The Department of Basic Education has welcomed the increase in the funds allocated to education by Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in the 2015 Budget.
“This 8 per cent increase to R276.7 billion in the allocation for education reinforces this government's commitment to education as its apex priority,” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
She said the budget allocation will help the Basic Education Department towards achieving the goals set out in its action plan of improving quality and efficiency across the entire system.
“It will go a long way to improve school infrastructure, the connectivity of schools as we progress towards the idea of the 21st century classroom, continued teacher development as well as improve the supply of learner teacher support material (LTSM) among others,” said Minister Motshekga.
Minister Nene’s budget committed to more than R7 billion over the next three years to replace infrastructure in 510 schools and to provide water to 1 120 schools, sanitation to 741 and electricity to 916 schools.
"We welcome the announcement by Minister Nene that all school building plans will be standardised and the cost of construction will be controlled by the office of the chief procurement officer," said Minister Motshekga.
The Minister said the continued commitment of all government departments to education as a tipping point towards transformation in all areas of society is evident.
“… This budget makes the education goals outlined in the National Development Plan an attainable reality," said Minister Motshekga.
Other measures to be in place for schools over three years include:
- printing and distributing 170 million workbooks at 23 562 schools;
- each pupil in Grades R to 9 will receive two books per subject each year in key subjects;
- R4.1 billion to build and support public libraries; and
- R1.1 billion for broadband connectivity in government institutions and schools.
Minister Nene also supported the central procurement of LTSM and mentioned that in a bid to tighten up financial management and prevent corruption, all books delivered to schools next year will be managed through a centrally negotiated contract.