Focus on education paying off, says Zuma

2012-02-09 20:16

Cape town - Government's "intensive focus" on education is paying off, but many children are still not attending school, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

"We are pleased that the matric percentage pass is on an upward trend," he said in his annual State of the Nation address to Parliament.

"We congratulate the teachers, learners, parents, and the communities for the efforts. We will continue to invest in producing more teachers who can teach mathematics, science, and African languages."

Government's call to teachers to be in school, in class, on time, and teaching for at least seven hours a day remained pivotal to success.

Zuma said a major achievement was the doubling of grade R enrolment, from 300 000 in 2003 to 705 000 in 2011.

"We appear poised to meet our target of 100% coverage for grade R by 2014."

To fight poverty and inequality and to keep pupils in school, over eight million pupils attended no-fee schools while over eight million benefited the school feeding scheme.

School attendance in the country was now close to 100% for the compulsory band, 7-15 years of age.

"But we remain concerned by the report of the General Household Survey in 2010 that just over 120 000 children in that band are out of school."

Grade 10 drop-outs appear to be a problem, particularly in the rural and farm areas of the Western Cape.

National government would work closely with the Western Cape government to trace these pupils and provide support so that they did not lose their future.

"With regards to higher education, we are exceeding targets."

Close to 14 000 students were placed in workplace learning opportunities over the past year, and over 11 000 artisans had completed their trade tests.

"To expand access to tertiary education as per our announcement last year, R200m was utilised to assist 25 000 students to pay off their debts to institutions of higher learning," Zuma said.

  • Moss - 2012-02-09 20:21


      Mike - 2012-02-09 20:58

      Yip!! Says the one with grade 5 (still to be confirmed)! Would love to see him make a speech saying two words without "reading" it!!!

  • Scouter - 2012-02-09 20:27

    "Government's "intensive focus" on education is paying off" I really do wish the President would choose his words more considerately - I damn near choked on my biltong.

      Johana - 2012-02-09 22:26

      I think that he chooses his words correcly. I am for a while now conviced that ANC wants to destroy future of SA. And they are doing well, they have produced 6 completely unemployable generations. Worse, most of them cannot read or write. Comparing his words with his results, it is easy to see connection.

      Scouter - 2012-02-09 22:50

      Agreed Johanna, only country in the world I can think of that regards 30% as a perfecly acceptable pass mark. I wouldn't interview anyone with that academic achievement, let alone employ them for anything but the most menial of tasks.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-10 00:29

      Johana, you are so wrong about the ANC wanting to distroy the future of SA. it is a system immplemeted world wide. all countries strive to achive an uneducated lot of youth. the more you know, the more you want. the more you want the bigger threat you are. the elite of the world cannot control educated people.

      daniel.malan3 - 2012-06-16 00:19

      Haha funny Demetrius, they are indeed "distroying" the future of SA and it is definitely not "immplemeted" worldwide ! If you want people to do better at school, set them higher marks to achieve instead of a free pass.

      Sharon - 2012-06-17 19:49

      i would not allow one of his govt teachers near my 2 year old so where this edukashin story comes from i dont know

  • Liam Marshall - 2012-02-09 20:29

    The Presidents speech was deeply worrying for me. Nothing was said about the scourge of South Africa which is corruption. Nothing was said about the economic future of South Africa which is small business and how the government can assist.

  • SeeVeeDeeEl - 2012-02-09 20:29

    Delusional African.

  • AyGeewils - 2012-02-09 20:39

    Like most corrupt politicians - when all is falling apart they are assuring the world it is not ....

      AyGeewils - 2012-02-09 21:42

      I recently worked with a fully qualified Millwright - trade tested the lot - 24 years old - I have been in electro/mechanical engineering for 42 years - this man had no clue. He could not read a multimeter or an electrical drawing. These guys are being fast-tracked through some system and coming out the other end with pieces of paper and totally unable to do the job.

  • imraan.bacus - 2012-02-09 20:40

    I used to think George Bush was the dumbest president ever. Congrats JZ; you just changed all that...

  • Perfume5 - 2012-02-09 20:41

    I was screaming "NOT BEE START SPEAKING ABOUT SOUTH AFRICAN EMPOWERMENT" - his speech this year to me was same shoes different socks!!!

  • Anita - 2012-02-09 20:52

    Why does he worry about western cape fall outs in grade 10? What about learners in limpopo and eastern cape. In Natal they have very short schooldays. Coming home at 12h. Raise the pass rate to 40%. Then you have done something.

      Dmitri - 2012-02-09 20:58

      40% pass mark!!!!!! Yip, that will solve everything No offence Anita, but to achieve something drastic and show the world that we have bright youngsters, you need a pass mark of at least 65-70%. Anything below that is not worth mentioning.

      Sharon - 2012-02-09 21:04

      Oh boy Dmitri, we have fellows with beards in school now as it is, imagine what would happen if you increased the pass rate to 70%!

