Promise to black kids

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

The education of the black child continues to be compromised 13 years into democracy, Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa acknowledged yesterday.

"While we have made important strides in redressing the inequalities of the education system of the past, we have not yet succeeded in ensuring that the quality of education of the African child is up to scratch," he said.

Shilowa, who was speaking during his State of the Province Address at the legislature, said that while matric results in the province had improved, there was still concern about the performance of black children.

"It is still the African child who learns in overcrowded schools. It is African children who have a higher failure rate. It is the township schools where the African child is based and is dysfunctional," said Shilowa.

He said an urgent summit would bring together education stakeholders and would be held before the end of the first term.

"The summit will agree on a programme of action to improve the quality of education of the African child in our province over the next two years," he said.

To contain the decline in the quality of education several measures would be implemented, including career guidance for schools where the failure rates were high.

"All educators' competence will be assessed to ensure they teach subjects in which they are best qualified and ensure there is a match between subject allocation and competence.

"Principals and their senior management teams at poorly performing schools will be given additional training. Principals with shortcomings will be partnered with competent ones," he said.

Shilowa promised that stringent measures would be taken should there be no improvement after three months of support.

He said the government had prioritised the implementation of no-fee schools to increase access to education for the poorest children.