By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Limpopo Provincial Leader:
Over 9000 Grade 11 learners in Limpopo schools were progressed to grade 12 despite challenges faced by the department including among others lack of teacher training and poor Norms and Standards system, a serious cause for concern for DA Limpopo.
An analysis of the LDOE 4th quarter report shows that the department will conduct teacher training when the ‘budget is made available’. The department does not indicate ‘when’ will money become available for training, let alone allocate any amount of money for teacher training in its Annual Performance Plan for the 2015/16 financial year. Shockingly, Only 141 teachers from 3915 schools received maths training in the 3rd quarter of the previous financial year.
Although learner progression stipulates that no learner should repeat their senior year twice, it remains cause for serious concern for the DA.
The notion that learners who still have not acquired the necessary aptitude or achieved the needed learning outcomes are pushed through from one grade to another is particularly problematic. Especially in a context where there is very little or no teacher training to assist nor any evident ‘catch –up’ programmes for learners.
One of the justifications for learner retainment is that there are too many learner dropout of high school after Grade 9 and that the education system needs to keep learners in classrooms or as long as possible.
We believe that only quality education will allow us to deliver on our vision of opportunities for all.
Lack of teacher training, skills development, shortage of resources and high amounts of service debts owed to municipalities are just some of the dire consequences that schools face due to the 60% reduction and late payment of Norms and Standards funding.
A national DA government will work with provincial education departments, seeking to ensure that our children emerge from school having mastered the fundamentals of literacy and numeracy at internationally benchmarked levels, with their education having emphasised information literacy to prepare them for the modern economy.
The DA calls on the department to efficiently and effectively give schools the initially allocated amount of Norms and Standards to ensure that the progressed learners get proper assistance from well trained teachers.