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LEARNING CURVE

National Education Collaboration Trust celebrates a decade of milestones

National Education Collaboration Trust celebrates a decade of milestones
The National Education Collaboration Trust is celebrating a decade of education. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

The National Education Collaboration Trust has been hailed for playing a progressive role through collaborations in the education sector.

A plan to reform curricula in schools to develop the skills and competencies of learners is under way.

This was announced by National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) chairperson Sizwe Nxasana on Monday, 11 August at the NECT’s 10th-anniversary convention at Birchwood Hotel in Kempton Park, Gauteng.

National Education Collaboration Trust

National Education Collaboration Trust chairperson Sizwe Nxasana. (Photo: Supplied)

The two-day convention was themed “Reflections on Collaboration to Enhance Education Reform Efforts in South Africa”.

Nxasana said they were working with the Department of Basic Education to reform the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (Caps) so that it not only focused on knowledge education but also addressed skills and competencies to alleviate unemployment and inequality.

“Since 1994, the CAPS curriculum has been academic,” Nxasana said.

NECT background

Nxasana said that with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and education development specialist Godwin Khosa, who is the NECT CEO, a dialogue was held on 6 December 2012 that led to the formation of the NECT. 

This was after the National Development Plan (NDP) was adopted in August 2012.

The dialogue led to the formulation of the Collaboration Education Framework and later the launch of NECT on 16 July 2013. 

Nxasana said education in SA at the time was in a dire state, with only 24% of matriculants obtaining university entry passes.

National Education Collaboration Trust

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga. (Photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier)

“Teacher unions were unhappy with a lot of things,” he said. “Only 70% of districts were functional; 30% of districts were not functional. It was a bad state of affairs.”

Last year, he said, 36% of matriculants had obtained university entry passes.

He said more than 115,000 teachers had been involved in NECT programmes to improve education.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Daring solutions are needed to solve South Africa’s maths teaching crisis

Nxasana said that at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, “The NECT was able to mobilise a lot of private sector partners, especially in the digital and broadcast space to make sure that learning losses were mitigated to ensure children continued to learn.”

‘Tangible progress’ 

Motshekga said the past decade had been marked by unprecedented collaboration between the business sector, academia and civil society.

She said the NECT was the gold standard in public-private partnerships.  

Khosa said the NECT focused on teachers because they were at the centre of efforts to improve education.

He said teachers’ welfare, knowledge and support formed part of the attempts to improve education outcomes.

School managers, including principals, he said, had benefited from the work of the NECT. DM

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