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Durban - Education is improving despite the many problems the country faces, Deputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty said on Friday.
Speaking at a National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA conference in Durban, Surty said many improvements had been made in education since 1994.
“But where we are now is not where we would like to be,” he said.
Major improvements had been made in education infrastructure, as well as in the numbers of children attending school.
While children were still being taught in mud huts in some schools in the Eastern Cape, the department had already opened 100 new state of the art schools in the same province.
This had largely been ignored, Surty said. He expected another 150 new schools to open by the end of next year.
Mud hut schools were unacceptable, but had - with the exception of the Eastern Cape - largely been eliminated around the country.
The number of students training to be teachers had increased from 10,500 in 2010 to 13,000 in 2012.
Surty thanked teachers for their contributions and urged them to be positive about the profession.
The country should also celebrate its achievements in early childhood learning.
In 1994, only five percent of children received any preschooling, whereas currently, at least 95 percent of children enrolling in school had at least one year of preschooling.
This had helped to increased literacy and numeracy in grades one through to five. However, the qualifications of teachers in Grade R needed to be improved, Surty said.