The Head of the Gauteng Provincial Government’s Department of Education, Mr Edward Mosuwe, briefed the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on its progress in meeting the commitments it made when the NCOP’s Taking Parliament to the People programme was last province, in November 2018.  

“The department has complied with questions that were posed by the NCOP in 2018. We have also observed the objectives of the visit on the impact of in-migration on the education sector in Gauteng,” Mr Mosuwe said. The province currently has 2.4 million pupils in the system, and attracts 100 000 pupils every year, accounting for 18 percent of the total number of pupils in the country, the NCOP heard.

Despite this, Gauteng only has one percent of the total number of schools in the country, Mr Mosuwe claimed. This creates additional stress on already strained resources. “We should be building 200 schools per year to accommodate these rising numbers,” he said.

When asked by members of the NCOP about the presence of asbestos in some school buildings, Mr Mosuwe assured them that his department is addressing the matter and providing medical examinations to pupils who studied in those schools.  

The high influx of people to the province also proves a challenge when determining the language of instruction. The department is meeting this challenge by diversifying the medium of teaching at schools in the province.

Despite these challenges, Gauteng remains the best performing province in the country, Mr Mosuwe assured the NCOP. “The pass rate for Grade 12 learners in 2019 was 88%, with a Bachelor pass of 43,6 %, narrowing the gap between township and non-township schools to 2.5%,” he added.

There are also no pit latrines in the province and over 198 schools have undergone major rehabilitation. In addition, 1 125 schools have been prioritised for special maintenance.

 The department has also successfully implemented the information and communication technology and e-Learning programme, which is the first of its kind nationally. As a result, he said, this intervention has increased learning and teaching in many schools in the province.  

On security, Mr Mosuwe reported that the provincial department has introduced scholar patrols at various schools. However, these were not registered and the department is trying to resolve the matter as speedily as possible.

 Abel Mputing
18 March 2020