South Africa has one of the highest rates of public investment in education in the world. Government spending on basic education during 2015/16 is estimated at R203 468-billion. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)Brand South Africa ReporterAccording to the Bill of Rights of South Africa’s Constitution, all South Africans have the right to a basic education, including adult basic education and access to further education. The state has an obligation, through reasonable measures, to progressively make this education available and accessible.South Africa has one of the highest rates of public investment in education in the world. At about 7% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 20% of total state expenditure, the government spends more on education than on any other sector.Government spending on basic education during 2015/16 is estimated at R203 468 billion.Over the next three years, roughly R640 billion will go towards basic education.Three bands of educationStructure and responsibilitiesSchool statisticsHigher education and trainingSpending and challengesAction Plan to 2014Three bands of educationSouth Africa’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) recognises three broad bands of education: General Education and Training, Further Education and Training, and Higher Education and Training.School life spans 13 years or grades, from grade 0, otherwise known as grade R or “reception year”, through to grade 12 or “matric” – the year of matriculation. General Education and Training runs from grade 0 to grade 9.Under the South African Schools Act of 1996, education is compulsory for all South Africans from the age of seven (grade 1) to age 15, or the completion of grade 9.General Education and Training also includes Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET), which is available to adults who want to finish their basic education.Further Education and Training takes place from grades 10 to 12, and also includes career-oriented education and training offered in other Further Education and Training institutions – technical colleges, community colleges and private colleges. Diplomas and certificates are qualifications recognised at this level.The matric pass rate, which was as low as 40% in the late 1990s, has improved considerably. A total of 511 152 candidates sat the matriculation exams in 2012, 73.9% of whom passed. This is an increase of 13.3% since 2009 (60.6%).Structure and responsibilitiesSince 2009, the national Department of Education has been split into two ministries: Basic Education, and Higher Education and Training. Each ministry is responsible for its level of education across the country as a whole, while each of the nine provinces has its own education department.South African Communist Party secretary-general Blade Nzimande is the minister of Higher Education and Training, while former Gauteng Education MEC Angie Motshekga oversees the Ministry of Basic Education.The Ministry of Basic Education focuses on primary and secondary education, as well as early childhood development centres.The Ministry of Higher Education and Training is responsible for tertiary education up to doctorate level, technical and vocational training, as well as adult basic education and training.It also oversees public and private FET colleges, which cater for out-of-school youth and adults. The government aims to have 1-million students enrolled at colleges by 2014.The split also saw the sector education and training authorities (Setas) move from the Department of Labour to Higher Education, aiming to foster a more co-operative approach to skills development.The central government provides a national framework for school policy, but administrative responsibility lies with the provinces. Power is further devolved to grassroots level via elected school governing bodies, which have a significant say in the running of their schools.Private schools and higher education institutions have a fair amount of autonomy, but are expected to fall in line with certain government non-negotiables – no child may be excluded from a school on grounds of his or her race or religion, for example.The Umalusi Council, which is appointed by the minister of Higher Education, sets and monitors standards for general and further education and training, while the Council of Higher Education keeps an eye on higher education and training, including accreditation and quality assurance.School statisticsSouth Africa relies on the matric pass rate as a significant marker of what’s going on in its schools. The matric pass rate, which was as low as 40% in the late 1990s, has improved considerably. South Africa’s 2014 matric students achieved a pass rate of 75.8%. There was an increase in achievements by distinction in subjects such as History: increased from 3.3% to 4.1%, Mathematical Literacy: from 1.8% to 2.4% and Physical Science: 3.0% to 3.3%.The 2015 statistics from the Department of Basic Education show that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination was written by 550 127 full-time learners and 138 533 part-time students, in public and independent schools.In South Africa, the average ratio of learners to teachers is 30.4 to one, which includes educators paid for by school governing bodies. Without those extra posts, the ratio would be 32.3 to one. In general, public schools generally have larger classes than those in independent schools.See a selection of reports to date from the Department of Basic Education’s report, including education statistics for 2014Higher education and trainingHigher Education and Training, or tertiary education, includes education for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, certificates and diplomas, up to the level of the doctoral degree.A matric endorsement is required for the study of university degrees, with a minimum of three subjects passed at the higher, rather than standard, grade, although some universities set additional academic requirements. A standard school-leaving South African senior certificate is sufficient for technical qualifications and diplomas.South Africa has a vibrant higher education sector, with 23 state-funded tertiary