The Free State, which has had the country's highest matric pass rate for the previous three years, has outlined its goals for equipping students, teachers, and schools to do better in 2022/23. On Tuesday, Education MEC Tate Makgoe made his budget speech for the financial year 2022/23, stating that the allocated budget was R17.29 billion, up 6.2 percentage points from the previous financial year. The matric pass percentage for the Class of 2021 was 85.7 percent, up marginally from 85.1 percent in 2020. Since the inception of the National Senior Certificate in 2008, the province has been ranked first six times.
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Establish a plan of action
"We have made various efforts in the previous few years to push an agenda of providing pupils with important 21st-century skills and enabling a wider uptake of work-related and entrepreneurial competences," Makgoe said on Tuesday. "These include developing a competency-based curriculum and implementing a three-stream approach for technical and vocational topics."
... [along with] designing a recovery plan, rebooting and rejigging the system, utilizing current information communication technologies [ICTs] and blended learning platforms to guarantee that the required learning outcomes are attained and improved."
The education department has purchased laptops for 18 officials who assist with curriculum delivery, 14 teachers have received national teacher awards, 30 engineering and graphics and design teachers have received data projectors, and 1 690 mathematics and physical science Grade 12 students have received tablets.
In the context of Covid-19, Makgoe's 2022 plan to reboot secondary schools envisions equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and competences of a changing world. In collaboration with a Dutch company named Rijk Zwaan, grade 8 and 9 students in all agricultural schools will be taught to growing seedlings and harvesting crops.
Makgoe stated that the goal of the partnership was to teach students about food security. "To achieve the project's goals, we will offer tunnels to 14 agricultural schools." All Grade 8 and 9 students will receive printed readers in English and their native languages as part of the provincial reading strategy.
"This year, a pilot [program] to improve performance in home languages will be implemented in 70 quintile 1 schools. During a reading session, these schools will be given English and Sesotho reading packages to use. A specific support program for mathematics and physical science students in grades 10 to 12 will be implemented."
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Development has transferred approximately 1 345 sponsored early childhood development (ECD) centers in the Free State to the Department of Education. A total of 64 officials have been transferred to the Department of Education, including social workers, auxiliary social workers, infrastructure technicians, and administrative professionals.
"... the ECD migration presents us with an opportunity to develop and apply creative techniques to promote basic learning across the lifespan, from birth to early grades." Three Grade R practitioners will be trained at a cost of about R3 million.
"The National Curriculum Framework [NCF] will be taught to about 1000 pre-grade R practitioners." A total of 2500 practitioners will receive NCF materials. Another 1000 practitioners will be taught on how to use toy libraries to help youngsters learn via play. Approximately 200 childcare centers will get instructional items. Furthermore, 200 pre-Grade R practitioners from the districts of Motheo, Xhariep, and Thabo Mofutsanyane will be upskilled to NQF Level 4."
Makgoe stated that R294 million and R12 million were allocated to Grade Rs at public schools and ECD centers, respectively.
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