Recommendations to improve education system

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Basic Education Sector Lekgotla has presented a number of recommendations to the department to help improve the education system.

The recommendations were tabled during the department’s lekgotla held last week in Tshwane under the theme, “Equipping Learners with Knowledge and Skills for a Changing World”. Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) and Teacher Unions were given an opportunity to present under the sub-theme, “Identifying Challenges/ Gaps and Strategies”.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said: “The key message from the Lekgotla, is that the system is indeed on the rise and we should embrace the optimism in the system”.  

The Minister was updating the media on the outcomes of the lekgotla on Sunday in Tshwane.

Among the recommendations included that the department should continue to foster partnership and collaboration.

“Government, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders need to work towards a common plan of action in the drive to improve reading and literacy, especially in the Foundation Phase,” Minister Motshekga noted.

In working towards decreasing the skills shortages in the country and meeting the National Development Plan targets, the lekgotla stressed a need to align the curriculum with industry and business to allow for synergy and collective agreement in meeting the skills needs.

The Minister acknowledged that the partnerships with stakeholders helps the department in its drive to improve reading and literacy skills.

The lekgotla also recommended an increased in the number of focus schools in respect of the critical skills focus areas; integration of the Arts into the Mathematics, Science and Technology (STEAM); as well as the continuation to focus on inclusive education, to ensure education access to more learners with special needs, in order to increase the number of learners who attain the necessary skills and a National Senior Certificate qualification.

It further recommended a development of a clear understanding of the African context, knowledge systems, and values and how to utilise African ways and means of imparting knowledge in pursuit of the decolonisation agenda; and a need to prioritise Initial Teacher Training for Life Orientation and Teacher Development, in dealing with all components of Life Orientation.

The Minister said that the delegates had extremely interesting and robust commissions that came up with their own recommendations.

These included languages, establishment of focussed schools like hotel schools, maritime schools; assessment of content for Business Commerce and Management (BCM), and services subjects to reflect practical work.

“All of these recommendations will be developed into implementation plans that contain short, medium, and long term plans,” Minister Motshekga said.

She said the report of the lekgotla will be presented at the Heads of Education Departments Committee (HEDCOM) on 12 February 2018.

“The provinces will convene their provincial Makgotla and come up with recommendations that are school specific, to ensure that this does not end up as a high level talk shop, but filters all the way down to school level,” the Minister said. –

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