects which benefit schools, teachers, learners and their families, as well as the broader community and society,” Dr Langa concluded.

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