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DBE workbooks imageThe DBE has distributed over 70 million workbooks in 2013 2 December 2013 - In her speech on 22 November, Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga reported on the progress in the educational sector including national assessments, the envisaged curriculum implementations, school infrastructure norms and standards and universal coverage of textbooks. She contributed much of the progress made on the sustained focus on the 3Ts of 'Teacher, Text and Time on Task'. The minister thanked South Africans for responding to the call to make Education a societal issue by getting involved in various ways and supporting government's number 1 priority.

The Minister reported that the Matric examinations have seen no major incidents. The marking progress has started on 1 December in all provinces and the results will be announced on 6 January 2014. Also the Annual National Assessment (ANA) 2013 is being finalised. The DBE and the provinces, as well as an independent agency are in the process of analysing the captured data in order to report the results on 5 December 2013.


Schools infrastructure

The regulations around minimum norms and standards for public schools infrastructure have been published in the Government Gazette on 29 November 2013 and can be downloaded here. (PDF 1.4 MB). Aim of these regulations is to ensure compliance with these norms and standards in the design and construction of new schools and additions, alterations and improvements to existing schools. They also provide for timeframes within which school infrastructure backlogs must be eradicated.

Over the past 18 weeks the DBE has handed over a school a week in the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI). All ASIDI schools are state of the art facilities that are equipped with a multimedia centre with a library and a computer laboratory.


2014 CAPS and African Language Policy implementation

In 2014 the implementation of Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) will be completed with the roll-out of CAPS in Grades 7-9 and 12. The CAPS were introduced in 2012 in the foundation phase with the objective to simplify content and make it clearer for teachers to teach and learners to learn better. The DBE has developed draft CAPS for technical schools, which will cater for specialisation in civil technology, electrical technology, mechanical technology, technical science and technical mathematics.

Also in 2014 the Department intends on incrementally introducing the African Language Policy. This policy promotes and develops previously marginalised languages and exposes learners to languages academically that they may use at home but do not study as part of the curriculum, as well as introduce those who have never been exposed to an African Language. Effectively all learners will be offered three languages. The implications for the introduction will result in an extra two or three hours of teaching and learning per week. The DBE aims to incrementally introduce the African language as an additional language with full Grade 1 implementation by 2015.

With regards to mathematics, Science and Technoloy (MST), the department is following the recommendations of the ministerial task team on MST and is planning to establish a dedicated Maths, Science and Technology department.


Universal textbook coverage

As part of the commitment to improve literacy and numeracy skills of learners, the DBE aims to have one text book per child per subject by 2014, so-called 'universal coverage'. The process of delivery in all provinces is currently on going and the DBE is confident that at the start of the school year all learners will have a text book in their hand.

In addition to the textbooks, the Department has produced a series of workbooks in line with the CAPS curriculum to assist learners in grades R-9. The total amount of workbooks distributed by DBE in 2013 is 70 million. These include over 50 million workbooks for grades 1-9 and over 16 million Natural Science for grades 4-6. Grade R learners have received 1 book for each of the 4 terms. Teachers and parents have indicated that these workbooks are helpful resources and the department will continue to distribute them in 2014.


Digital educational resources

The workbooks are also available online and can be found here. Workbooks from grades 1 -9 are converted into interactive applications. Interactive meaning that the learners can conduct interactive experiments themselves on a computer, smart phone or tablet application where they can see the effects of actual science experiments as if it were done in a lab. Currently the natural science and technology (NST) interactive work books for grades 4 -6 are available. The NST workbook for grade 7-9 will be interactive by the end of the year.

In collaboration with the Department of Communications a new portal hosting digital teacher development material as well as learner material has been developed. The portal is called Educloud and can be found here.

The use of a tablet solution to provide digital content to teachers and learners is currently being piloted in Cofimvaba in the rural Eastern Cape in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology and CSIR.


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