Cabinet welcomes changes to NCS

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pretoria - The initiative by Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga to introduce changes to the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) has been commended by Cabinet.

"Cabinet believes that these changes will go a long way towards improving the quality of education across all our schools as they address the concerns from various stakeholders, particularly teachers, parents, learners and academics," Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said on Thursday, following an ordinary Cabinet meeting.

The changes follows a report by a task team, including experts, appointed by the minister in July this year to investigate challenges in the implementation of the NCS.

The task team recommended the development of a coherent five year plan to improve teaching and learning across the schooling system, streamlining and clarifying policies, clarifying the role of subject advisors, addressing teacher workload and administrative burden among others.

Minister Angie Motshekga is expected to make a statement on the curriculum changes in the National Assembly this afternoon.

The recommendations that can be put in place immediately include developing syllabi for implementation in 2011, discontinuing the use of learning of portfolios from 2010, reducing the use of learning areas in intermediate phase and emphasising the use of English from as early as possible for the majority of learners.

Cabinet has further approved the request to extend the concession for Rwandese students studying at South African universities to be treated as home students for purposes of fees.

Maseko said that the concession will cost approximately R5.5 million over the three-year period and will be part of an agreement to be signed between the Ministry of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande and the Rwandese authorities.

"The three-year concession will apply to a hundred students who are on the Rwandese government funded scholarship programme studying science, commerce and engineering," Maseko said, adding that universities will be informed accordingly.