Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Education Department briefs portfolio committee on "skills revolution"

The Director General (DG) for Basic Education, Mr Mathanzima Mweli gave a detailed presentation to the Education Portfolio Committee updating the committee on the implementation of the Department's "Skills Revolution" with the implementation of the three stream education system. The model consists of an Academic Stream, Technical Vocational Stream and a Technical Occupational Stream. One of the major reasons for introducing the three stream system is to improve retention of learners and decrease dropout rates as well as to meet the skills demands of the economy and address unemployment.

The Technical Vocational Stream will incorporate the following learning areas:
  • Engineering Graphic Design (EGD)
  • Civil Technology
  • Electrical Technology
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Technical Mathematics
  • Technical Sciences
The committee received a detailed update on the numbers of teachers that have been trained and Technical High Schools have been adequately equipped to deal with the updated curriculum through the Recapitalization of Technical High Schools. The DG indicated that LTSM has been developed, printed and distributed and that the department was ready to implement the Programme as planned for the 2016 academic year.

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Mrs Nomalungelo Gina commended the Department for the progress made in the implementation of the Three Stream Education model.

"This is one of the initiatives that we are very proud of as the Portfolio Committee. The fact that the department has moved in this is, is something that we are very happy with and very proud of".

The Department also updated the committee on the Department's Second Chance Programme. The National Senior Certificate (NSC) is an absolute necessity for meaningful citizenry. Despite the many intensified efforts by the Basic Education Sector to support more learners to achieve a National Senior Certificate, many leave school without this vital certification. The Second Chance Programme aims to provide support to learners who have not been able to meet the requirements of the NSC thereby meeting the goals of the NDP and the sector by increasing learner retention.

The programme consists of three phases.
  1. Learners that qualify to write the supplementary (max 2 subjects) examinations to be piloted in 2016 in seven (7) subjects with a low achievement and high enrolment rate and in districts with large numbers of prospective learners (Examinations written in Feb/March)
  2. Progressed learners – out of school learners (pilot 2016) who will have multiple opportunities to complete the NSC, conditional to shelf life of the SBA. (Examinations written in May/June)
  3. Learners that failed to meet the NSC requirements which will be planned for in 2016 and rolled out in 2017. 
The Second Chance Programme consists of a blended support package for these learners. These include face to face tuition with Gr 12 teachers, Multimedia Broadcasting Solutions used to augment face to face teaching (these include Telematics, IBP, and others). Learners have also been able to access Mindset content via Openview. These learners have also been able to use the Mind the Gap series which were printed and delivered districts, among other support mechanisms.

The Second Chance Programme piloted the face to face lessons across the country and they consisted of: 2 districts per province (18), 2 venues per district (36), 3 teachers per subject per venue with approximately 100 registered learners per venue per subject.

The DBE reported that digital support played a big role in the Second Chance Programme to great success. Telematics Broadcasting Solution was utilized in 322 schools. The Internet Broadcasting Project (IBP) was used in the Free State in 60 schools and Mindset Broadcasts (DSTV and HD Open View) – 828 schools and 74 Vodacom/Teacher Centres used.

Elijah Mhlanga – 083 580 8275
Troy Martens – 079 899 3070


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