Education remains govt priority

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pretoria – Cabinet on Thursday reaffirmed its commitment to education being government’s top priority.

Following the executive's regular fortnightly meeting, Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said they acknowledged the many achievements of the current administration, under the leadership of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.

In particular, Cabinet noted the smooth opening of the 2013 school academic year, saying it represented the continuous accessibility of education for all South African learners.

It also acknowledged the significant improvement in the 2012 National Senior Certificate results; the progress in Mathematics and Language achievement as measured by the Annual National Assessments and the steady progress of the department in addressing infrastructural backlogs.

“These achievements point to a system that has turned the corner,” said Williams, adding that the education system was improving steadily.

Williams said Cabinet reiterated its support for Motshekga in her endeavour to improve the quality of education.

“Under her leadership, the country has a better understanding of the challenges facing our education system. This has enabled government to provide realistic solutions. Our education is improving steadily.”

Cabinet also conveyed its appreciation to all dedicated and committed teachers, who work tirelessly in service of SA’s children and the nation. It congratulated in particular all the winning teachers of the 2012 annual National Teaching Awards.

With regards to higher education, the executive has approved the release of the report of the Task Team on Community Education and Training Centres for public comment.

Established in 2011, the team was tasked to investigate an appropriate institutional form -- besides Further Education and Training colleges and universities -- that would adequately cater for the needs of the more than one million youths and adults, who in 2007 had less than a Grade 12 educational attainment.

The Task Team has recommended, among others, the establishment of a third-tier institution in the form of “community colleges”, which will be incorporated into the current Adult Learning Centres.

Williams said the Minister of Higher Education Dr Blade Nzimande will provide more information on the report when he holds a briefing next week. –