institutions: 11 universities, six universities of technology, and six comprehensive institutions. There are also new institutes of higher education, the Northern Cape National Institute for Higher Education, and the Mpumalanga National Institute for Higher Education.Many of South Africa’s universities are world-class academic institutions, at the cutting edge of research in certain spheres. Although subsidised by the state, the universities are autonomous, reporting to their own councils rather than government.See South Africa’s universitiesAccording to figures from the Council of Higher Education, 892 936 students (726 882 undergraduates and 138 610 postgraduates) were enrolled in South Africa’s public higher-education institutions in 2010. Staff employed by these institutions numbered 127 969, with 46 579 of those academic staff.In 2010, the public higher education institutions produced 153 741 qualifications at all levels, with 74 612 qualifications in the human and social sciences; 41 724 in business and commerce; and 37 405 qualifications in science and technology.Higher education is also offered at private institutions, of which there are 88 registered and 27 provisionally registered with the Department of Higher Education to confer specific degrees and diplomas.See the Register of Higher Education Institutions [PDF]Since 2009, the Department of Higher Education and Training has also been responsible for Further Education and Training (FET), which covers training provided from Grades 10 to 12, including career-oriented education and training offered in technical colleges, community colleges and private colleges. There are currently around 450 registered FET colleges in South Africa.See the latest Register of Private FET colleges [PDF], which includes colleges’ approved qualifications and contact details.The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) was established in 1999 to make higher education possible for financially disadvantaged students through loans and concessions, such as not charging interest on student loans until 12 months after a student has graduated.See the National Student Financial Aid Scheme website.Spending and challengesCompared with most other countries, education gets a very large slice of the public pie – around 20% of total state expenditure. It receives the largest share of government spending.More money is always needed to address the huge backlogs left by 40 years of apartheid education. Under that system, white South African children received a quality schooling virtually for free, while their black counterparts had only “Bantu education”, a keystone of the overall apartheid system.Although today’s government is working to rectify the imbalances in education, the apartheid legacy remains. Illiteracy rates currently stand at around 18% of adults over 15 years old (about 9-million adults are not functionally literate), teachers in township schools are poorly trained.Despite the challenges, much has been achieved since apartheid legislation was scrapped. For example, in 1993 nearly half of all students in higher education institutions were white, but since 1994, black African enrolments have nearly doubled, growing by 91% (or 4.4% a year) and overall enrolments have grown by 41% (or 2.3% a year).However, South Africa’s student participation rate – that is, the proportion of 18- to 24-year olds in higher education – is a low 16%.Equity has yet to be achieved: almost 58.5% of whites and around 51% of Indians enter higher education. The rate for coloureds is 14.3%, while blacks are even lower at 12%. The reason for this is generally understood as poor quality primary and secondary schooling, which is a priority for the current government.The greatest challenges for schooling lie in the poorer, rural provinces such as the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Schools are generally better resourced in the more affluent provinces such as Gauteng and the Western Cape.Action Plan to 2014The government’s newest strategy for turning education around is known as “Action Plan to 2014: Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2025”, which aims to improve learning and the work of teachers.With a new curriculum at its heart, the focus is on literacy and numeracy. Known as the national Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), the new curriculum provides very specific guidelines to streamline what is taught in schools with the aim to close the divide between well-resourced and poor schools. Curriculum implementation is supported through the national educational portal, Thutong (Setswana, meaning “place of learning”).Other measures include the introduction of standardised assessments of grade three, six and nine to better track progress; an emphasis on early child development and universal access to Grade R; ensuring learners have access to good quality textbooks; and improving school infrastructure and strengthening school management.Teacher education and development programmes have also been strengthened, including funding for bursaries for trainee teachers.The education of the poorest of the poor remains a priority, and includes two notable programmes. One is no-fee schools, institutions that receive all their required funding from the state and so do not have to charge school fees. These have been carefully identified in the country’s most poverty-stricken areas.The other is the National Schools Nutrition Programme, which gives more than 8.8- million schoolchildren a cooked meal five days a week.Read more about the Action Plan to 2014: Towards the Realisation of Schooling 2025 on the Department of Basic Education’s website.