962 Education MEC, Angie Motshekga attends the 23rd ANCYL congress in Bloemfontein. 060408. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Cape Town - Teachers’ unions and education experts have welcomed a task team report which examined the standard of the national senior certificate and calls for major changes to ensure matriculants are better prepared for future study and employment.

They now look forward to discussions with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga into how the recommendations can best be implemented. Some conclusions drawn by the task team were:

* It was “not adequate” and there was an “urgent need for an appropriate vocational track”.

* There were “serious concerns” about the quality of several aspects of the exam process.

* Well-trained, fully professional teachers were “ultimately” the key to the development of the education system.

South African Democratic Teachers’ Union general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said: “We welcome the engagement that we will have with the minister to discuss real issues which affect education.”

Maluleke questioned the value of a possible Grade 9 exit certificate.

The task team’s recommendations included:

* All schools should be required to offer maths.

* Requirements for the selection of exam markers should be raised.

* Life orientation should be removed from the promotion requirements of the national senior certificate .

* An exit certificate for Grade 9 should be introduced.

* The standard of African languages at home language level be investigated.

Basil Manuel, president of the National Professional Teachers Organisation of SA, said: “We welcome them and would like to see them seriously considered and implemented.

Manuel was particularly in favour of the recommendations surrounding a need for vocational schooling.

Tim Gordon, chief executive of the Governing Body Foundation, said the report’s attention to detail was “encouraging”.

The Department of Basic Education said on Sunday it had received the report.

“The ministerial task team has submitted the report and we are studying it.”

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Cape Times