17 June 2020 - NW1044
Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Basic Education
(1) Whether, with reference to her reply to question 102 on 13 February 2020, (a) a timeframe has been set for the 2020 collection of national dataset to be completed; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether her department has any plans to get schools to reinstate Mathematics as one of the subjects to be offered; if not, what plans are in place to increase the number of learners taking Mathematics as a subject; if so, what are the relevant details?
Response to Parliamentary question 1044
EMIS data is captured at source level (schools) on the transactional system called the South African School Administration and Management System (SA-SAMS) and uploaded to the National Data Repository called the Learner Unit Record Information and Management System (LURITS) from which statistical reporting takes place. The LURITS has built-in validation rules to verify data. This system was opened on 23 March 2020 for processing of the 2020 Enrolment Upload by the Provincial Education Departments and the initial closing date of LURITS uploads was planned for 30 June 2020. This date was reviewed to close LURITS on 12 June 2020 for 2020 Enrolment data in response to the growing need of updated data. There is a further verification exercise and process of approval from the Provincial Heads of Departments, prior to finalization of the data for reporting purposes. The 2020 data will therefore be finalised by end July 2020 for reporting.
To increase learner participation and performance in the MST subjects, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has developed an Integrated Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) Strategy (2019-2030), in close collaboration with sister departments namely Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and Various directives from the Director-General regarding the mandatory offering, by all Public Ordinary Schools, of Mathematics or Technical Mathematics in Technical High Schools.
This was issued in Circular S13 of 2015, entitled, “THE MANDATORY OFFERING OF MATHEMATICS AS A CHOICE SUBJECT IN ALL SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE NATIONAL SENIOR CERTIFICATE(NSC)”. .
Since then, Circular S15 of 2015, Circular S1 of 2016 and Circular S6 of 2016 were issued regarding the implementation of Technical subjects including Technical Mathematics and Technical Science. The purpose of these directives was to reiterate the policy requirement of ensuring that all NSC pupils taking Technical subjects were to offer Technical Mathematics, not Mathematical Literacy. In addition, the policy precludes NSC candidates from offering Mathematical Literacy in conjunction with Physical Science.
Interventions of the DBE include directed funding support to 1000 schools, provided to all Provincial Education Departments (PEDs), via the MST Conditional Grant which also specifically aims at supporting PED’s programmes that will increase the number of girls who take MST subjects.
To address the challenge posed by schools that are unable to recruit Mathematics teachers, the DBE, in 2016 concluded a MoU with TEACHSA.
This Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) recruits and trains recently graduated young men and women, termed TEACHSA Ambassadors, with MST-related degrees, who are then placed in ‘difficult to staff’ schools.
Since 2015, 289 TEACH Ambassadors have served school communities throughout the country. Their contributions have resulted in measurable increases in pupil enrolment as well as improving quality of outcomes. The work done by them has been recognised for its excellence, as evidenced by their receipt of accolades in the National Teacher Awards.