More spending on education

2010-02-17 15:30

GOVERNMENT is focused on tackling the root causes of inferior

education, according to educationist Graeme Bloch.

Reacting to the fact that Finance Minister Pravin Gordham dedicated

the biggest chunk, R165 billion, of the country’s budget to education.

“We are very satisfied with the allocations and priorities. “There

is an honest appraisal of the key problems in education and an acknowledgement

we are not getting value for money,” Bloch said.

He said the allocations reflected education priorities and

emphasis, which were excellent.

“Aa focus on getting the basics of literacy and numeracy right,

especially at foundation level, support for management, the production of

detailed workbooks.

“The allocation for teachers salaries is welcome as teachers are

the key to change. The emphasis on measurement and outcomes is correct, so we

can know what we are achieving.

“It also says money is not the fundamental problem, it is getting

the processes in place for improvement,” he said.

Bloch also said it was the year we had to set education on track

and the nation on the path of striving for excellence. “Now we must walk the

talk as a nation,” he said.

In his budget speech, Gordham said education spending remained the

largest item of spending, giving meaning to commitment that it was the number one priority.

He said:

  • The total budget for education next year will be R165

    billion.

  • To roll out workbooks in all 11 official languages to help raise

    our literacy and numeracy levels and to test all learners in grades 3, 6 and 9,

    a further R2.7 billion will be allocated to the Department of Basic Education.

  • Expanding and improving capacity at our FET colleges was a vital

    part of our growth strategy.

“We have set ourselves ambitious targets to expand the number of

young people studying vocational subjects. The budget for FET colleges of R12

billion over three years, has been shifted from provinces to the national

department.

“A further R1,3 billion is allocated to improve the salaries of FET

college educators,” he said.


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