The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA- Education MEC for Free State, Dr Tate Makgoe  has described education as  a vehicle to a non-sexist and equitable society.

He said Free State takes  full responsibility for providing education that is gender inclusive.

MaKgoe said this while tabling his budget for financial year 2021/2022 at Mohaladitwe secondary school in the eastern Free State on Thursday.

“We all must ensure that the treasures of democracy bestowed upon us by female stalwarts and legends of the struggle do not disappear into the black-hole of history. Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI), Madam Speaker, Honourable Members, the Free State Department of Education have successfully implemented the Presidential Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI), which commence in December 2020 and will end on 31 March 2021.”

He also disclosed that the department was allocated a budget amount of R41. 622 million as part of its equitable share.

Learners from Mohaladitwe Secondary School at the budget tabling.

“With this allocation, 19 002 Education Assistant (EAs) and General School Assistants (GSA) were appointed in 1 047 schools and 1 471 SGB funded posts in public and government subsidized independent schools were saved. The aim of this initiative is to mitigate the severe and devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the disastrous unemployment, particularly of the youth (18-35 years). Through this initiative, we were able to deal with the inherent problems besetting the sector. These include heavy teacher workload, losses of curriculum coverage and inadequate maintenance which hinders the conducive learning atmosphere.”

According to Makgoe this initiative has also empowered these EAs and GSAs to effectively execute their duties by exposing them to training and development programmes to improve their skills and competencies.

Beneficiaries of this initiative have been registered with the UIF to assist them beyond the end date of the programme. This initiative has been welcomed by principals and teachers in the province as they were able to focus their efforts on supporting learners.

“Young people who have been appointed in this programme have also shown appreciation for the opportunity they have been afforded while improving and honing their skills. Training youth and government employees on digital skills Madam, Speaker, to prepare young people for Information Society and Digital Age. We are working together with the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA) to offer ICT skills to youth who are at still at school as well as  young people out school and government employees in our province”.

He further said this training will inter alia include basic digital literacy, software development, web development, artificial intelligence, robotics and digital marketing.