JOHANNESBURG, June 1 – Gauteng MEC of Education, Panyaza Lesufi, on Thursday said that teacher development and the transformation of education needed to be prioritised in order for South Africa to move forward.
Speaking during an Education Lekgotla in Boksburg, Lesufi said: “We must have the best teachers and the best facilities.”
He said that the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) lacked financial muscle to eliminate certain challenges that they were facing, but that non-racialism was non-negotiable.
“The education system can not go back to what it was during Apartheid.”
Lesufi said that schools that refused to sing the national anthem and insisted on being single medium schools hurt him.
“We will pursue, I want to remove historical problems so we can focus on education.”
Lesufi described and compared the education system in South Africa to an Irish Coffee, black at the bottom and white at the top, with chocolate sprinkles.
“Until we get it to a South African coffee we are in trouble.”
Lesufi said the poor found education as a gateway out of poverty, which was the reason why quality education was vital to all learners.
He added that the country was buying from other countries because skills weren’t given to locals.
“Township education is facing challenges and the sooner that changes, the better,” Lesufi said.
Later, the GDE director-general, Mathanzima Mweli, said that efficiency and quality were the key areas where the education system was failing.
“The drop-out rate in the world is 1% and in South Africa it’s between 14-16%.”
He said that these were the key things the department needed to focus on and improve by 2030.
The Gauteng province has around 25,000 schools and accommodates around 12 million learners, while independent schools catered for about 590,000 learners in their 1,855 facilities around the province.
The DG said that the Department would be providing speciality schools which would include Mathematics and Science, Art and Maritime schools that would equip learners who were interested in excelling in those industries.
“Thirty thousand artisans are expected to be produced by the department by 2030,” Mweli said.
– African News Agency (ANA)