Basic education gets department of maths, science and technology

2013-11-22 11:52

The department of basic education will establish a department of maths, science and technology to curb the “slack” implementation of the maths, science and technology strategy.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga made the announcement in Pretoria this morning.

In February, Motshekga appointed a task team to investigate the implementation of the strategy, which was conceived 10 years ago to encourage maths, science and technological innovation.

But the implementation has been slack, said Motshekga, adding that the team has recommended that the strategy should remain.

“They recommended that we become rigorous in the implementation. So the [proposed] department will help provinces implement the strategy.”

She also announced that the much anticipated annual national assessment (ANA) results would be released on December 5.

The tests, aimed at testing pupil’s maths and literacy competency, are administered from grades 1 to 9.

Addressing journalists, Motshekga said: “We have confidence in the credibility of the ANAs to give us a diagnostic of the maths and literacy challenges. We are busy analysing the trends that are coming out and we will give you a technical report on December 5. These tests tell us more about the system and the curriculum.”

The department will next week also release the controversial norms and standards for school infrastructure. Motshekga was supposed to release them earlier this year, but failed to do so.

Instead, in August, she released the provisional norms and standards, arguing that it would be pointless for the department to release the full report when it was not ready. She was heavily criticised by pressure groups such as Section 27 and Equal Education.

Motshekga also announced that:

» All pupils will have a textbook for each subject when schools reopen in January;

» The matric results will be released on January 6;

» About 181 schools have received furniture;

» The department has been opening a brand-new school every week since July;

» A compulsory African language for all schools will be piloted from January next year; and

» All the department’s workbooks are now available online.

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