Motshega to launch education unit

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pretoria - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshega will tomorrow launch the National Education and Evaluation Unit (NEEDU) which is expected to identify factors that inhibit or advance school improvement.

Identifying the critical factors that inhibit or advance school improvement and to make focused recommendations for redressing problem areas that undermine school improvement are the core responsibilities of the NEEDU.

"The main task of this unit will be to provide the ministry with an authoritative, analytical and accurate account on the state of education in South Africa, in particular, on the status of teaching and learning in all schools," said the department's Granville Whittle.

NEEDU is a result of an agreement to establish an external agency that will evaluate the entire education system and report to the minister on the state of education in South Africa. This was due to the low levels of performance which still persist widely in the system.

A Ministerial Committee to investigate and advise the ministry was established in 2008 on how the quality of education can be enhanced through an independent performance evaluation system resulting in the formation of NEEDU.

Dialogue about evaluation models used in developed and developing nations in order to inform the development of South Africa's own model is needed, said the department. The department also highlighted that NEEDU is still in a "sunrise period" with respect to its own emergence as a fully fledged external evaluation agency in South Africa.