Newsletter 47 DBE - Progress of SA Schooling System

Minister Motshekga’s overview of progress in the schooling system

In an earlier newsletter I raised the issue of access versus quality. I did say at the time that it is a huge task to get both right at the same time because of limited resources. Politicians normally make a choice and result in a balancing act – the more resources spent on the one it is at the cost of the other. In this statement by Minister of the DBE she highlights the fact that participation levels in the schooling sector has increased significantly.

Prior to the Basic Education Budget Vote Debate, Minister Motshekga hosted a media briefing aimed at outlining the plans and priorities of the sector over the 2016 MTEF period. Minister Motshekga said that there had been significant progress in terms of improving quality education in the country.

The 2002 – 2014 General Household Survey conducted by Statistics South Africa and research conducted in the DBE shows that the Department made progress in securing universal access, retention and participation rates in our public schooling system.

  1. Participation of the 0 to 4 year-old children in Early Childhood Development (ECD) facilities has increased from 7.5% in 2002 to 48.3% in 2014.
  2. There has been an increase in Grade R participation by 5 year-olds from about 40% in 2002 to 87.2% in 2014.
  3. Participation by 5 year-old learners with disabilities in our educational institutions has increased from 80.4% in 2009 to 83.9% in 2014.
  4. Participation by 7 to 15 year-old learners with disabilities in our educational institutions has increased from 77.8% in 2009 to 93.4% in 2014.
  5. Primary education participation by 7 to 13 year-olds is nearing universal standards. Participation in compulsory education by 7 to 15 year-olds has increased from 97.8% in 2005 to 99% in 2014.
  6. Participation in secondary education (Further Education and Training Band) by 14 to 18 year-olds has increased from 88.3% in 2002 to 90.7% in 2014; however the participation of the 16 to 18 year-old learners with disabilities in secondary schooling has decreased from 61.4% in 2005 to 54.1% in 2014.
  7. The percentage of 15 to 24 year-old youth who have completed Grade 9 and above has increased from 63.4% in 2002 to 78% in 2014 “Minister Motshekga said.

It is evident that much has been done to improve the quality of access to basic education; however, more needs to be done to move our schools towards inclusion and equity.

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