The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, has appointed Professor Shireen Motala, Director of the Postgraduate Centre of Research, Innovation and Advancement at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to serve on the Ministerial Committee to investigate the current promotion requirements and other related matters that impact the standard of the National Senior Certificate.
The committee’s mandate is:
- to investigate all facets of the National Senior Certificate and make recommendations on how the relevant matters can be addressed;
- to demonstrate to the public that the DBE is committed to maintaining the credibility of the NSC; and
- to improve public perception of, and confidence in, the National Senior Certificate qualification.
The Minister finalised the appointments of the members to the Committee in June 2013.
The terms of reference include:
- To establish from current research and other media reports the main criticisms addressed against the NSC.
- To conduct a comparative study of the promotion requirements of the National Senior Certificate and other similar exit qualifications in a few countries that are of international repute.
- To consult with the key recipients of the national Senior Certificate in the South African Academic, workplace and business environment and identify their concerns about the National Senior Certificate and how these can be rectified in the short to medium term.
- To evaluate the currency of mathematics and mathematical Literacy and whether this is the best option for the South African schooling system in terms of preparing learners for the workplace, higher education studies and personal citizenry.
- To ascertain whether mathematical Literacy should not rather be separated from mathematics.
- To investigate the possibility of introducing another level of mathematics, namely Technical mathematics which is related to the technology subjects as proposed by the Principals of Technical Schools.
- To evaluate the “Value add” of life orientation as a subject that is designed to inculcate morals, values, physical education and career guidance to learners and to determine that Life orientation should not be a non-examinable subject.
- To compare the interim National Curriculum Statement Grades R-10 to be phased out in December 2013 and the new National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12 to be phased in in January 2014.
- To arrange public hearings on the findings and preliminary report of the Ministerial Committee and
- To make recommendations on the key concerns relating to the NSC and the implications of these recommendations if implemented.
The membership of a ministerial committee to oversee the finalisation of the curriculum and assessment policy statements for technical schools has been announced in terms of the National Education Policy Act (1996).The committee is also mandated to advise the Minister of Basic Education on other strategic matters.
The eleven member committee includes representatives from the Department of Education, the Engineering Council of South Africa, University of Witwatersrand, the Independent Examinations Board and the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement.