Putting the steam back into education

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

By More Matshediso

Vereeniging – The Gauteng Department of Education is switching things up by changing the focus areas to STEAM -- Science, Technology, Entrepreneur, Arts and Maths -- as a guiding principle of the current curriculum.

“We believe that [the arts subjects] must be part of our curriculum and must be supported so that we can have future artists and actors,” Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said.

The MEC was speaking to learners and teachers from across the province on Tuesday at the launch of the 5th Annual Mandela Day Career Development Festival at Sedibeng TVET College, in Sebokeng. The event also formed part of the National Imbizo Focus Week.

The MEC said these subjects had the potential for careers in a wide range of fields.

“Technology is very important and through it, a lot can be invented. Similarly, you won’t be able to market your products if you don’t have entrepreneurial skills. Arts also assist with creativity and will help showcase our learners’ talents.”

The MEC said STEAM will be implemented from this year until the end of his term.

“This does not change the curriculum. I am pushing these subjects to be on par with maths and science. We cannot limit our learners’ future careers...” said MEC Lesufi.

The MEC said matric learners and those who will be writing the Annual National Assessment will be given support by the department.

He said the provincial government made a decision to employ only best teachers in Gauteng, as it was one way of getting the best results.

MEC Lesufi said they will apply the strictest criteria to employ teachers based on competency, skill and qualifications. He said his department has reviewed the recruitment policy so that it will place only the best teachers in the schools.

“It is only when we have the best teachers that we can get the best outcome.  If we can’t recruit the best, it will be very difficult to get the best outcome out of the education system,” MEC Lesufi said. – SAnews.gov.za

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