South Africa Government

08/31/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/31/2021 06:09

Basic Education briefs portfolio committees on Matric Second Chance Programme and training of Mathematics and Science teachers in targeted districts

The Department of Basic Education has today briefed the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on progress made regarding the Matric Second Chance Programme, as well as the training of Mathematics and Science teachers in targeted low performing districts.

The Second Chance Matric Programme aims to increase access, participation and performance in the NSC/SC examinations and provide access to quality resources and lessons in high enrolment subjects. The Programme was first piloted on 6 January 2016, to offer face-to-face support across 50-centres, in all Provinces, for 8 high enrolment subjects. The Programme has grown steadily over the years, and has become an integral part of the curriculum support programmes. From 2017 onwards, the programme was expanded to include support to 11 high enrolment subjects. From 01 March 2021 until the 30 June 2021, 105 face-to-face centres were established across Provinces.

More than 1 050 teachers and 105 Centre Managers were appointed to teach after school hours and over weekends. These centres provide support to approximately 39 448 learners who are attending the face-to-face classes in preparation for the 2021 Final NSC Examinations.

During the briefing, the department outlined the work done to generate public awareness, which has mainly been in the form of roadshows by the Minister, Deputy Minister, DG and Provincial MECs; broadcasts on community radio stations, distribution of pamphlets and posters, as well as ongoing digital communication via website and social media platforms. Schools, circuits, districts and provincial education departments are key information centres for the dissemination of information about the Second Chance Matric Programme.

The department utilises various tools and platforms such as printed material, broadcast and online support, to provide and distribute curriculum support material. Printed material includes textbooks for Physical Science and Mathematics, Mind the Gap Study Guides available for 10 of the 11 subjects (except History), revision books for 11 Subjects and Home Languages, question papers and memoranda for 11 subjects and Languages, tips for Examinations, Siyavula textbooks, as well as Critical Language Awareness and Creative Writing Skills.

In addition, the department provides ongoing Television lesson support on DBE TV Channel 122 on Open View HD, DSTV Mindset Channel 319, Telematics
(Stellenbosch University), IPB Programme by Free State University, SABC Education Geleza Nathi, as well as support across 27 community radio stations in all 9 provinces.

Teacher Capacity Building and Support in Mathematics, Science and Technology

The department also briefed the Portfolio Committee on progress made regarding the Teacher Capacity Building and Support in Mathematics, Science and Technology in response to the low subject performance of Mathematics and Physical Science over the past few years, in the NSC Examination. The content focus was guided by the NSC Diagnostic Report.

The training programme was designed to address the under-performance of the 12 districts that were targeted. The department worked closely with the Cuban specialists to develop the Science and Mathematics material.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, training to capacitate all Grade 8 and 9 Mathematics, Sciences and Technology subject advisors was conducted online.

The DBE provided data to the participants to allow them to work online for extended periods.

The training focused on how to capacitate and support teachers using virtual platforms. Five hundred and seven (507) advisors from all provinces
participated: Mathematics (212), Natural Science (164) and Technology (131).

The Portfolio Committee welcomed the presentations and the progress made on the programmes. Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Ms. Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, expressed concern over the possible implication the budget cut may have on the roll out of the Second Chance Matric Programme, implored on the department to expand face-toface Centres in the remote areas of the Western Cape, and ensure that the programme is extended to Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN).

Elijah Mhlanga - Head of Communication
Cell: 083 580 8275

Hope Mokhatlhe - Spokesperson to Minister
Cell: 079 817 0427

Terence Khala - MLO
Cell: 081 758 1546