Education misses ICT

Read time 2min 10sec

ICT didn't make it into basic education minister Angie Motshekga's budget vote speech yesterday.

This is despite a call by the department last month for ICT to be used as an “enabler and equaliser” in the education system.

Speaking at a recent roundtable on ICT support for teaching and learning, Motshekga said there is an urgent need to further explore ICT solutions to support administration, teaching and learning in schools.

She added that these ICT solutions may include using educational programming, the Internet, radio and TV broadcasting of lessons.

The minister said the department is in the process of developing an effective strategy for using ICT as an enabler in classrooms. However, she failed to make mention of any such strategy in her budget vote speech.

Tech strategy

She did say the department will continue to focus on the key subjects to steer quality education outcomes.

“Given the key role of gateway subjects in accelerating economic transformation and growth, we will do more to improve performance in mathematics and science.”

She added that the department is already developing a maths and technology strategy to reinforce the Dinaledi Schools programme.

The programme has received a conditional grant, amounting to R70 million in 2011/12, and this will reach R105.5 million in 2013/14.

Valuable programme

There are 500 designated Dinaledi schools across SA. The primary objective of the Dinaledi project is to ensure these schools are supported to significantly increase the participation and performance of learners in mathematics and physical science.

The aim is to ultimately increase the number of students entering the engineering and ICT fields, by emphasising the focus on maths and science at these schools, since both subjects are key building blocks for entry into the ICT sector.

However, there was a decrease in the number of Dinaledi schools students writing physical science and mathematics in the 2010 National Senior Certificate Examinations when compared to 2009.

In 2010, 59% or 21 925 of those who wrote physical science passed. More than 13 000 of these learners passed at 50% and above. This was more than double the number in 2009, when only 5 188 Dinaledi learners passed physical science at more than 50%.

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