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Remarks by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angie Motshekga, MP, Delivered on the Occasion of the MPC Schools Challenge at the SARB Conference Centre, Pretoria , 17 August 2018

Programme Director

Reserve Bank Governor, Mr Lesetja Kganyago

Deputy Governors of the Reserve Bank

Members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)

Leadership of Organised Labour

Leadership of the School Governing Body Associations

Ms Ella Mokgalane, Acting CEO of the SACE

Mr Godwin Khosa:  CEO of the NECT

Senior management from the Reserve Bank, DBE and GDE

Distinguished Guests

Members of the Media

Ladies and gentlemen

It is a singular honour for me to be here with all of you as we gather to announce the winners of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Schools Challenge for 2018.

From the onset, I must congratulate all participating schools and learners. I must stress that winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.  The programme was conceptualised with an understanding of the immense need to improve financial and economic literacy among our young people. I believe that the 2018 MPC Challenge has been a huge success in this regard. Thus all teams that took part in the Monetary Policy Challenge will receive certificates for participation, merit or distinction.  To the eventual winners, as the Greek philosopher Aristotle famously said: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

In a broader scheme of things the MPC Challenge inspires young people to understand the role of economics in the day-to-day lives of the people. We hope all of you are inspired enough to take up a career in economics.

However, members of the winning team will also have their names put forward to receive South African Reserve Bank bursaries. Should they go on to meet the criteria to be awarded a Reserve Bank bursary, the full costs of their undergraduate degree (up to R75 000 per year), including tuition, accommodation, books and sundries, will be paid for. We heartily thank the Reserve Bank for having the courage of their own conviction - picking up the cudgels and growing its own timber.

We in the basic education sector value role-play pedagogy because it foregrounds critical thinking which is essential to academic literacy. Some researchers have touted role-play pedagogy as a means of increasing students’ motivation, engagement, and confidence (Ladousse, 1987). They also argue that it facilitates a deeper and more critical understanding of course material. Role-play can be used to help students engage critically with course material, taking into account “deep meanings, personal implications, and social consequences” (Shor, 1992, p. 169). Critical role-play requires students to embody voices and perspectives that may be quite different from their own. It asks them to speak and write using discourse that may be unfamiliar. It encourages them to explore relationships among people, texts, and contexts. Critical role-play, therefore, is both cognitively and linguistically challenging.

Programme Director; in our case learners were indeed challenged and taken out of their comfort zones. And, they can bear testimony to the fact that after this exercise they have benefitted both intellectually, and cognitively. The MPC Challenge allowed learners to simulate a scenario by assuming specific roles.

In this challenge learners simulated the Reserve Bank’s process of making an interest rate decision by the MPC. The importance of this Reserve Bank MPC Challenge is that it helps learners to stimulate their imagination thus inculcating the culture of intellectual inquiry. Role-playing in itself enhances learners social development, encourages friendship through cooperation, team work and listening skills.  The process of simulating builds skills in many essential developmental areas but most importantly it builds one’s self-esteem.

Essentially the MPC Challenge embeds key pedagogical principles of role-play and gives learners learning opportunities such as:

  • To give learners the opportunity to practice a situation that they might encounter in their careers or personal lives;
  • To help learners  gain empathy for others (culturally, historically);
  • To allow learners  to see how they react to a situation "in the moment";
  • To change attitudes and/or behaviours;
  • To enable learners to experience a different perspective and think creatively.

As an old age words of wisdom go:  “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

Today, we have five winners who understand clearly what this important institution does in the greater scheme of macro-economic policy. Hundreds more participated and in the process enhanced their understanding of how economics as a subject fit in in the real life situation.  Hence, there are no losers today.

On behalf of the basic education sector, we extend our gratitude to all economics teachers and learners for taking part in this challenge. We reiterate our gratitude to the Reserve Bank for choosing our sector for this important challenge.  I remain optimistic that the Reserve Bank will come to the party and assist us in the area of teacher development in these critical subjects.

In conclusion, I must restate the primary function of the Reserve Bank which is to protect the value of South Africa's currency.

In discharging this role, it takes responsibility for:

  • Ensuring that the South African money, banking and financial system as a whole is sound, meets the requirements of the community and keeps abreast of international developments;
  • Assisting the South African government, as well as other members of the economic community of southern Africa, with data relevant to the formulation and implementation of macroeconomic policy; and
  • Informing the South African community and all stakeholders abroad about monetary policy and the South African economic situation.

This mandate of the bank emanates directly from the Constitution. It is what South Africans must bear in mind as they navigate whether private individuals should be allowed to own shares or not. Any change of share ownership status of the bank must no alter/change or dilute the primary mandate of the bank. The future of the banking sector, our robust financial system, our currency and certainty around macroeconomic policy depends on the existence of this vibrant and independent Reserve Bank of South Africa.

Thus, we salute all former and present post-apartheid Governors and their Deputies for having been true to the mandate of this bank.

To all participants, you’re our brightest stars. Never tire to shine. As an English poet, playwright and actor widely regarded as both the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist William Shakespeare once said: “The world is your oyster."

I thank you.

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Written By: Administrator Account
Date Posted: 8/17/2018
Number of Views: 1198

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