The minister of education
Despite the public outcry against the minister of education, Angie Motshekga, a system of oversight has been put in place by her to insure better accountability of the leaders in education in addressing poor performance. Schools will have to be accountable to one another. Teachers and principals will have initiatives amongst themselves to hold one another responsible and adhere to high standards. Increased controls and cooperation will take place between schools.
A new plan
A new education strategy will slowly be implemented, on a small scale. The strategy has already been tested in some pre-schools and will first be implemented in pre-school and grades 1 and 2. Outcomes based education has been fairly successful in some areas. More training and equipping will be on the agenda and more resources will be made available to rural schools that have been struggling.
There will be a greater focus on blended learning. Electronic products for education and different methods of education will be developed. Small research groups will focus on new methods like e-learning, new ways of teaching, interaction and transferring knowledge in classes. Research will first focus on further education before it will influence the traditional types of learning models of the education department.
Senior learners will participate in a mentoring program for younger learners, assisting in their training. Educators will listen to the suggestions of students in order to adapt the educational system to a new way of teaching and training. The young people in education will have a great influence on higher education first before it will spread to the junior levels.
Books & resources
A new distribution system will be used to deliver books via commercial couriers to schools. Even in holiday periods the deliveries will happen. Teachers will be on duty during school holidays to coordinate book deliveries and prepare for the following year. 2015 will see a huge improvement in education and in available resources. Parents will be much more involved than before in assisting their schools with basic resources and other initiatives.
The government is allowing home schools to continue without interference. Although there is opposition in some circles towards home schooling, any attempt at stopping it through legislation will not succeed.
Model C schools
The old model C-schools will be under greater pressure to perform. These schools are trying to uphold the standards and will find a new way of doing the necessary. There are specialists developing a new way of teaching in model C-schools.
Investment into education
A vision of a group of business people was received. These business people have taken it on themselves to make sure all the rural schools have proper toilets. In the vision they visit schools to evaluate them and determine sponsorship needs for bathrooms, toilets and shower. Teams are sent to install these facilities. Instead of waiting for the department of education to fulfil the needs of schools, private individuals will be moved by the Lord to provide for what is needed.
Many churches will establish their own schools resulting in more involvement from businesses supporting church based schools. There will also be moral initiatives from churches going into schools. Churches will use local media and create educational, upliftment and holiday programs. Christian programs will help provide children with food over the holidays who usually received meals at school.
Community and business will become an important factor of investments into SA schools. Education will become a focal point in the social upliftment programs. Big companies will start investing specifically in schools through their social development programs. Selected schools, especially rural schools, will be used to pilot new programs and ideas by the education department. School transport programs will be developed to ensure a better and more effective system for school children across the country; the taxi industry might get involved in this program. The health department and the education department will take hands to address issues like teen pregnancies, drug abuse etc. in schools. Health clinics will be placed in or next to public schools to assist in this program and project. University mentorship for teachers and schools will start to take place. Different departments of universities will make their lecturers available to help to further train teachers in their different subjects, especially via holiday programs for teachers.
Communities will join with business and government to develop sustainable feeding programs in schools. Vegetable gardens are developed in communities to feed school children. NGOs and entrepreneurs have already pioneered this in other areas of the country, but the education department will learn from these projects and multiply them. There will be strong Christian student movements in schools in SA over the next season; these Christian student movements will become actively involved and verbal about social issues in their schools and surroundings.
A lot more money will be pumped into education, especially with regard to students in the process of graduating. Graduates are currently struggling to find jobs. The board of education is coming together to see how they can make provision for them in the future by educating the youth in areas where skills are needed, also with regard to providing a skills focused tertiary education.
There is going to be a major buy-in from government into infrastructure for schools, not only with regard to the building of new schools but also regarding the provision of equipment. Through the bulk purchasing of school equipment, schools will be upgraded and mobile laboratories will become available.
Popular sports like soccer will be promoted in very simple and easy ways especially in schools that did not have access to sport facilities in the past. Social programs as well as investment of sport bodies and sportsmen will create an easy way of training, educating and equipping students in sports like soccer. In areas where students do not have access to facilities like soccer fields mobile equipment will be produced, that can be used in smaller areas other than a big soccer field. This will give the opportunity for use and practice of soccer skills. Extraordinary soccer events will be held – not normal soccer field type of events. This will be a pre-cursor to train and develop students in soccer so that in future they will be able to move on to the real types of soccer tournaments and events.
As with soccer, cricket nets will be set up as well. There is a push, especially in junior schools, to get children to exercise. Businessmen will sponsor and manage the equipment, because previously they gave the equipment to schools and it simply disappeared. Busses and caravans will come with equipment locked inside. These caravans will be serving multiple schools.
Because of the large number of indigenous South African languages, the issue of which language to use in schools is being discussed. Parents will push towards the use of the English language and request that English stays a predominant language in schools although it is a new language to a many children.
There will be great investment taking place in libraries and in providing access to literature, even at rural schools. This access to literature and libraries includes access to the internet which will be a focus of foreign investment coming into SA. Rural children will be provided with access to literature and the internet. This will be a twofold process. Firstly physical books will be made available and secondly, digital literature via internet and e-books will be made available. Mobile libraries will go around and mobile internet and computer sites will travel around, making books available not only to schools, but also to communities. Books and material that was only available to universities ten and twenty years ago, will be easily accessed by members of the rural community. This will bring about great change in education in rural areas.
Prayer for schools
God’s grace is being released into the school structures in the next season. The Lord is placing His hands on the children, specifically in schools. The Lord sends out a warning that there is going to be a lot of violence. The enemy’s strategy is to release violence into the schools and the Lord is calling us to prayer and intercession for children in schools.
Raising the bar
Parents will demand a better quality of educational standards .The bar will be raised, not from the top but from the bottom. The system previously lowered pass rates, which resulted in demotivating students and lowering the standard of education altogether. This will be exposed to the public resulting in demand for changes which will take place. There is a call to parents to become involved and provide solutions on how to better schools.
Pride will be restored in the education system over a period of time. Teachers identified as being non-committal and just plain lazy will find that their work in the education system will be cut short.
A new solution is coming for Mathematics, Science and Biology teaching. A unique way of teaching will be implemented which will result in a lower dropout rate in these subjects.
The Department of Education will take a strong stance against the teachers union’s unrealistic demands. The public will take the education departments side on this stance against the unions and put pressure on the unions and the teachers to let go of unrealistic demands and step up their performance and be the teachers they are supposed to be.
The political wrangling within teachers unions will come to the fore and be exposed. It is not conducive to any improvement in schools or teaching, and much will be said in the media concerning this.
A vacuum between the ministry and the schools are being filled. It is not a departmental structure. This structure will be suggested by the unions to advise the department and bring consensus on the implementation of the national strategy. The national strategy is correct but there are problems with implementation. The ministry will receive the support that it currently lacks.
A vision was seen of somebody bringing a presentation to the education department for solar energy in the schools, providing in needs like lighting, heating and internet access. Solar panels were seen on the roofs of schools. The department of education is listening and realising the value of this. It will not be an expensive system. This solar project needs the backing of the government for it to realise.
Education will be the measuring stick for solar power usefulness in the public sector. Places with school-going children or students will be preferred for the provision of solar power.
Cell phone towers will be erected on school premises to provide access to wireless internet for schools as well as for the community. There will be some controversy regarding that in some communities concerning the effect of wireless transmissions on children’s brains and development.