Gauteng education system commended
Mamelodi - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has described education in the province as a major success story.
Delivering her State of the Province Address in Mamelodi, Pretoria, on Monday, Mokonyane cited improved access to schooling and an increasing matric pass rate as evidence of the strides made in education in the province.
"We have vastly improved access to schooling – we achieved a gross enrolment ratio of 84% in primary schools and 83% in secondary schools by 2010," she said.
In addition, there was a significant improvement - from 57% in 2008 to 75% in 2011 - in the percentage of learners who complete schooling at matric level.
"We have massively improved access to early childhood development. Over 88% of public primary schools have at least one Grade R class and we are on track to universalise Grade R by 2014," Mokonyane added.
The quality of basic education had also improved. The matric pass rate jumped from 71.8% in 2009 to 81% in 2011, she noted. Gauteng was the top-performing province in 2010 and second in 2011.
More good news was that job creation in the province was on the increase.
"The 2011 Fourth Quarter Labour Force Survey showed that Gauteng had a 4.1% increase in employment compared to the same time last year. This amounted to an increase of 132 000 jobs," Mokonyane noted.
The upward trend was encouraging, she said, while acknowledging that these figures were not sufficient to address current unemployment levels.
"By the end of December 2011, the provincial government had exceeded its job creation targets, with 281 686 jobs created against a target of 229 904 jobs by the end of March 2012. Of these jobs, 5 629 were permanent jobs, 40 898 were temporary jobs and 235 159 were jobs created through the EPWP [Extended Public Works Programme]."
The premier also noted the province's success in combating crime, with a decrease recorded in virtually all priority crimes.
Progress was also made in implementation of 14 mixed housing developments across the province. She noted that 69 informal settlements were formalised and 12 eradicated.
There were also some positives emerging from the health sector.
"We have achieved better health outcomes and increased life expectancy. Maternal mortality dropped from 168 per 100 000 mothers in 2009 to 144 per 100 000 mothers in 2010," Mokonyane said.
Aids-related deaths were also down from 38.5% in 2009 to 35% in 2011, showing the effectiveness of the rollout of anti-retroviral therapy, she added. - BuaNews