Gigaba: Science and maths a priority

2011-06-14 16:06

Johannesburg - Improving science, mathematics and technology is the country's top educational priority, according to Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba, who was speaking at the 35th anniversary of Youth Day at the Denel Dynamics Breakfast in Tshwane.

"Government has committed itself to ensuring that children in urban and rural high-poverty schools should have the same access to higher-level mathematics and science as students in wealthy suburban schools.

"However, this challenge is compounded by the fact that such schools do not have adequate teachers, a supportive and encouraging environment, enriching opportunities or adequate financial resources."

Gigaba said that as long as such gaps existed, students from those schools would struggle when and if they entered college.

"It will take enormous resources and time to achieve the required parity."


The minister added that the present era was one where knowledge was decisive in separating winners from losers.

"Knowledge expands the achievement possibilities of those who have it. Lack of it leaves them vulnerable."

Harnessing science, mathematics and technology for human development was critical to building both a competitive and people-centric economy and society.

Gigaba added that youth unemployment remained a serious challenge facing SA.

"Too few jobs are being created to absorb the large numbers of new entrants to the labour market. For example, in the first quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate for young people aged 16 to 30 was 40%, compared with 16% for those aged 30 to 65."

He said government's New Growth Path (NGP) set itself ambitious targets, particularly in terms of job creation - five million jobs in 10 years.

"The NGP recognises that better education and skill levels are a fundamental prerequisite for achieving this. Among others, the NGP requires a radical review of the training system to address shortfalls in artisanal and technical skills."

  • The Goose - 2011-06-14 16:24

    Do a survey first and then decide what i needed most.Dont go all technological on possible illiterate students or teachers!

      REVO - 2011-06-14 16:40

      It's definately the way to go, but are they capable? because it seems they all have the same mentality as malema.

  • Vela Stardust - 2011-06-14 16:29

    A good start would be teacher training.

  • The Unknown - 2011-06-14 16:33

    With the current crop of teachers and students, nothing is possible. Pupil to teacher: "Teeesher, whaaaat is 1+1? Teacher to pupil? "Eish"

      jowza - 2011-06-14 17:09

      in tender terms.divide by 3 means 1 for you and 2 for me

  • Jason - 2011-06-14 16:37

    What ever you do just do it properly education is most important sector for our nations development.

  • Ras - 2011-06-14 16:40

    The government must support initiative such as science clubs check and organisations such as science centres

  • Wayne - 2011-06-14 16:56

    Home schooling is the best solution

      jowza - 2011-06-14 17:08

      and you the result of it?

  • ZumaGabe - 2011-06-14 16:57

    Hey Gigs baby, do you know how many maths ans Science teachers you retrenched during your AA drives ? Guess where they are ? Either sitting on their porches in retirement at Ballito, Plett and Stilbaai, or teaching as governing body contractors at the old model C schools. Just check the matric results at the end of the year and you will see where the performance is. And another thing, you really dont have to go to Columbia or Cuba on study tours to check out high performance school systems. Just take a bus trip to some schools in Stellenbosch, Paarl, Waterkloof, Newlands ans lo and behold even Bloemfontein.

  • Wow! - 2011-06-14 17:18

    Talk, talk, talk talk!!! That is ALL that ever happens. Four years on more Talk, talk, talk - whilst South Africa slides down the abyss into obscurity.

  • Thomas - 2011-06-14 17:33

    Government needs a mindset change - understand that upliftment comes from pursuing excellence rather than dumbing down..!

  • Are_U_Sure - 2011-06-14 18:09

    What gets me is that now all of a sudden we need this, that and the other. HELLLOOOOOO ... we needed it since for ever!!! Too few jobs ... again ... HELLLOOOOO ... it is nothing new since 1994 and will be for the next 10 000 years. What we need and can have, is very reliant on people wanting to work together to make it happen and for that we need strong leaders who are not corrupt and inept ... o my, HELLLOOOOO ... we dont have that either! Start at the beginning, the basics ... lead by example our beloved leaders and government.

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