Gauteng prioritises quality learning

Elevated Priorities for Education respond to key challenges facing the people of Gauteng

Next month, on June 16, South Africa will commemorate the 47th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto Youth Uprisings, a historical moment in our struggle for freedom, which saw young people mount an open revolt against the might of the racist apartheid regime.

Their message was simple, as it was powerful: we reject the imposition of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in our schools, and Bantu Education as its intention was to keep us subjugated.

The fearless generation led by the fiery Tsietsi Mashinini rejected the imposition of a language they considered a tool of oppression.

As we delivered the Gauteng department of education’s (GDE) budget vote this past week, we had to ensure it addresses the issues of quality learning, classroom performance of teacher, and the active learning of children in classrooms across all schools in the province.

The budget also addresses interventions compensating for poor family literacy levels and the impact of poverty affecting a large percentage of our communities in Gauteng, especially those living in townships, informal settlements and hostels (TISH). The Gauteng provincial government has this financial year set aside R63.4-billion for education, an increase of 6.2% from the main appropriation of R59.7-billion in 2022/23. These funds will be utilised in line with the
Premier’s Elevated Priorities.

The Elevated Priorities for Education include:

  • Improving Grade 12 results, measuring progress and educational outcomes must be a priority;
  • Expand access of ECD sites across poor and marginalised communities, including residential hostels;
  • ICT schools’ rollout in the townships must continue;
  • Modernisation, investing in school infrastructure and online admissions;
  • Integration and incorporation of wellness programmes, and rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law into the education system; and
  • School safety must be a priority to ensure learner and teacher safety.

The GDE’s budget breakdown for the 2023/24 financial year will see more than R46-billion, or 72.6%, spent on the compensation of employees. Infrastructure development is allocated at R2.46-billion, leaving around R7-billion for programmes, nutrition, transport and other goods and services.


Improving Grade 12 Performance

In 2023, the department is aiming to achieve a pass rate of 90% for Gauteng. We will also push for a bachelor pass rate of 50%, with a specific emphasis on reducing the difference in the National Senior Certificate pass rate between township and ex-Model C schools to 7%.


Schools of Specialisation (SoS)

In responding to the challenge of scarce skills development as outlined in Growing Gauteng Together 2030 blueprint, we are rolling out 35 schools of specialisation before the end of the 2024 financial year.


Early Childhood Development (ECD)

The 2022/23 financial year saw the migration of the ECD function from the department of social development to the education department.


Integration and rehabilitation of learners into a welfare and wellness programme (drug abuse, crime)

Everyone deserves a second chance in life, more so children. We are working with our sister departments and organised civil society, especially faith-based organisations, to intervene in schools in a non-denominational manner to address the pressures that children and their schools face in dealing with these social ills.


School Safety

The School Safety Strategy is targeting 1 700 Township schools and focusing on 275 high risk schools to work with the Mathew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance in profiling, diagnosing, and identifying interventions to make schools safer for staff and learners.


School Nutrition

The National School Nutrition Programme will continue to receive support and is currently providing a warm meal to more than 1.651-million learners in all participating schools.



More than R1.6 billion is targeted at building 17 new schools in high-pressure communities. Funding for the construction of 18 schools was approved by
National Treasury.

Through this budget, we are unapologetic in our goal of changing the material conditions of the education sector in TISH communities. After all, education is the most effective weapon against poverty, and inequality.


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