IT’S HERE AND EXPENSIVE - PS EDUCATION
After years of complaining of the country’s education system, from January next year government is introducing a competency based curriculum in all public schools from Grade One.
This will be a total departure to the cheap knowledge based curriculum which has received more criticism across the country’s political space, the recent being People’s Parliament or Sibaya.
Speaker after speaker during Sibaya and when the newly elected Members of Parliament went to meet His Majesty the King, they complained about the country’s education system which they described as good for nothing but producing labourers.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Training Dr. Sibongile Mntshali told the Observer on Saturday yesterday that government has been working on the review of the country’s education system and the previous government led by the late Dr. Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini approved the introduction of competency based education starting in January.
However, Dr. Mntshali was quick to add that this model of education will now cost twice the price of the current system.
“The cost is doubled by the nature of the curriculum. Where we used textbooks, we will now be required to use workbooks and drawing books. We are now going to be more practical and will definitely require double the resources we had in order to implement it successfully.
“We are now awaiting our new minister of education and training to report on how far we have gone with it and plead for more financial support,” she said.
Former education and training minister Dr. Phineas Magagula when called on the ractions of Sibaya on the country’s education system, concurred with the PS, saying competency based education is being introduced next year in schools.
He said this system is going to nurture pupils’ skills than focusing mainly on knowledge based education.
Dr. Magagula said the competency based curriculum is taking further the Pre-Vocational pilot they introduced in 16 high schools across the country.
The former education minister also warned that pre-vocational education is more expensive than it is made to be as it requires sophisticated equipment and technology.
“Before we left in a partnership with Eswatini MTN we launched a state-of-the art Mpaka Pre-Vocational Training Centre.
“I am sure that those who will come in government in pursuing the vision of changing our education system they will also see the value of adequately resourcing the ministry. A visit to the 16 high schools that are providing prevocational education will give them a picture of how much we need to work in order to have it across the country’s schools,” he said.
With the European Union having pulled out in funding the Free Primary Education for Grade One next year, pressure will be on government to find more money to support the new curriculum and also fund the Grade Ones who in the past eight years have been funded by the EU.
ON A DITCH: Police officers arrive to attend to a sedan after it landed onto a ditch during an accident at Malagwane near the Eden Guest House on Thursday. The driver said he was disturbed by another motorist who did not stop after the accident.
IN ONE VOICE: Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Training Dr. Sibongile Mntshali and former education and training minister Dr. Phineas Magagula.