Minister Grant: Progress Made in Achieving Strategic Objectives in Education
Media Statement by Donald Grant, Minister of Education
One of the overarching goals of the Western Cape Government is to provide quality education to all the learners in this province, which is the cornerstone of our vision of an open opportunity society for all.
To make this vision a reality, in November 2009 we planned and released a strategic plan for education for the years 2010 to 2019.
The objective of the plan is to improve academic performance in literacy and numeracy and the National Senior Certificate, as well as reduce the learner drop-out rate.
In order to achieve this, the plan focuses on ten key priority areas and also sets out targets for improvement in the province.
As an open and accountable government, we are subject to review in achieving the objectives as set out in this plan. Therefore, we constantly question whether we are fulfilling our commitments as set out in the plan; we review the priorities and analyse learner results.
It has now been two years since this plan was adopted. And today, the Western Cape Provincial Government can confidently say that we have made significant progress with establishing the foundation necessary to achieve the objectives of improving the quality of education and learner outcomes in the Western Cape.
The attached document will provide you with a full summary of our ten strategic priorities, and what we have achieved to date.
I would like to emphasise that none of our ten key priorities have changed. They all remain the same, as they were formulated in 2009. There is no "shifting of the goal posts" to suit our needs or to hide failures. These are the objectives we have set; the objectives that will carry us until 2019.
It is a sustained, focused and systematic approach that will see us in the period 2010 to 2014 laying the foundation for solid improvements in learner performance in the period that will follow in 2014 to 2019, during which learners will reap the benefits of a system that has been designed and managed to deliver on the targets set.
You can download the 2011 Strategic Objectives in Education document.
While the Western Cape still has some way to go to achieve the objectives set out in its strategic plan, we can point to significant progress that has been made so far.
In 2010, we laid the foundations needed to complete this plan and, in 2011, we built on these foundations, specifically targeting our poorer schools and the Foundation Phase.
We are extremely proud of what we have achieved and are expecting even further improvements in both literacy and numeracy and in the National Senior Certificate this year.
These results will also determine what strategies are working and will provide us with new targets for the 2012 school year.
What we are sure of is that we have some exciting times ahead. The introduction of the performance agreements for principals and deputy principals is the first of its kind in South Africa and it can have significant implications in our schools. We are also looking forward to growing our relationships with the private sector, especially in terms of maintenance and infrastructure development.
Many of our learners are for the very first time ensured that they have the relevant textbooks and we plan to introduce further technology into our schools to enhance teaching and learning practices.
But in everything we do, we will continue to put our learners first and ensure that our teachers are treated as the valued professionals that they are.
Every decision taken in relation to education in the Western Cape will continue to be informed by the need to improve learner outcomes in this province and to provide greater access to quality education.
Note: Community radio stations can have access to a soundbite clip available by contacting the minister's office.
Spokesperson for Minister Grant
Cell: 072 724 1422
Tel: 021 467 2377