R63bn budget allocation for education in GP

THE GAUTENG Department of Education will be allocated a budget of R63.4 billion to advance its mandate of providing quality and easily accessible education in the province.

This is an increase of 6.2% from the 2022/23 budget of R59.7b, which essentially reflects an addition of R3.6bn to the current budget.

Speaking at a post-budget vote, MEC Matome Chiloane said the department had noted more senseless, barbaric acts and behaviours that threaten the safety and future of learners in the province.

“Therefore, school safety is one of the sixth administration’s priorities for education. As such, the department will invest R2.91b into creating safer schools that embody social cohesion through patriotism and non-violence through the heightened presence of safety patrollers,” said Chiloane.

The department will channel most of this investment toward the School Safety Strategy. This involves internal and external teams providing integrated support in profiling, diagnosing, and identifying interventions to make schools safer for staff and learners.

The strategy targets 1 700 informal settlement schools and focuses on 275 high-risk schools. This would be in collaboration with the Department of Community Safety, the CPF and SAPS.

A School Safety Patroller programme would be implemented and enlist 5 000 patrollers to provide security to schools on a 24-hour basis.

The MEC added that the department was working on a strategy to change the educational landscape to accelerate relevant and quality learning and would invest R5.9b.

“Among the apex points of this strategy is the infrastructure to provide a more conducive environment for quality learning and teaching.

“We have plans to build 17 schools in high- pressured communities. With support from the Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency, we applied for funding from the Budget Facility for Infrastructure for the construction of 18 more schools. National Treasury approved it,” he added.

The department has set aside R1.78bn from the budget to invest toward strengthening the foundation across all General Education and Training grades.

The Introduction to African Languages, and maths, science and technology intervention programmes across all grades would be ongoing.

Meanwhile, R75.4m would be spent on increasing access to special schools, capacity building of the educators, procurement of appropriate learner-teacher support material and screening learners.

R89.3m would be spent on psycho-social support for inclusive education. Early Childhood Development will receive an investment of R874m. The department will continue the expansion of Grade R to all public schools.

Image (MEC for Education in GP, Matome Chiloane, presented a R63bn Budget allocated for education in the province).

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