President Jacob Zuma has assured the nation that government will continue to invest in education and skills development as it forms the key to economic growth and development.
“We need engineers, electricians, plumbers, doctors, teachers and many other professionals to build our country’s economy,” President Zuma said during his State of the Nations Address, on Tuesday.
“We will continue to promote universal access to education by ensuring that all children between ages 7 and 15 are in school. Government will also increase the number of Grade 12 learners who gain entrance to university, moving from 172 000 in 2013 to 250 000 in 2019,” he said.
He said government will continue to fight drugs and substance abuse in schools and communities. “We will also prioritise safety in schools, scholar transport and child health.”
With regard to inappropriate structures and mud schools, President Zuma said government will continue to eradicate mud schools and other inappropriate structures.
Government has already started eradicating mud schools in the Eastern Cape through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) programme replacing them with state-of-the-art schools.
To date, a number of schools have already been built through the ASIDI programme. The programme is said to be extended to other provinces like Limpopo and the Western Cape.
ASIDI aims to replace inappropriate school structures. It forms part of government’s 13th Strategic Infrastructure Project (SIP), which relates to the rebuilding of schools.
In total, about 50 schools are to be built through the ASIDI programme to accommodate more than 10 000 learners in the Eastern Cape.
Universities at N-Cape, Mpumalanga
With regard to the two new universities, Sol Plaatie in the Northern Cape and the University of Mpumalanga to be built in Nelspruit, President Zuma announced that contractors will move on site in September to start building the new universities.
“By January next year, the first intake of medical students will be enrolled at the new medical university in Limpopo.”
In addition, 12 training and vocational education colleges will be built to expand the technical skills mix in the country, the President said. – SAnews.gov.za
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