In his second State of the Nation address in parliament President Jacob Zuma has said that his government has, “placed education and skills development at the centre of this government’s policies”. However his speech failed to provide much detail on the plans, or many new initiatives.
There was some new information on schooling changes such as providing detailed daily lesson plans for teachers. But the schooling plans revolve around a simple change of mindset – “We want learners and teachers to be in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching for seven hours a day”.
This will undoubtedly bring results but, simple as it seems, will the Zuma government be able to bring about this change in ethos at the majority of South African schools. The day after Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe made a speech calling on all politicians to stay out of school during teaching hours, Julius Malema interrupted schooling in Gauteng schools to hold a political rally.
If the Zuma administration can’t even get other leaders in the ANC to support its goals, how can we believe that they can get the educators and unions to support their goals?