School heads lack skills, Manuel says

2011-11-16 22:39
Cape Town - Principals at state schools often do not know how to manage, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel told MPs on Wednesday.

Briefing members of Parliament's public service portfolio committee on the newly-released National Development Plan (NDP), he said the process of appointing school heads needed to be changed.

"We must change the process of appointing principals. In fact, principals should be properly trained and equipped to manage schools, and frequently they don't know how to manage. They don't know how to oversee teachers."

Among other things, the NDP calls for the introduction of minimum qualifications for school principals.

Manuel was also critical of some maths teachers, who, he said, needed regular testing to ensure they were up to the task of teaching pupils.

"We must regularly test teachers. Some of the results we've looked at in the diagnostic of teachers who teach grade one to three maths - they can't pass. Grade 4 to 6 maths, you're in the low 30%.

"If you don't know enough to transmit this to an 8-year-old, what chance in life does that child have?"

Manuel noted that the NDP contained a proposal to link teacher pay to pupil performance.

He said there was a "desperate need" for maths, science, technology and English teachers.

"If you look at the class that passed Matric in 2010, there were just under 1.4 million learners who enrolled in grade one in January 1999," Manuel said.

"Of that 1.4 million, just under 600 000 wrote the exam last year. About 430 000 passed. And of those that passed, only 13% had university passes and an additional 12% had diploma passes."

One of the aims of the NDP was to take the "lottery" out of schooling and improve children's chances in life.

"When people come through schooling that doesn't equip them, finding a job is very difficult because the basic skills are not in place."

Among other things, the NDP calls for increasing the higher education participation rate, from 17 to 30%; and trebling the number of university science and maths course entrants by 2030.

Further, it looks to South Africa's universities producing over 100 PhD graduates per million population by that year.

Manuel said this would require a five-fold increase.

"I think we're [producing] about 21 [PhDs] per million at the moment," he said.

The draft plan, which was released last Friday for public scrutiny, also proposes that work permits be granted to foreigners who graduate from South African universities.

Read more on:    trevor manuel  |  education  |  politics

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

Investment tips you need to know 2015-01-29 14:07

Ever wondered how to assess your future potential liability? Feroz Basa, Senior Portfolio Manager Old Mutual Investment Group, weighs in on all the investment tips you need to know. WATCH.


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]


Something may come back into focus. You may get a second chance to say what needs to be said. The important focus today is to more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.