R8bn set aside for no fee schools

 

Pretoria – Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, has on Tuesday announced that R8 billion will be set aside for no fee schools in the country, saying this will ensure that no child is disadvantaged because of their economic situation.  Presenting her department’s budget vote in Parliament, Minister Motshekga said her department’s programme was guided by the National Development Plan (NDP) which states that education is a means to building an inclusive society and providing opportunities for South Africans to realise their full potential.

 

“We will continue to promote universal access to education by ensuring that all children between ages 7 and 15 are in school. We will increase the number of Grade 12 learners who can gain entrance to university, moving incrementally from 172 000 in 2013 to 250 000 in 2019, and work to improve the quality and quantity of passes,” the minister said.

 

With regard to inappropriate school structures, Minister Motshekga said her department will continue to work towards eradicating mud schools and other inappropriate structures particularly in the Eastern Cape, and to provide the necessary resources needed for proper schooling to take place.

 

“Our own internal assessments and international benchmarking assessments confirm that whilst progress has been made on access, equity, and redress, the emphasis in this administration will be on attaining quality efficiently,” she said.

 

Five-year plan

 

She said in the next five years her department will make more aggressive, radical changes and appropriate interventions to turn the education system around. “We have moved boldly, therefore, to reconfigure the Basic Education Department internally for an even better performance,” she said.

 

Minister Motshekga said her department will, in line with heightening accountability and enhancing service delivery, invoke Sections 3 and 8 of the National Education Policy Act of 1996 to hold those districts and provinces that are not performing to account.

 

“The time has come to place responsibility and accountability where it belongs. We will track learner performance more closely, in order to ensure that our interventions are working and that we are decreasing the drop-out rate and increasing retention levels in our schools,” she said.

 

The Council of Education Ministers held its first meeting a week ago where all provincial MECs agreed that the time for radical transformation has come. The meeting will be followed by an Education Lekgotla where provinces will align plans to improve quality and efficiency in the sector.

 

The meeting, according to Minister Motshekga, will be held in the first week of August.

 

School nutrition programme

 

Over nine million learners in more than 21 000 quintile 1 - 3 primary and secondary schools have benefitted from the school nutrition programme since June this year. The increase is attributed to the successful extension of the programme to public secondary schools. The conditional grant for the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) has been increased by R288.8 million in 2014/15 to R5.462 billion. According to Motshekga, the amount will reach R5.704 billion in 2015/16.

 

“Although the department has made strides to meet the basic right to nutrition to millions of learners in schools, it has become necessary to consider a national de-worming programme linked to the NSNP, to maximise the health and cognitive benefits of school meals,” she said.

 

Increased budget

 

Meanwhile, the overall budget for the department is R19 680 billion. This is an increase of R2 088 billion from last year’s R17 592 billion.  Minister Motshekga said the allocation confirmed government’s commitment to education. “The budget allocation to provincial education departments is R186 147 billion. It will exceed R200 billion in 2015/16,” Motshekga said.

 

Umalusi has been allocated R107. 4 million in 2014/15 and will reach R112.7 million in 2015/16 to cover its expanded mandate. The National Education Evaluation Development Unit continues to do important work for the department and that for 2014/15, it has been allocated R14.2 million, said the minister. Kha Ri Gude received R634.9 million and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) has been allocated R62.2 million.

 

“This mass literacy campaign has impacted the lives of millions of our people,” the minister said.

 

With regard to safety in schools, Minister Motshekga said her department will continue to enhance learner safety and well- being by fighting drugs and substance abuse as well as youth criminality in schools and in communities in general. – SAnews.gov.za

Click here to go to the original source: http://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/r8bn-set-aside-no-fee-schools

 

Basic Education prioritises teachers' needs

 

Pretoria – Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, says her department will prioritise the working conditions of teachers, including their professional development.

 

Presenting the department’s budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday, the minister said her department, together with the Department of Higher Education and Training, was working to strengthen this very important area of work.  She said the department would also focus on the conditions of employment, recruitment, deployment and utilisation.

 

“In partnership with Vodacom, we have equipped and connected 40 teacher centres across the nine provinces,” Minister Motshekga said.

