The 2019 Basic Education Sector Lekgotla is the fifth one since 2015. We started the current Administration with a Lekgotla, and today we end the last Lekgotla in the current term, with the Deputy Minister and I still at the helm of the Sector. We deliberately chose this route so that we can ensure that whatever we do in the Basic Education Sector, reflects the sentiments and priorities shared by members of the Sector. We can safely say that this was by far the most well attended (600 persons) and the best coordinated Lekgotla, since 2015. Each year we have raised the bar in our organisation and the coordination of the programme and logistics; and I hope this will continue in the successive years.
Some take-away points from the 2019 Lekgotla
We have listened to the invigorating Keynote Speech by His Excellency the President, as well as thought-provoking and informative presentations by both domestic and international experts and scholars, who were invited to address us at this Lekgotla. The recommendations from the Commissions added immensely to the success of this Lekgotla. for that I wish to extend our profound appreciation, thank you.
With respect to the President’s Speech, the presentations by our experts and scholars, as well as the inputs from the Commissions, allow me to lean on just a few of these:
- We need to continue with our resolve to strengthen the foundations of learning in the early grades in particular;
- The need to strengthen Reading, as a key priority, particularly in the early grades;
- The intensification of roll-out of the ICTs for the development and sustenance of the skills for a changing world and the Fourth Industrial Revolution;
- The strategic introduction of coding in the early years of schooling;
- Future competences (Information, data, technology, knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes) will find expression in curriculum programmes in integrated and iterative ways;
- Teacher skills will be developed to manage the demands of competence-based curriculum;
- Entrepreneurship will be expanded vigorously across all subjects, to ensure that activities are learner-centred and challenge-based.
- Inclusive Assessment of learners will be carefully considered such that what students can do, will be assessed. The match between learner’s ability and item difficulty will be strengthened;
- We will ensure that the African narrative is infused into all that we do, especially in the curriculum. Decolonisation should not be about sloganeering, but must be an act of conscious activism;
- We will explore the versioning of examination question papers into African languages;
- We will strengthen articulation between the GET and FET subjects;
- The principles of social justice will be at the forefront of all programmes and projects in Basic Education;
- Foreground values in the teaching, learning and assessment methodologies;
- Investigate the different exit models, such as language switch, from the home language to another language of learning and teaching;
- We will strengthen our cooperation with regional, Continental and international partners to consolidate education frameworks that will benefit our citizens and socio-economic programmes;
- We must implement deliberate programmes and interventions that must promote nation-building, social cohesion, care and support, as well as safe and secure learning spaces; and
- We will ensure that resources that are necessary for practical subjects are provided, and practical tasks conducted as required.
Closure and Way Forward
We have had a very engaging time in plenary and commissions. All that is expected of us now, is to interrogate the recommendations and categorise them into short-, medium- and long-term deliverables; and more importantly to implement and report on them quarterly; so that we can present a consolidated progress report at the next Lekgotla.
The Report for the 2019 Basic Education Sector Lekgotla will be made available on the Departments website in two weeks’ time.
Thank you for your attendance and support. I wish you well, and please travel safely.
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