Creating opportunities for our youth
The Western Cape Government is committed to improving education outcomes and creating opportunities for the youth living in the Province. Over the next three years, the Western Cape Government will empower the youth by investing R69.870 billion through quality education and improving educational outcomes. In 2017, the Western Cape achieved a pass rate of 83 per cent for the National Senior Certificate examinations. A total of 40 440 learners passed, of which 19 101 achieved passes which allow them to enter a Bachelor’s degree study programme.
With 1 021 492 learners attending public schools during 2017 in the Western Cape, R4.754 billion will be spent over the next three years to build new schools and improving existing infrastructure to accommodate increasing learner numbers and to ensure learners in the Province have access to educational facilities that are conducive to learning.
Improving the quality of education, in-and-out of school time, particularly in no- and low-fee schools remains a top priority. In addition to increasing learners’ literacy and numeracy levels, the initiatives aim to improve young people’s access to economic and social opportunities in the Province, and helping families to support children and youth through development programmes.
The Provincial Treasury identified a skills shortage in the fields of Economics, Accounting, Finance and Auditing. In 2008 a bursary programme and an Essay Bursary competition was implemented to address these shortages by providing the youth with the opportunity to access tertiary education. This year the department will spend R3.1 million on bursaries and R15.5 million on internships. Through bursaries and internships, the Provincial Treasury aims to create a talent pool of young people to fill positions where these scarce skills are needed.
The Provincial Treasury is also a SAICA registered training office for prospective chartered accountants. The Chartered Accountant Academy (CAA) was created to attract and retain the best finance and accounting professionals within the Western Cape Government.
“By ensuring we have people with the right skills, we can embed good financial governance within the Western Cape municipalities and provincial departments. said Finance Minister, Dr Ivan Meyer.
Here are other examples of how budget allocations is creating opportunities for our youth:
- Quality education. R69.87 billion is allocated towards Education over the next three years to provide continued focus on improving the level of language and mathematics in all schools; increasing the number and quality of passes in the National Senior Certificate; and increasing the quality of education at the 1 437 public ordinary schools. An additional allocation of R533.9 million has been provided over the 2018 MTEF to manage service load pressures such as increased education demands and learner growth.
- Improved school attendance. The learner transport scheme is expected to be extended to 59 371 learners in 2018, while 604 486 learners are expected to benefit from the no-fee option, and 473 136 leaners will benefit from the School Nutrition Programme.
- Preparing youth for the future. R308.316 million will be spent over the next three years to updating technology and access to eLearning. eLearning will enhance the teaching and learning experience of learners as it focuses on improving digital infrastructure at all schools. It provides web-based information and services to learners, parents, teachers, school administrators and partners in education. To date, 294 schools have a local area network connecting every instruction room to the internet and 788 schools have connectivity coverage at a central venue for learners as well as an additional central venue for teachers. Since 2015/16, 6 400 Smart classrooms have been installed, 910 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) labs have been upgraded and 28 808 learner devices have been delivered across the Province. Progress has also been made in creating an e-Culture in schools, setting up an e-Admin system in schools, and training teachers on how to use e‑Technology and e-Content in their lessons. The WCG ePortal now has over 11 600 curriculum-relevant digital resources, with over 310 000 unique users to date.
- Skills development. R21.922 million has been set aside over the 2018 MTEF for skills development and the apprenticeship game changer. The Youth Access Programme, is a partnership with the City of Cape Town and Business Process Enabling South Africa, is a flagship which will assist employers in the Business Process Outsourcing sector to implement a work integrated model for learners. The Apprenticeship Game Changer aims to introduce at least 11 300 qualified apprentices into the labour market by 2019 by working with schools, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and employers across the 5 priority sectors in the Province.
- After School Programmes. The number of learners engaged in regular and consistent after school programming has increased to 72 043 learners, with 361 no- and low-fee schools having registered After School Programmes in 2017/18. The future coverage of the After School Game Changer will include a Grade 4 Mathematics and English Programme, an After School Journal and Research Programme, a Cluster-based Coordinated Sporting Programme as well as a Mathematics eLearning and EduCollaborate Programme. By 2019, 112 000 learners in over 400 schools will have access to After School Programmes. Over the MTEF, R127.076 million has been allocated for the The Mass participation; Opportunity and access; Development and growth (MOD) Programme which promotes healthy living, lifelong activity and lifelong learning. In 2017/18, approximately 36 000 learners attended MOD programmes regularly and consistently at 181 MOD Centres.
- YearBeyond (YEBO) Programme and Youth Cafés. Providing opportunities for and equipping youth to transition to productive and responsible adults is a key tenet of the Western Cape Youth Development Strategy. The YEBO Programme placed over 100 volunteers, who received leadership development and training, at 22 no‑fee schools to provide academic support in literacy and numeracy to 2 000 learners in 2017/18. Youth cafés are designed to provide vibrant, positive spaces where young people are afforded opportunities to access skills development programmes, training workshops, seminars, and entrepreneurial opportunities. Six Youth Cafés have been established across the Province in Rocklands, Vangate Mall, George, Nyanga, Oudtshoorn and Vrygrond with an additional four youth cafés are planned for 2018/19.