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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].

Gauteng’s New Online School Application System is Live

The application and placement process for the 2020 academic year for Grades 1 and 8 in Gauteng public schools went live on Monday (20 May).

The Admissions Online Application System was introduced to make it easy and convenient for parents to submit applications rather than queue at a school.

It has also provided accurate information to the Department of Education for planning purposes, such as the allocation of resources including educators, classrooms, learning and teaching study materials.

The department assured that the online process has improved and now has the capacity to accommodate 50,000 simultaneous users.

Parents or applicants with children in Grade R in the current school as well as for Grade 8 in Schools of Focused Learning or Schools of Specialization should also be made online.

When applying online, parents have a choice to submit a maximum of five applications using the following options:

  • Home Address closest to school within feeder-zone;
  • Sibling at the school;
  • Work address within feeder-zone;
  • Home Address within 30 km;
  • Home address is beyond 30 km of the school.

First come, first serve

The rankings are subject to the availability of space in the school and will be conducted on a first come, first serve basis and on the following prioritization.

  • The department has advised parents to understand that living closer to the school does not entitle a person to automatic admission.
  • The system will show all schools and applicant/parent will choose the relevant school and reference number WA6 will be generated.
  • Once the application is completed online, the applicant or parent will receive an SMS notification with the relevant reference number.

For this reason, applicants and parents are urged to use their own valid cell phone number or email address, the department said.

All communication with the parent regarding username, password and waiting list reference number will be conducted through the supplied cell phone number or email address.

Parents are urged to store the login details and reference number in a safe place.

Applicants and parents should then submit the following documents to the school within seven working days:

  • Certified copy of identity document (ID) of the parent/legal guardian or a sworn affidavit in case a parent/legal guardian does not have an ID;
  • Non-South African citizens should submit a certified copy of their passport, valid Visa or Temporary/Permanent residence Permit/ Asylum Seeker or Refugee Permit;
  • Proof of home address;
  • Certified copy of child’s birth certificate. Unabridged birth certificates are not required;
  • Clinic Immunization Card if applying for grade 1. Non-South Africans are also required to submit proof of immunization;
  • Current school academic report and transfer if applying for Grade 8;
  • Proof of a sibling relationship where sibling option is used.

Upon submission of documents, parents must sign a register to indicate that documents were submitted and receive a confirmation of submission of documents receipt.

Placement of learners by the department will take place between 27 August – and 20 September 2019.

Parents/applicants will receive SMS notification of a successful and unsuccessful application to the school.

They have an obligation to accept or reject the placement offer within seven days. Failure to accept this within the given period will result in the offer being forfeited and it will be given to the next person on the queue.

To visit the online application website, click here.

 

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].