Five reasons why Angie Motshekga must be fired

Issued by Baxolile (Bax) Nodada MP – DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education
29 Oct 2023 in News

Note to Editors: Find attached a voicenote from the DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education, Baxolile (Bax) Nodada MP

The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, and her Department is continuing to fail in providing quality education to South African youth condemning them to a lifetime of poverty, unemployment, and hunger.

Her failure is contributing to the 3.4 million young people not in employment, education, or training, and the more than 60% of 15 – 24 years olds not having jobs at all, likely because the Minister and her Department failed to provide them with the skills to succeed.

And now, instead of focusing on improving the quality of education by addressing the systemic failures plaguing basic education – overcrowding, quality teaching, unsafe infrastructure, dropouts – the Minister and her ANC colleagues bulldozed the damaging Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill through Parliament yesterday. This draconian Bill will disempower school governing bodies (SGBs), parents, and communities from making decisions about their children’s education.

The DA and civil society organisations will launch legal action against the BELA Bill and continue to call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Minster Motshekga.

  1. Learner’s lack of foundational numeracy and literacy skills

The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) revealed that 81% of grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning in any language, and 56% of grade 6 learners cannot read for meaning when tested on grade 4 levels.

According to results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) only 37% of grade 5s and 41% of grade 9s have the required numeracy skills, while only 28% of grade 5 learners and 36% of grade 9 learners had acquired the basic subject knowledge and skills in science.

  1. Poor quality teaching

The SACMEQ IV report revealed that only 27.8% of teachers could read analytically, while only 64% had critical reading skills at a grade 6 level. Only 32.4% of teachers had concrete problem-solving skills when tested at a grade 6 level and only 35.4% had abstract problem-solving skills. In 2022, a total 1 575 unqualified and under-qualified teachers were employed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

  1. Severe infrastructure failures

Learners are forced to attend schools where classrooms are overcrowded. 471 schools still do not have proper sanitation facilities; 5 201 schools still have pit toilets. Learners are forced to attend schools in facilities built with mud and asbestos; some buildings are so unsafe that learners are taught under trees. 69.9% of schools do not have libraries, 80.7% have no laboratories, 58.16% are without computer facilities, and 35% have no access to sports facilities.

Every deadline to eradicate pit toilets and address infrastructure problems through the ASIDI and SAFE programmes have been missed.

  1. High dropout rates and the real matric pass rates

The DA calculates the real matric pass rate by bringing into account the number of learners that dropped out at the end of grade 9 and never made it to matric. The dropout rate for the 2022 matric class was 31.8 % (337 364 learners), with a real matric pass rate of only 54.6%.

  1. Almost R1 billion in irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure

The 2022/23 annual report revealed R 954 943 000 in irregular expenditure and R20 415 000 in fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

It is time that Minister Motshekga’s head rolled, and South Africa had a competent Minister of Basic Education that cared about the future of our children and empowered them with the necessary skills and knowledge to have prosperous, successful lives.

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