TOM STOKES, MPP
DA KZN SPOKESPERSON ON EDUCATION
THE National Department of Basic Education has again presented South Africans with an education policy – the new Curriculum and Assessment Policy statement (CAPs) – which has not been well thought through from concept to implementation.
The problem lies with the handing over of the training of educators to teacher unions, who are simply not geared to the task. While it is both necessary and beneficial to use existing educators as part of the roll-out in terms of training, there appears to be a lack of administrative capacity within unions to fulfil this crucial mandate. The concerns expressed by the KwaZulu-Natal School Governing Body Association, after courses scheduled to take place last week were cancelled, are completely justifiable. The reality is that despite the new syllabus having been introduced at the start of the current academic year, training of teachers has not yet taken place in many of our province’s schools. This begs the question – to what extent are our schools going to implement the new CAPs syllabus when educators are not at the stage where they can teach the syllabus?
Equally important is the fact that funds for new textbooks have not been allocated within KZN. Using prices from a large supplier, new books for seven subjects in grade 10 would cost over R1 000. Quite clearly the vast majority of schools with limited funds will not have the extra R50 000 to R100 000 to do this. This means that learners will either have to share books or do without in certain subjects – an unacceptable solution.
The DA calls on KZN Education MEC, Senzo Mchunu, to issue a clear road map for teachers and principals on when and where training will take place and how the funding of textbooks is to be managed given the already tight budgets our schools are faced with.