 

A total of 31 of these teacher centres were equipped and connected in the last financial year and Vodacom will further equip and connect 20 new teacher centres in this financial year. This means that a total of 60 teacher centres will be fully digitised by the end of this financial year. The Vodacom Mobile Education Programme is a nationwide teacher development initiative to improve the quality of instruction in all subjects at every level, with particular emphasis on Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy and Physical Science in Grades 10 to 12.

 

The teacher professional development training focuses on ICT Literacy, as well as the effective use and integration of digital content in the classroom. – SAnews.gov.za

Access the original article by clicking on this link: http://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/basic-education-prioritises-teachers-needs

And the 2014 Future Stars winner is

The finalists for the 2014 Future Stars Awards finalists have been announced and profiled on www.SAstudy.co.za since the middle of May 2014. These 2014 Future Stars Awards finalists inspire us to believe in the future of South Africa and we celebrate them during the month of June, as part of our Youth Day Celebrations.

 

The youth talk of hope, perseverance and hard work, even though life is hard for them. Divorce, death of family and not having the financial resources to study are facts of life. So is going to bed hungry. Yet, they dream of achieving, so that they can succeed to look after their mothers, make a difference in their communities and be role models for others. They don’t let circumstances hold them back –they’ve figured out how to fund their studies and how to use technology to get their friends to vote for them. They are the Future Stars – they inspire us to believe in the future of South Africa. They are not the “entitled” youth, we so often accuse them of being – they are hard working, hopeful, and willing to make our future better.

 

The judging event of the 2014 Future Stars Awards took place on 11th of June 2014, campaign sponsors as well as guest judges  were assigned to score these top 10 finalists based on specific campaign criteria.

 

The 2014 Future Stars winner, Kabelo Mohlatlole (18), from Polokwane believes his key to success is to turn threats into opportunities and to keep a hopeful and victorious outlook on life. He is still currently at school and dreams of becoming a journalist after he has completed Matric this year. He is currently living his dream by writing articles for a local mine magazine on issues happening in his community as well as motivational poetry for learners.  He is currently a member of the Youth Leaders organisation at his school and helps other learners to make informed decisions on their career paths.

 

Coming in close second, is Keaton Harris (19), from Cape Town, who places value in hard work, determination, strong family bonds and an enduring faith in his God. He believes that his positive attitude results from never taking his “eyes off the prize”, which is helping him focus on his goals rather than his obstacles. He dreams of becoming a cardio-thoracic surgeon by studying medicine at Wits.

 

Don Maisels (18), the third runner up is also from Cape Town and believes perseverance, empathy and respect are keywords to live by. He is dreaming of becoming a doctor and is living it by being involved in community service projects for disabled individuals.

 

Ishmael Ramushu (21),  from Polokwane who maintains a strong belief in himself and believes in mustering the courage and leaving no stone unturned in working towards one’s dream. “One must never give up or compromise one’s values”.

 

Tholinhlanhla Thwala (21), in 5th place from Ingwavuma is also community focused and dreams of becoming a CEO for an HIV/AIDS organisation and is studying a Bachelor of Social Sciences, while working towards promoting campus health.

 

Click to view the rest of the Top 10 finalists.

 

The Future Stars Awards is an initiative that is focused on inspiring leadership and confidence in the future.  This innovative campaign was created to inspire our future stars – and others to realise that our youth are phenomenal.  Simply by sharing their dreams online on www.SAstudy.co.za  – and then getting their friends and other youth to vote for them, they are sharing their inspiring stories and motivating others to dream of a better future, by focusing on the power of education to change their circumstances.

 

Argo, the multimedia publisher behind the Future Stars Awards, believes in inspiring impact in South Africa– and engages with committed brand leaders TSB Sugar, Mindset TV, Metro FM, Eduloan and NYDA to build confidence in our future as well as the youth that will create the future. Priizes were sponsored by Eduloan, Van Schaik Bookstore, Massmart and Argo.

Follow Future Stars Awards on Twitter: @FutureStarsSA

 

 

And the 2014 Future Stars winner is

Connect, Collaborate and Celebrate Progress

ED.ORG.ZA replaces www.teacher.org.za as your online connection to education action leaders in order to inspire belief in the power of education. This is one place where corporate companies, government, NGO’s, and educators can work together towards a quality education for all South Africa’s children, by offering:

• Information on best practice and latest news;
• Involvement through comments and feedback; and
• Inspiration from success stories of the top 100 education projects in South Africa.

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