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Strides made in improving curriculum - Motshekga

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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says there have been major
developments in the education sector, particularly in the transformation of the
curriculum.

Speaking at the Unisa Curriculum Transformation Conference underway in
Pretoria, Motshekga said the National Curriculum Statement has been
strengthened through the development of the Curriculum Assessment Policy
Statements (CAPS), which specify content and establish a sequence and pace
per grade.

Additional support, the minister said, has also been provided through the
CAPS orientation process for subject advisors.

Motshekga said provinces have trained teachers in CAPS and the
incremental implementation schedule was on target. This included
implementation in the foundation phase and Grade 10 in 2012; the intermediate
phase and Grade 11 in 2013, and in the senior phase and Grade 12 in 2014.

"This was a major achievement for education. What should be noted though
is that the revised CAPS did not replace the National Curriculum Statement. They
were developed specifically to strengthen the National Curriculum
Statement.'

Although challenges remain, Motshekga said they were systematically
addressing them.

Another priority area that the ministry has undertaken was to train and provide
teachers to all districts and schools.

"Our department has initiated programmes to address this matter that is key to
ensuring that there is a quality teacher in every classroom, teaching at least
seven hours every school day,' said Motshekga.

She said her ministry was also working closely with the Department of
Higher Education and Training on teacher development by providing bursaries,
among other measures.

The Funza Lushaka bursary programme is now in its seventh year since its
inception and currently supports approximately 14 000 student teachers in
identified priority areas.

Focus on ECD

Another area of development, according to Motshekga, is the new curriculum for
Early Childhood Development (ECD), which is in line with the objectives of the
National Development Plan (NDP).

Progress has also been made through Kha Ri Gude Adult Education and Training
(AET) and matric rewrite programmes, which target the adult population.

Looking ahead, Motshekga said government aimed to improve the standard
of the English language, which is the language used by the majority of learners
at both school and tertiary levels. The department has partnered with the British
Council in the development of a teacher training programme -- the Certificate in
Primary English Language Teaching (CiPELT).

Another programme that will be introduced incrementally is African
languages, which will be piloted in schools in 2014.

"We?ve planned for this, consulted broadly and, as agreed with education
MECs, we will start with a pilot in 2014 in Grade R and 1 with 10 schools in each of
the 86 education districts,' said the minister. - SAnews.gov.za

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