HON. MRS T.P MADLOPHA-MTHETHWA, IFP MPL, KZN LEGISLATURE
The IFP has always strived for a province with reliable and high-quality education system with multiple exit points that are capable of creating quality, skillful and employable learners that are fully equipped with necessary skills, attitude, values and knowledge to be self-reliant and easily participate in the country’s economic activities and respond to the requirements of the fast-changing and skill-based economy and community. It believes that such high-quality learners could be produced through dedicated department officials, effective systems and meaningful distribution of resources and also with active cooperation between parents, learners and teachers.
Most teachers have shown their dedication by making it a norm to teach during weekends and during winter holidays. These according to IFP President, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi are the true servants of the people committed in enlightenment of an African child. As the party that is strongly committed in quality education, we support every positive effort that is aimed at bettering the future of a South African child therefore endorsing the introduction of programmes especially for schools that performed below par in our province.
During our visit, we made the following observations:
1. Best performing learners were grouped separately from the rest of the learners from schools who performed below the 30% mark.
2. Learners from schools that performed below 30% were also grouped separately and given attention they needed through provision of tutors and study materials.
The IFP therefore is concerned with this faulty arrangement whereby learners from bad performing schools above 30% are not given tutoring and necessary attention, 30% pass rate cannot be used as a measure of better performance. This remains a serious cause for concern and drastic measures need to be implemented immediately to move a need for intervention to schools failing to meet 50% and above.
Secondly the IFP believes that the issue of bad performing schools can be resolved through hiring of assistant teachers who will move around assisting in each bad performing school to serve as an added capacity in all critical subjects. This will make it easy to measure performance impact easily. We argue that there must be consistent approaches into fixing long-term bad performing schools.
Value for money cannot be determined through short term fixing methods that the department waste funds on. The IFP recommends that the massive expenditure used for accommodation, transport, catering and salaries be used in getting teachers at ad-hoc posts who will rove around schools could be an effective and efficient solution. Also, we are concerned that the education department monitoring and evaluation systems in place are inadequate to easily execute, verify and measure the impact of these boot camps methods.
How can we expect skillful and high-quality learners who will be equipped with necessary literacy and skills to be job creators, participate, revive and grow the country’s failing economic state and be self-reliant if the ‘fix-methods’ implemented are not guaranteed to yield significant results and not sustainable?
This province should be dedicated into producing high performing learners who will easily integrate into the artificial intelligence era of the fourth industrial revolution?
Furthermore, the IFP believes that the department should introduce compulsory financial literacy and entrepreneurial subjects whereby our learners are introduced and equipped with business skills necessary to be self-reliant in their respective careers as they grow older. We want to produce a generation of learners who have adequate skills of using money, saving money and running successful businesses who will in turn create more jobs for our economy.
I THANK YOU