Johannesburg:The Gauteng Education Department has intensified interventions over the past financial year to address the quality of learning in literacy, languages and mathematics.
Presenting the department’s report for the pass financial year on Wednesday, MEC for Education, Barbara Creecy said the department had made strides in implementing quality education, especially in poor schools.
The report focused on progress made against its goals set as a province to dramatically improve the learner outcome and ultimately improve the quality of education offered across the province, for 2010/2011.
Among the highlights of the achievements included the successful implementation of the innovative foundation phase to improve the quality of teaching and learning in literacy and numeracy in targeted schools.
A first for the country was the department’s introduction of a coaching programme to support teachers in the foundation phase.
“We targeted 792 underperforming primary schools, where all 6 496 teachers in the foundation phase were provided with quarterly lesson plans and were trained quarterly on the use of the lesson plans.
“All learners were provided with workbooks and graded readers in all official languages and each foundation, classroom was provided with two library trollies containing a total of 120 books each,” Creecy said.
With regard to improving learning in Grades 8 – 9, through the Secondary Schools Intervention Programmes, the department targeted teachers in 391 under performing secondary schools for training in problem areas in mathematics and science teaching.
“We trained a total of 6 765 FET teachers in science and mathematics content where we identified content gaps and backlogs.”
The department also managed to intensify its interventions into Grade 10 -12 through the Secondary Schools Intervention Programme (SSIP) – this has seen an improvement in the performance of learners in the 2011 Senior Certificate Examination.
The department, which has set a target of 80% pass rate in Grade 12, through SSIP, they’ve managed to achieve a pass rate of 81.1%.
Creecy said the most notable achievement by the department was the implementation of the school safety strategy in all priority high risk schools.
“We promised to improve the security at schools and employed over 6 500 school patrollers to provide security at schools which has resulted in a decline in burglaries at school,” she said.
In addition, the department has successfully implemented measures to improve on the audit outcome in 2011/12; this Creecy said has assisted in improving the public accountability of the funds voted to the department to deliver quality education.
“I’m also pleased that the department has managed to improve in its responsibility of carrying out its fiduciary duties and for prudent manner in which the resources voted to the department have been managed, culminating in a third consecutive unqualified audit opinion,” a proud Creecy said.