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South African Education System: Two Major Areas of Change Imminent

Early Grade Reading Programme

Government is implementing an Early Grade Reading Programme, which consists of an integrated package of lesson plans, additional reading materials and professional support to Foundation Phase teachers.

President Cyril Ramaphosa aims to mobilise the entire nation behind a massive reading campaign, and wants every 10 year old to be able to read for meaning within the next decade.

Speaking in his recent State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa said that early reading ‘is the basic foundation that determines a child’s educational progress, through school, through higher education and into the workplace’.

“All other interventions – from the work being done to improve the quality of basic education to the provision of free higher education for the poor, from our investment in TVET colleges to the expansion of workplace learning – will not produce the results we need unless we first ensure that children can read,” he said.

As part of this push, Ramaphosa said that all foundation and intermediate phase teachers are to be trained to teach reading in English and the African languages.

He added that government is currently training and deploying a cohort of experienced coaches to provide high-quality on-site support to teachers.

“We are also implementing the Early Grade Reading Programme, which consists of an integrated package of lesson plans, additional reading materials and professional support to Foundation Phase teachers,” he said.

“This forms part of the broader efforts to strengthen the basic education system by empowering school leadership teams, improving the capabilities of teachers and ensuring a more consistent measurement of progress for grades three, six and nine.”

New subjects

As part of plans to future-proof the economy, Ramaphosa also pledged to introduce a number of technology-focused subjects to the curriculum,

“We have to prepare our young people for the jobs of the future,” he said. “This is why we are introducing subjects like coding and data analytics at a primary school level.”

In April 2019, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) said it had trained 43,774 teachers in computer skills and would shortly begin training teachers for the new coding curricula.

Basic Education Angie Motshekga said that these teachers will be trained on coding from June to September 2019.

Coding as a subject will be piloted at 1,000 schools across five provinces starting in the 2020 school year.

The minister said that the DBE will also be introducing a robotics curriculum from Grade R-9.

The curriculum will have a strong foundation in engineering and will enable learners to build and operate robots through programming code, she said.

“This robotics curriculum will not require any infrastructure or devices, but will need maker spaces to provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent; e.g., through cardboard construction activities,” she said.

“This will not only develop STEM skills, but also contribute to effectively developing children’s creativity, critical thinking, design thinking, and digital skills.

“This will ensure that South Africa develops learners who are makers and inventors who will contribute to building an innovative culture in South Africa,” she said.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Highlights From South Africa’s Second 2019 State of the Nation Address

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the country’s second State of the Nation Address yesterday evening, keying South Africans into his plans going forward, now that the country’s new Parliament is settling in, after the recent general election.

Below are 10 highlights from his speech.

  1. A special appropriation bill is to be tabled to allocate a significant portion of the R230 billion that Eskom needs to pay its debtors and keep the lights on.
  2. The president reaffirmed the constitutional mandate of the Reserve Bank “to protect the value of our currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth”.
  3. The Minister of Communications has been instructed to issue policy direction to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) to begin licensing spectrum that will significantly reduce data costs.
  4. To return public money that has been looted, civil claims arising from investigations conducted by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU), estimated to be around R14.7 billion, will be fast-tracked.
  5. The Presidency plans to drive the implementation a comprehensive plan to create two million jobs for young people over the next 10 years.
  6. Government intends to double international tourist arrivals to 21 million by 2030, by introducing a “world-class visa regime”, and focusing on tourists from China, India and the rest of Africa.
  7. Government plans to accelerate efforts to identify and release public land that is suitable for smart, urban settlements, as well as for farming.
  8. Government plans to establish a gender-based violence and femicide council to guide the former’s efforts to eradicate gender-based violence in South Africa.
  9. Ramaphosa announced plans to train foundation and intermediate phase teachers to teach reading in English and African languages, and to deploy experienced coaches to provide on-site support to teachers.
  10. The President said he envisions the first new city built in the democratic era, with skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals, and factories, to ease the pressure on the congested cities of Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. This includes the construction of a cross-country high-speed train.

To watch the full Address, click here.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the country’s second State of the Nation Address on Thursday, 20 June 2019.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image sources: [1], [2].