Both Ministers of education gave their 2009/10 Education budget speeches on 30 June 2009.
Here is an excerpt from the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga.
The theme of my speech today is “Together achieving quality education and access for all”.
In presenting this budget, I therefore draw on the manifesto of the ruling party, as informed by the resolutions adopted at Polokwane, as well as on the Medium Term Strategic Framework of government, and the President’s State of the Nation address. The underlying theme of all these is the fact that the ANC has declared education to be a top priority of this government, and has also declared that we can do more by working together.
In the 15 years of democratic rule, there have been significant achievements in education, especially in regard to access. A recent report by child gauge has noted that we have achieved universal primary education, in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and have also achieved gender parity in education. More children are staying at school until matric, and it is estimated that about 85% of children now receiving 12 years of education either in schools or colleges.
We are also taking steps towards improving the quality of education, as shown by the independently conducted annual national assessments. In 2008, the results in numeracy and literacy were some 30% higher that in 2007, an improvement that the OECD described as “significant and unprecedented”. Our matric results have stabilised over the past few years despite a general consensus that the curriculum is a more demanding one, and that the examinations have got much tougher. Despite the many achievements we pride ourselves over, we acknowledge that many challenges remain.
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Minister of Higher Education, Dr BE Nzimande was next.
Speaker, our theme this year is “together achieving and expanding quality and access to education and training for all”. Quality education and training properly delivered, changes lives and makes it possible to achieve our vision of a better life for all our citizens.
It is within this context that I wish to acknowledge the presence of my family and in particular my 82 year old mother, uMadlamini, Jamakasijadu, umama ongizalayo, who is in the house today. Ngifisa ukubonga kuwe Zizi ngokuzabalaza kwakho usikhulisa, usifundisa ube ungenalutho.
In tribute to her commitment to my education and tremendous sacrifice in financing my studies through the mashonisas, I commit, in the context of the task I have been given, to strive to ensure that, in line with the ANC Manifesto, no poor but capable young person is excluded from post-school educational opportunities
The past fifteen years have seen some extraordinary changes in education and training. We have managed to achieve one of the millennium development goals of universal participation in primary schooling. We have also significantly changed the face of our universities, where black and women students are now in the majority. We have similarly started the revival of our college sector and introduced a national skills development strategy through the Sector Education and Training Authorities
While we have made significant progress in terms of opening the doors of learning through increased access to previously disadvantaged students into the whole education system, the challenges remain immense, particularly regarding post-school education.
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