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Naledi Pandor’s speech on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope

Naledi Pandor, South African Minister of Science and technology recently gave a speech about the developments around South Africa’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope. South Africa and Australia are the finalists in the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

The SKA is an internationally supported project to build the most powerful and technologically advanced research facility in the field of radio astronomy. It will utilise cutting edge technology in electronics, computing, network connectivity, material sciences and engineering. If this facility is constructed in Africa, it will catapult the Continent to the forefront of science for years to come.

In preparation for hosting of the SKA telescope, South Africa has introduced a comprehensive human capital development programme that supports students across the continent to study physics, astronomy, engineering and ICT. This programme has been extremely successful in attracting young African students into science and engineering and in producing a cohort of postgraduates.

To read Pandor’s full speech on defenceWeb Click Here!

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Motshekga plans to overhaul the school system

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga recently briefed the media in Cape Town on plans the South African government’s human development cluster had to boost the quality of education.  She said her department was looking at rolling out scholar transport to pupils in rural areas and was in talks with the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) and the National Treasury to find ways to increase the amount of funding necessary to build new schools.

She also stressed that the commitment and hard work of teachers and school governing bodies is key to making schools more successful.

Other aspects of the plan includes enrolling all children for Grade R and increasing the number of Grade 12 students who pass matric exams and who qualify for university from 105 000 to 175 00 by 2014.

The Department also plans to increase the number of Grade 12 students who pass maths and science exams from 165 000 to 225 000 by 2014 and to double the number of learners in Grade 3, 6 and 9 in public schools who obtain the minimum acceptable marks.

Agreement has also been reached with with unions to reduce the number of strike hours. The administrative burden of continuous task assessment has been reduced too.

Learning and teaching packs for Grade R teachers, containing lesson plans, learners’ workbooks and story books among other things, has been distributed to all 13 900 schools that offer Grade R.

The Department has also introduced an assessment for grades 3, 6 and 9 in an effort to lay a sold foundation of learning and to measure the success of interventions in literacy and numeracy.

To read more go to the Bua News article on allAfrica.com by Clicking Here!

South Africa to get 400 new teachers from Kenya

More than 400 science and mathematics teachers from Kenya are soon expected to start working in South Africa.

This follows an announcement by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for opportunities that could see the teachers earn 10 times more in South Africa than what is offered in Kenya.

The recruitment is being done by TSC on behalf of South Africa’s Education Department. Successful applicants are set to start work in the next three months.

For more on this read the article in the Daily Nation Newspaper by Clicking Here!