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WC education budget prioritise poorest schools

by Luyanda Makapela
on 20 Apr 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The increased allocation in the education budget will primarily be used to provide the poorest schools with libraries, science labs, halls and extra classes, according to the Western Cape Education Department.

Delivering the education budget on Friday, the department's MEC Cameron Dugmore said R9 million will be budgeted for Grade R as well as providing further teacher training and improved school management systems.

"In the next three years we will target improving the quality of education including systemic evaluation and in-service training and teacher development programmes to enhance the quality of teaching in critical subjects such as mathematics and life orientation," said MEC Dugmore.

The budget will also prioritise school building and maintenance; inclusive education and special schools and expansion of the National School Nutrition Programme, among others.

Mr Dugmore explained that in the school system, norms and standards funding will be allocated according to national poverty quintiles with the poorest quintile receiving, on average, six times more than the least poor.

He added that the focus of the budget on matters of access and redress was a critical reminder of government's business.

"This year, we commit ourselves to shaping and managing improved achievement of learning outcomes through further teacher training and development and target-setting and accountability across the system.

"We know what the needs are and we will do all in our power to support teachers and learners," said Mr Dugmore.

In March this year, the department provisionally budgeted R9 billion for education to ensure quality outcomes throughout the system.

In her budget speech, Finance and Tourism MEC Lynne Brown said the education budget had grown by R1.3 billion to more than R9 billion in 2008/09, with expenditure of R29 billion over the next three years.

MEC Brown said an increase in the Community Safety department's budget allocation would also benefit schools.

"The department of Community Safety plans to scale up its Safer Schools intervention by deploying 750 Bambanani volunteers at 160 high-risk schools and further Bambanani volunteers at 45 Metrorail stations in and around the City of Cape Town and the Winelands.

"Over the next three years, the Safer Schools programme and Commuter Safety Programme have been allocated R47 million," MEC Brown said at the time.

The education budget includes money for salary improvements for teachers, teacher training and management skills as well as a focus on special needs schools.

"Additions to education also compensate for inflation and salary improvements for education personnel and provide for increased investment in school construction and maintenance," Ms Brown said. - BuaNews

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