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Article by: Sapa
Published: 19 Jul 2012
|Education must improve – Motshekga|
Much needed to be done to improve the quality of education in South Africa, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said in Johannesburg on Thursday.
"Poverty... is a major barrier to education," Motshekga said at an SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) workshop on the charter of basic education rights.
The need for accurate baseline information was pivotal to measure progress, she said.
In a speech prepared for delivery, Motshekga said the Constitution, through the Bill of Rights, put children first.
She said her department and the SAHRC needed further talks regarding the details of the charter.
An official in the presidency said education was improving, though not at the speed the government wanted.
The government could on its own however not achieve quality education, said Thabo Mabogoane, deputy director general for performance monitoring and evaluation in the presidency.
Civil society and other independent organisations also played a role, he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the workshop.
"We view the role of civil society as an important part of delivering quality education."
There were still structural issues which needed to be addressed, such as where teachers were placed, and ensuring that they were on time.
Mabogoane said progress was being made as more students were writing matric, and the quality of that matric was important.
Helen Malgas, chairwoman of Parliament's portfolio committee on basic education, said major education concerns were a lack of teachers, pupil truancy, textbooks, and pupil transport.
Financial management within provincial departments also needed attention, but Malgas was confident both the national and provincial departments would learn from current problems.
"Let us not compare other provinces to what is happening in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo," she said in a speech delivered at the workshop.
"It is our view that the right to education is being realised."
Malgas said sign language needed to be made an official language to improve its access.