SA’s illiteracy level decreases – Education Minister Motshekga

Angelina Matsie Motshekga

The number of young people in South Africa over the age of 15 with no schooling has been reduced from 4.7 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2011, says Basic Education Minister Angelina Matsie Motshekga.

Minister Motshekga made the announcement on Wednesday 22 January, in London, at the Education World Forum, which was attended by Education Ministers from various countries in the continent.

 In her presentation at the three-day forum, Motshekga also pointed out remarkable achievements in adults through the Kha Ri Gude educational programme (Let us Read). The programme, which targets 4.7 million adults with no schooling, reached 3.5 million adults by 2013.

 According to the department’s spokesperson Troy Martins, this was due to a number of initiatives put in place to improve education.

 “Parents are now showing interest in the education of their children,” she said.

 Martins also alluded to educational programmes the department put in place to encourage learners.

 Motshekga attributed the improvements, to among other things, better facilities, which includes infrastructure.

 According to Motshekga, since 1996, the number of public ordinary schools without sanitation declined from 3 200 to just under 900, schools without water declined from 9 300 to just under 1 800.

 She added that around 2 700 new schools and just under 80 000 new classrooms were built countrywide.

Between 1996 and 2013, the number of public ordinary schools with electricity increased from 11 100 to 20 900. Schools with water increased from 17 400 to around 22 100, and those with libraries increased from 4 500 to just under 5 200.

 SA, UK sign partnerships to improve education

Meanwhile, in a bid to improve education in South Africa, the United Kingdom and South Africa agreed to forge partnerships in the field of English language education at the forum.

Formalising an agreement between the two countries to explore bilateral partnership and collaboration in the English language sector, British Council Chief Executive, Martin Davidson, met Chief Director of the South African Department of Basic Education (DBE), Carol Nuga-Deliwe to sign a Declaration of Intent on English language co-operation.

The signing followed a historic meeting between UK Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, and Minister Motshekga at the Education World Forum.

 To be implemented by the British Council in the UK and the Department of Basic Education in South Africa, both countries will be working side by side to ensure the Declaration’s successful enactment. –

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