Earlier this week the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE’s) director for research, Stephen Taylor, revealed the findings of a recent survey where learner access to libraries or media centres increased from 45 percent in 2011 to 62 percent in 2017.
According to SA News, the national survey was commissioned in 2017 by the DBE and it is known as the School Monitoring Survey (SMS).
It’s designed to measure the progress of ordinary public schools towards achieving key goals and indicators set out in the 2019 Action Plan, as well as the Medium Term Strategic Framework for 2014 – 2019.
“At national level, learners access to libraries increased significantly from 45 percent in 2011 to 62 percent in 2017. It is encouraging to note that this increase has been largely pro-poor, with the largest improvements having been Quintile 1 to 4 schools,” said Taylor.
The publication added that the survey showed a substantial increase in the percentage of schools where the SGB meets the minimum criteria of effectiveness, with the largest improvements in Quintile 1 poorest schools.
The survey further added that in 2011 the percentage of schools where all allocated teaching positions were filled was at 69 percent and improved to 78 percent in 2017. On infrastructure the survey showed that 59 percent of the schools comply with nationally determined minimum physical infrastructure standards.
“We use the survey results to improve our planning in a bid to turbocharge the system towards greater efficiency. The information provided by the 2017 SMS will enable the department to fulfil its mandate of monitoring and evaluating education provision across provinces,” added Taylor.
The survey also showed areas that needed improvement such as teacher absenteeism increasing from between 2 percent to 8 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2017.