I am very excited to announce the Western Cape Education Department’s (WCED) new Mathematics and Physical Science strategy.
Mathematics and Physical Science are subjects that are key to the development and progress of the Western Cape.
Proficiency in mathematics also forms the basis of many of our further education and training fields in science, technology, engineering and business – all key sectors for a growing economy such as ours.
Therefore, as a government, we are working hard to encourage more learners to take mathematics and science so that we can grow our future economic workforce and broaden the life chances of our learners.
In order to do this, we have recently adopted our new Mathematics and Physical Science Strategy.
The strategy aims to increase participation rates in Mathematics and Physical Sciences, increase the numbers of those passing these subjects in Grade 12, as well as improve the quality of passes at Grade 12 in terms of improved average scores and/or numbers of learners achieving A, B and C symbols.
The strategy also aims to encourage schools to increase the number of Grade 10s taking mathematics and physical science.
The main focus areas of the strategy will be on teacher development and support, the provision of additional resources, and monitoring and evaluation.
The strategy will be rolled out into the system and schools in stages.
Grade 8 to Grade 12 learners inDinalediSchools(46) and Maths andScienceIncentiveSchools(24) are being targeted first.
The benefits of the strategy will be seen immediately in our schools. For instance, the Dinaledi Schools and Maths and Science Incentive Schools will receive a number of immediate resources and interventions such as textbook top-ups, computers, software and maths and science kits.
They will also benefit from the refurbishing of ICT and science laboratories.
I am especially excited about the training component of this programme.
Educators will be participating in various training programmes in specific content areas in mathematics and physical science. The content areas will be determined through an analysis of performance in the 2011 examinations.
Other schools will also benefit in terms of additional resources in the outer years of this strategy and schools that reach individual targets will receive additional funding for the purchasing of extra resources for their school as an incentive.
In the next five years the WCED will be investing approximately R113 million in this strategy, with R12.4 million being budgeted for the current financial year.