      Mike - 2012-02-09 21:04

      Or maybe back to 50%??? Then you'll see some sparks flying!!

      daniel.malan3 - 2012-06-16 00:21

      50% is an acceptable pass mark, remember not all people are equal, as Zuma and the rest of our government remind us regularly

  • roi.boss1 - 2012-02-09 20:57

    no wonder they want to put the law on the media you lot here are something else. you always nagative you lot. shame on you and hope you get on the next plane out of here

      Scouter - 2012-02-09 21:07

      Then get "your lot" to give us something to be positive about, chap.

      heinrich.crouse - 2012-02-09 23:21

      you're an idiot and a fascist roi. This clever president knows that you are all fools, and easily manipulated with grand gestures. he speaks of upward trends while we all know that we are losing skills and good trainers and teachers. "Close to 14 000 students were placed in workplace learning opportunities over the past year, and over 11 000 artisans had completed their trade tests." ...impressive ne? Declared as if it is an achievement instead of a disgrace. Do you fall for this unsophisticated spin? What percentage is that of learners for that year? Not even 5% I would guess. There's a lot to be angry about here.

  • Trevor - 2012-02-09 20:57

    Zuma Zuma Comrade....where do you come up with this information...and think you should fire your "adivsors" and use's bound to be alot more accurate than the ABSOLUTE nonsense you shoveling now...

  • peterjohnjnb - 2012-02-09 21:05

    Infrastructure development is always good news. It means more work for industry and for construction - as well the various development arms attached to these industries. R300B is no joke - that's massive investment - however.... He speaks of the state as if there is a "state" to speak of. Fact remains there is simply no competent delivery mechanism for such an ambitious project - and though we all know Transnet is in DIRE need of upgrades...really, do we want to push all this money through an organisation which has repeatedly shown itself to be at the very heart of mismanagement? So.....Tenders at the ready??? Here we go......

      Jymiro - 2012-02-09 21:40

      "no competent delivery mechanism" where do you live peter, to mention by the few huge projects that were delivered and no corruption ever reported, Grautrain, World Cup Stadiums,Guateng Freeway Project etc. Don't feed us lies

      Gustav - 2012-02-09 21:49

      And under which rock do you live Jymiro? "No curruption ever reported" indeed....

  • George - 2012-02-09 21:07

    this is a step in the right direction. Lindiwe was huffing n puffing like a little chiuawawa. She really irritates me that one.

      heinrich.crouse - 2012-02-09 23:37

      You fool yourself. I'm sure it's not the first time. We are going the opposite way of the right direction. I mean wrong, not left. Lindiwe, as a right thinking (as in not wrong, and a little left) South African and a leader SHOULD BE visibly upset at the misrepresentation of our collapsed education system by this farmhand who so very very accurately judges your and most of the voters' inability to see through his little parlor trick of saying it's all good when it's, in fact, very very bad.

  • evertpbotha - 2012-02-09 21:10

    Lower the standard to just above feeding grade and you are bound so see an upward trend.

  • Moss - 2012-02-09 21:14

    Maybe he should comment about the Quality of education not Quantity!!

  • Marius - 2012-02-09 21:15

    Mmm. Trying to make the Western Cape look bad. I am not convinced Mister President.

      Vusi - 2012-02-09 22:04

      Yes that was disgusting bringing that up about the Western Cape when the EC has almost a 100% fail rate for matrics!!!!!!!

  • Johnny - 2012-02-09 21:16

    Jacob, jou LIE... for example... what about the Eastern Cape ??????????

  • Mike_or_Mpho - 2012-02-09 21:23


  • Jymiro - 2012-02-09 21:31

    There i san old saying that don't play the man, play the ball. Small thinkers discuss people. The speech was most encouraging and giving direction where the government is heading this country. The President has broker ranks and announced big infrastructure projects expenditure which our economy mostly needed, that must be commendable. Government's acknowledgemnt of corruption and steps that they are taking is a ssign of relief. Lets judge him on his performance. Lets be pessimist, this is our country and our home. Rome was never built in one. I was also encouraged by the governments action to address housing problems for people earning between 3500 and 15000 who don't qualify for RDP and mortgage bonds. At last they will have someting called home.

      bernpm - 2012-02-09 21:59

      :...big infrastructure projects expenditure ..." Much of that was in place in 1994 for then circumstances. "Government's acknowledgemnt of corruption and steps that they are taking is a ssign of relief." Would agree,until this new secrecy law was pushed down our throats. ANC has lost the trust of the nation. Hope they can win it back or else: just go!

      Scouter - 2012-02-09 21:59

      "Lets be pessimist, this is our country and our home" With you on that one - I've been pessimistic for over a decade now.

  • Vosloo - 2012-02-09 21:37

    Ja they are doing wood work 1 + 1 so dis hoekom hulle nog nie skool toe is nie want hout werk is te swaar vir hulle

  • phathuchicos - 2012-02-09 22:11

    "Focus on education", I'm sure he's bluffing. We are in the bottom of the ranks with our failing education system and NSFAS is not enough to make a dent in our low graduates output. Next time he beta be focusing on ANC party budget...atleast that's what they are very good at. A few seconds ago ยท Like

  • heinrich.crouse - 2012-02-09 23:23

    This tool is so obvious with his Western Cape reference. Ye, buddy, no one who can read believes that WC is the problem, so you scored easy points there.

  • daniel.malan3 - 2012-06-16 00:27

    haha couldn't even make primary school never mind matric

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