Basic Education gets a make-over

In July 2009, the Minister of Basic Education, Ms Angie Motshekga, took steps to investigate the challenges experienced in the implementation of the National Curriculum Statement.  In order to help her, the Minister established a task team that consulted with all relevant stakeholders.

The task team report back recommended the following changes:

  • Develop syllabi for implementation in 2011
  • Discontinue the use of portfolios from 2010
  • Reduce the number of learning areas in Intermediate Phase
  • Emphasise the use of English from as early as possible for the majority of our learners that use English as language of learning
  • Require only one file for administrative purposes from teachers
  • Clarify the role of subject advisers
  • Reduce the number of projects required by learners.

To support these recommodations, the Department of Basic Education will further:

  • Plan for all learners from grade 4-12 to receive their own textbooks for every learning area/subject. The Department will issue guidelines for textbook acquisition and distribution and retrieval to all schools.
  • Strengthen the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC) that aims to mobilise all South Africans to commit to the goal of quality in education.
  • Continue to implement the Quality Improvement, Development, Support and Upliftment Programme (QIDS-UP) that targets poor, underperforming schools with the provision of curriculum support in the form of libraries, laboratories, teaching materials and teacher training, with emphasis on maths, science and technology.
  • The Foundations for Learning Programme will be implemented for Foundation and Intermediate Phase (Grades R -6) in all schools in 2010 . The Department of Basic Education has developed extensive learning and teaching packs for grades R to 6 teachers to assist with planning, teaching and learning. These packs will be distributed to all primary schools for the start of the school year in January 2010.
  • There will be annual assessments of Mathematics, Home language and English FAL in Grades 3, 6 and 9 in line with the instructions from the Presidency.
  • There is a moratorium on the development and distribution of new curriculum documents until the publication of the curriculum and assessment policy documents by the Department.
  • The Department will continue to strengthen language teaching in schools, by encouraging mother tongue instruction in the initial phases and the early introduction of English for those learners who will be using English as the language of learning later.

Read the whole statement here.

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