Remarks by Hon. Premier DD Mabuza at the Meeting with Bushbuckridge Principals

09 June 2010


Programme Director,

MEC for Education, MEC R Mhaule,

Members of the Executive Council

Head of Department of Education, Ms Mahlasedi Mhlabane,

Circuit Managers and School Principals,

Ladies and gentlemen,


Let me start off by thanking the MEC for the Department of Education, Ms Mhaule, for inviting me to address this important meeting. I feel honoured and privileged indeed.


Dear School Managers, the importance of education to this country cannot be overemphasized.


It is a fact that the bulk of solutions to most of the challenges that are confronting us as a country today lie in better education. This is not new. The founders of the liberation movement in this country mooted to this point in the early days of the struggles for liberation.


When education became one of the important ten clauses of the Freedom Charter it was no a surprise at all.


It was not even a surprise when the democratic government prioritised education immediately after taking the reigns of power in 1994.


It is also no surprise when the Zuma administration, together with the people of this country, placed education high on its priority list.


At the beginning of our term of office and early this year, the national government and Mpumalanga government, made certain commitments to the people of this country, including the province, regarding steps that will be taken to improve the level of our education.


When I met with principals in October last year, I highlighted the importance of access to quality education as a necessary condition for development, economic growth and prosperity in the Province. I reiterated the President’s call for non-negotiables in education. I said:

“Teachers should be in school, in class, on time, teaching, with no neglect of duty and no abuse of pupils! The children should be in class, on time, learning, be respectful of their teachers and each other, and do their homework.”

As government, we have always committed ourselves to ensuring that we invest massive resources in our education system so that we improve learner performance and outcomes.

At the centre of our efforts is the need to ensure that our schools are properly managed. Principals are a vital element in the education system delivery chain. Principals have a responsibility to manage and lead. It is no coincidence that poorly managed schools perform badly.

One of our critical areas of focus is ensuring that our schools become centres of excellence. We need to develop a strong culture of learning and teaching.

Bushbuckridge is one of the most underperforming districts in our Province. We need to ensure that, together, we work hard to turn around this undesirable situation.

According to our records, Grade 12 performance is the lowest compared to the other districts, thereby affecting the overall performance of the Province. Bushbuckridge is also the lowest in the country. Only 4 out of 120 schools achieved above 60% in 2009


16. As a Province we need to work hard to improve the pass rate by at least 10%. Among other things, we need to:

  • increase the participation and pass rates in Mathematics and Physical Sciences to 18 000 and 13 000 respectively
  • Increase the number of matric graduates qualifying to study towards Bachelors Programmes at university from the current 6 552 to 13 112 as well as,
  • improve the overall matric pass rate to at least 70% by 2014.
  • improve the performance of our primary schools, especially in mathematics and literacy.

We need to improve a culture of teaching and learning. We need to ensure that:

  • teachers teach, managers manage and learners learn
  • develop a culture reading
  • involve community participation in matters of education, and
  • participate in Departmental initiatives such as Winter schools and extra classes.

Therefore, as a Province, we have to come to urge each and everyone of you to work with government, parents and learners, including other key stakeholders, in ensuring that all these objectives alluded to see the day of light.

The failure and success of these intentions are in your hands. We rely on you to lead the way. We will walk with you.


I thank you

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