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Abigail Kubeka has played a major role in the evolution of South African music over the years The second episode of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part television series, which airs on SABC 2 on Sunday 22 June at 9pm, will feature a selection of inspiring South Africans who have found fame in the local art, literature and entertainment industries.Singer, songwriter, musical arranger and actress, Abigail Kubeka, has played a major role in the evolution of South African music over the years. Following the destruction of trendy Sophiatown in Johannesburg in the 1950s, Kubeka helped preserve many of the suburb’s well-known musical and cultural traditions.Johnny Clegg’s cross-cultural influence in South Africa – and across the world – as the “White Zulu” also features in the episode, as do a few of his protest songs performed during apartheid, especially the then-controversial Asimbonanga. Clegg has recently returned from a tour to the USA, and the segment looks at his international influence and the role he’s played in spreading a bit of South African culture across the globe.Also featuring is Ian Gabriel, an established talent in the film industry and director of the critically acclaimed Four Corners. Four Corners is a poignant look at gang violence, and juxtaposes South Africa’s film talent with the harsh realities of township life. The movie is a testament to the film industry’s role in communicating the country’s problems to encourage South Africans to help solve them.James Ngcobo, the first black artistic director of the Market Theatre, also known as the “Theatre of the Struggle”, makes an appearance in this episode. We look at the trials of the man whose life began as a boy from KwaMashu Township, born to a maid and a factory worker. The episode also discusses how theatre has helped to unite South Africans of all races.Bothale Boikayo, a Mafikeng local who won SA’s Got Talent in 2012 also features. We discuss her belief that the only way to change the world is to start with changing one person’s life and giving people a purpose and a goal to look forward to. We also look at her plans for the future.Finally, acclaimed author of speculative fiction novels Moxyland and Zoo City – the latter recently bought by Leonardo di Caprio’s production company – Beukes’ vision of the future South Africa is both utopic and dystopic when considering Moxyland. We look at why Beukes envisioned South Africa’s future as she did, and whether her ideas have changed since the release of the popular novel.
Tags:#Browsers#Opera Presto change … oh?Browser maker Opera is ditching its custom-made Presto rendering system for its iOS and Android mobile browsers in favor of WebKit, the layout engine that powers Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome browsers.This is a significant step for Opera and the Web. Presto was one of four viable layout engines on the market (the others being WebKit, Mozilla’s Gecko and Microsoft’s Trident for Internet Explorer). Opera will phase out Presto throughout 2013 and work to enhance aspects of the open source WebKit.Good For The Web?Depending on who you ask, this is either very good or very bad. WebKit is considered the best layout engine by many developers and will enable Opera to run many Web apps and sites that run on iOS and Android that would otherwise been difficult to implement. This will make it easier to create material that will render the same across many browsers. For many developers, any move to WebKit a good thing.“It makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further. Opera will contribute to the WebKit and Chromium projects, and we have already submitted our first set of patches: to improve multi-column layout,” said Opera’s CTO Håkon Wium Lie in a press release.Bad For The Web?Others do not agree. Mozilla’s Robert O’Callahan calls it a “sad day for the Web” and says Opera’s impact on Web standards will be “dramatically reduced.”“The big loss for the Web is a further decrease in the diversity of browser engines, especially on mobile devices,” O’Callahan wrote on his blog. “We now have one of the three viable browser engines, instead of one of the four, and engine diversity is already critically endangered – and more difficult, because this will strengthen the Webkit mobile monoculture and make it even harder for us to promote Web standards over ‘coding to Webkit.’”Of course, a company like Mozilla would not be particularly pleased with Opera’s move to WebKit. When it comes to mobile browsers, the battle to be the leading third-party option is intense between Mozilla’s Firefox (which is not available on iOS), Opera and Dolphin. Anything that makes Opera a more attractive option to developers and consumers is not a good thing for the likes of Mozilla. Opera made the announcement of its move to WebKit while also proclaiming that the company has reached 300 million users between its TV, PC, tablet and smartphone browser products. Opera believes that the move to the more popular WebKit will help it accelerate growth in mobile.What do you think? Is Opera’s decision good for the Web or bad for the Web? Let us know in the comments.Lead image courtesy Shutterstock. dan rowinski Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …
Regular members of the Indian team know how to treasure an off day. After all, with cricket ‘seasons’ a thing of the past and even two-week breaks between series getting filled up with other series every year, the off day has become a rare commodity for the cricketers.After their record victory over England that signalled the end of the group stage on Sunday, India have no game scheduled till Friday, and a few of the senior players decided to utilise the rest day to soak in the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka, even though they seem to travel here almost every year.MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Virat Kohli headed off to Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, a suburb of Colombo that lies roughly 15 kilometres south of the city Centre on Galle Road. The area is known for its ‘golden mile’ of beaches, and is a tourist hotspot.Incidentally, Monday was also the fifth anniversary of India’s triumph over Pakistan in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa.Dhoni and the two Singhs were integral members of that team, and a few fans loitering about in the hotel lobby had reminded and congratulated them on the feat in the morning.Rohit Sharma, whose unbeaten 50 played a key role in India’s walloping of England, stayed back and had some friends over for company. They enjoyed lunch in the hotel.Gautam Gambhir, meanwhile, decided to be the dutiful husband and took wife Natasha out for a tour of Colombo itself.The hotel authorities were under strict instructions from the team management not to let the players be disturbed, and the other members of the team seemed to enjoy their day of privacy inside their rooms.With their minds refreshed, members of the team will regroup on Tuesday morning with a scheduled three-hour practice session at the Colts Cricket Club here.And with Australia, South Africa and Pakistan waiting to pounce on them once the Super Eights begin, the intensity will need to be straight back up.advertisement
