Delegates representing the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Education Sector, attended a Stakeholder Consultation Workshop at the DBE Building in Pretoria on 10 June 2019. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of democracy in South Africa, Cabinet has directed the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) to coordinate a 25 Year Review Project reflecting on the work of Government at all levels. The purpose of the Workshop was to engage with stakeholders on the draft basic education report before the production of the final report, reflecting on the challenges and achievements since 1994.
During the Workshop, Chief Director for Strategic Planning, Research and Co-ordination, Ms Carol Nuga-Deliwe, said: “The DBE’s report provides a strategic overview on the educational outcomes that have been achieved over the past 25 years, with a focus on the themes of access, efficiency, quality, and equity in education”.
The progress in respect of building blocks of the Basic Education Sector, the six sub-outcomes for Outcome 1 (Basic Education), were unpacked by Dr Stephen Taylor, Director for Research, Co-ordination, Monitoring and Evaluation. These are: improved quality teaching and learning through the development, supply and effective utilisation of teachers; the provision of adequate, quality infrastructure and Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM); improving assessment for learning to ensure quality and efficiency in academic achievement; expanded access to Early Childhood Development (ECD); strengthening accountability and improving management at school, community and district level; and partnerships for educational reform and improved quality.
The six outcomes were unpacked and discussed during the commission sessions, and will be incorporated into the final report, which will be submitted to the DPME during the second half of 2019. Following the DPME’s release of the government report, the comprehensive basic education report will be available on the DBE website.
The most dramatic improvement in access to education has been the expansion of Grade R amongst five and six year-olds, and approximately 95% of children entering Grade 1 have previously attended Grade R. International benchmarking studies have observed that the country’s levels of learning have been on an improving trend. The annual numbers of black and coloured NSC Bachelor passes has roughly doubled since 2008. However, research indicates that almost half of ECD practitioners nationally have not completed Grade 12, and that a further third of practitioners have obtained Grade 12, but have no further qualifications. Only 2% of ECD practitioners have any post-Matric qualifications and only 1% have a degree. Recent achievements in providing support to Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN,) include 480 textbooks that have been adapted into Braille; and the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination that is now available in sign language.