Focus on salaries is inadequate - Pandor

By Time of article published Oct 6, 2008

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South Africa's investment in education is largely focused on teacher salaries but this does not help to achieve high quality education, Education Minister Naledi Pandor said on Monday.

Pandor said over 80 percent of the education budget was allocated to salaries but this did little to improve the standards of teaching.

"Paying more money to teachers does not make them better teachers, only continuing professional education does that," she said.

Pandor, who was speaking at the OECD educational policy review conference, said the country's improvement in education attainment over the last 30 years had been "remarkable".

"The ministerial committee on learner retention found that attainment had risen dramatically over the last thirty years," she said.

Referring to the OECD report that commended the country for improving access to education and working towards equity, Pandor said government was focusing on education quality issues such as the curriculum and teacher education.

"The new curriculum has been fined tuned, a new matric will be written this year, and a new teacher education policy has been introduced," she said.

The OECD in its report recommended that pilot schemes be introduced for the induction of beginning teachers with the aim of paving the way for the induction of all new teachers.

The report went on to call for an improvement in the quality of distance education.

Pandor said a ministerial committee was examining the impact of the various mergers on specific institutions. - Sapa

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