Six hundred delegates from nine countries are expected for the 2017 Youth Climate Change Conference, slated for October 10 and 11, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston. Six hundred delegates from nine countries are expected for the 2017 Youth Climate Change Conference, slated for October 10 and 11, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.The event will bring together persons from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Japan for two days of consultations and discussions aimed at heightening their awareness of climate change and identifying youth-led actions and solutions to the challenges associated with this phenomenon.Participants will be engaged in a series of climate advocacy training workshops, presentations, exhibitions and competitions to increase their awareness of the various challenges and proposed solutions.Cash prizes, vouchers, tablets, agricultural equipment and trophies will be awarded to the individual participants, educational/youth organisations and teachers scoring the most points in the competitions.Additionally, three delegates from the participating Caribbean countries will get the opportunity to attend the 2017 United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of Parties (COP 23), which is slated for Germany in November.The youth conference is being co-hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change II (Ja REEACH II) Project and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.The conference was launched at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters, Mona, St. Andrew, on Tuesday, September 12.In a message read by Director of Communications and Marketing, National Youth Service, Julia Smiley Green, Education, Youth and Information State Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, said this year’s conference bears special significance in light of the severe weather events that impacted several small island states within recent weeks.“While there has been a growing awareness of how we are all being affected, recent events would have brought home the reality more forcefully, to our consciousness, of our growing vulnerability to climate change. The devastation of coastlines in northeastern Caribbean territories, Cuba and The Bahamas by Hurricane Irma is but the latest reminder of the danger we all face,” he said.In this regard, Mr. Green stressed the importance of youth involvement in and understanding of global climate-change issues and their impact on the region, in tackling these challenges.“Our young people will, more than ever, (need to) play a bigger role in how our world adapts to these challenges. Young people are quite adept at spreading new habits and technologies at their disposal (and) are well placed to contribute to the fight against climate change. For this, they must be fully aware of what global warming is and what needs to be done to prevent it,” he said.In her remarks, Acting USAID Mission Director in Jamaica, Rebecca Robinson, said succession planning in dealing with extreme weather events, with an emphasis on youth involvement, is critical to spearheading future action against climate change.“Jamaican youth are responding to the call. This is evidenced, not only in the high levels of participation in the previously held conferences in 2014 and 2015, but by a continued formation of youth interest groups focused on climate change and environment issues at the local, regional and international levels,” she said.Ja REEACH II project is a four-year initiative implemented by ACDI/VOCA, which works with government, private sector, civil society and community-based organisations to increase awareness and application of practical actions to make Jamaicans more aware of and resilient to the impact of climate change. Story Highlights The youth conference is being co-hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change II (Ja REEACH II) Project and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. Participants will be engaged in a series of climate advocacy training workshops, presentations, exhibitions and competitions to increase their awareness of the various challenges and proposed solutions.
A screenshot of the intimate scene from The Wedding Guest.Screen shotRadhika Apte is one of the few actresses who do not shy away from doing bold scenes in India. From donning bikinis to doing lovemaking scenes on-screen, the actress has courageously enacted such sequences with ease and dignity.The actress, like others, has no apprehensions doing bold scenes. “I have been brought up watching world cinema and I have travelled a lot so I am very comfortable with my body. I have seen people performing nude on stage in India and abroad,” she was quoted as saying by IANS.Time and again, Radhika Apte has stated that she doesn’t get ashamed of her body and uses it as a “tool” as a performer. And it clearly sums up her worldview.As a result, she has done more bold scenes than her contemporaries in the country. The amusing factor is every time she enacts nude scenes or intimate sequences for movies, it gets leaked online and becomes the talk of the town.She is once again in news for her lovemaking sequence with Dev Patel from their British-American film The Wedding Guest hitting the internet. Her nude scene and the clip of their intimate moments are now going viral.Michael Winterbottom directed The Wedding Guest had its premieres at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2018. It hit the screens in the US in March.Although the film was released a couple of months ago, the clips have surfaced only now.