Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Local Municipality Political leadership, Management and staff present,
Harry Gwala District Department of Education Management and staff
Circuit Managers, Principals and Educators,
Traditional leaders present,
Our special guests (the learners),
Members of the Media,
All protocol observed,
SANIBONANI, DUMELANG, MOLWENI
Let me also join others in passing my fraternal greetings and compliments of the new year on behalf of the people of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Local Municipality. It is with a sense of great pleasure and humility that I, as the Mayor of this vast and beautiful municipality stand before you today.
I would also like to congratulate and pay tribute to all the learners, teachers, management teams and school governing bodies of those schools that performed exceptionally well. In achieving these results, many schools had to overcome challenges imposed by resource constraints, violent protests in their communities, the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse and other such social ills. We are building an education system that will help free the potential of each of our citizens so that they too can enjoy the dividends of our hard won freedom.
Let me join hands and congratulate all 2019 matriculants and wish them well in their future endeavours. Our Province is showing a very good improvement and positive trajectory, we need to thank the Class of 2019 for working hard in ensuring that we move towards the right direction. To those that did not perform well in 2019 we say go back to the drawing board and strategize, work smarter, be committed and you will be awarded in future.
To the stakeholders present here today, I want to urge you to pay particular attention to the following matters that are critical to the success of our education system:
· Learner Transport
· Infrastructure maintenance and refurbishment
· Water and dignified sanitation
· Appointment of teachers for all grades and subjects
· The most important priority must be to improve the quality of learning and
teaching in the early grades, so as to ensure that learners are equipped with
the skills needed to cope with the curriculum requirement of the higher grades
· Delivery of text books on time
The National Development Plan (NDP) instructs us to strengthen accountability and improve management of schools. It further states that by 2030 we must achieve a target of 450 000 learners being eligible for a Bachelor’s programme with Mathematics and Science.
Today as the Municipality we are emphasising the importance of working together with stakeholders and the community to move our education system forward in our municipal area. Once more, as part of youth development, the Municipality is continuing with the programme targeting deserving learners from disadvantaged families, who have been of cause admitted in institutions of higher learning. We will even this year continue with our bursary programme and assist deserving learners with registration fees to higher institutions of their choice. We are also mindful of the pronouncement by our government on free education, and its critical role in ensuring that thousands of our children access education.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
I am convinced that the class of 2020 can perform better than the 2019 class, we therefore call upon our educators, learners, parents, and all role players to commit themselves to nothing less than hundred percent (100 %) pass this year. Our collective task as a municipality is to move NDZ community to the next frontier of economic development, in which basic education plays a key role. Just as we know that the steam engine spurred on the first industrial revolution, electricity the second, automation the third, and data the fourth, we know too that the underlying driver of all these industrial revolutions was, and remains, education.
As we are building the future, yes the “Better Life For All” for NDZ municipality, we recommit to building a solid foundation for a quality and efficient basic education system, from Early Childhood Development (ECD) to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) with the opening of the Umgungundlovu TVET College Hlanganani Campus we believe that it will assist us a lot as a rural based municipality.
The 54th National Conference of the Ruling Party and the NDP have pronounced on the importance of strengthening and enhancing accountability systems from the top to the lower rungs of the system. His Excellency, President Ramaphosa has set us a goal that “every child should learn to read with meaning by the age of ten”. The coordination of our reading intervention will be strengthened by working together as stakeholders and we are paying particular attention to the teaching of “reading with meaning”. The time has come for us to work together to achieve this goal.
The recent January 8th statement by the ruling party has outlined the direction that the entire education sector must take. Admittedly, we need all our partners on board to deliver the quality and efficient basic education system envisaged by our entire municipality . We have heard Mr Sipho Hlomuka Cogta KZN MEC’s clarion call, We will “khawuleza” to implement our focus areas we have identified in the year 2019 including education as a priority of the government.
I am immensely grateful to all the learners, learner organisations, teachers, teacher unions, principals, parents, SGBs, and the private sector, for their tireless work, contributions, and cooperation to make the quality and efficiency of the basic education system a reality in the various parts of our municipality.
I thank you.