DA Calls for Formal Review of DBE 5 Year Plan [press release]

The Democratic Alliance will call on Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education to reject the Department’s 5 year Strategic Plan, following Minister, Angie Motshekga’s failure to set meaningful targets to improve learner outcomes.

Following a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on the 5 year Strategic Plan yesterday, there are NO targets set for:

  • literacy and numeracy despite unacceptable levels in these areas;
  • percentage of schools with a very basic level of school infrastructure;
  • percentage of learners with a textbook for each subject;
  • the number of Grade 12 learners who become eligible for a Bachelors programme at university; and
  • maths and science passes.

One would assume that every action taken by the Department of Basic Education should be aimed at improving learner outcomes. Yet the plans for the next five years are completely devoid of critical targets which should be set in order to measure the delivery of quality education to the children of South Africa.

According to the most recent Annual National Assessment’s, only 3% of Grade 9 learners can be considered numerate and the average for literacy in home languages was only 48%. There are no targets specified for improvements in these dismal results. Why not?

The only target linked to learner outcomes is the matric pass rate. The Minister is aiming to achieve a 76% pass rate this year. This is exactly the same as last year, and implies that no improvement is expected. This could be because the Minister is not prepared to set higher targets and then be found wanting.

Education must be about learner outcomes. Without this, measuring the effectiveness, or lack thereof, is entirely meaningless.

I have previously written to the Minister, based on the draft performance plan, raising the DA’s concern about the lack of targets. The plan is now official and is still lacking in meaningful targets.

The plans presented by the Minister cannot possibly ensure that our children have the quality basic education to which they have a constitutional right. They must be revised.

Annette Lovemore

Shadow Minister of Basic Education