Workbooks to benefit 3.5 million pupils

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cape Town - Government will spend R524 million to fund the rollout of workbooks for pupils in Grades one to seven in the poorest 60 percent of schools for the 2010 school year, to boost literacy and numeracy in early grades.

The Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said today, in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement that about 3.5 million pupils are expected to receive workbooks in the next financial year, with 5.5 million expected to benefit in 2012.

The workbooks will guide teachers on the sequence and pace required to complete the curriculum most effectively, and will benefit learners who do not have textbooks.

The books, which include daily exercises, will be available in all 11 official languages.

Funding has also been proposed for national literacy and numeracy assessments to be undertaken in grades three, six and nine.

These annual assessments will measure the success of literacy and numeracy interventions. The results will be analysed to provide schools with targeted support.

Over the medium term, a new conditional grant will be introduced to provide further resources such as science labs, textbooks and training for teachers at these schools.

Government will also increase its coverage of the school nutrition scheme.

It's expected that 8.6 million pupils - will benefit from the scheme by the 2012/13 financial year.

Government also aims to improve the quality of courses that the further education and training (FET) colleges offer.

A key aim over the next five years will be to get 20 percent of youth who are not attending other educational institutions, to participate in the alternative matric (the national curriculum for vocational education) offered at FET colleges.

The government also wants to improve the pass rates of matriculants by over 70 percent and see a completion rate of over 60 percent.

Government also wants to boost the number of industrial and related apprenticeships and learnerships in scarce skills areas to 350 000.

Training partnerships will be funded through Sector Education Training Authorities (Setas), partnerships with employers and a work-placement programme for graduates of FET colleges will be set up.

Key interventions include initiatives to improve management capacity, materials development and the introduction of qualifications for lecturers.