By Mbulelo Mtshilibe
On the 25th of March 2021, the Free State Department of Education tabled its Budget for the 2021/22 financial year under the leadership of MEC Dr Tate Makgoe at Mohaladitwe Secondary School in Phuthaditjhaba, Qwaqwa.
It is not a secret that the 2020 academic year was very challenging for parents, learners and teachers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Department recorded a relatively low rate of fatalities among teachers and learners which the MEC attributed to “the sufficient measures put in place to allow for safe teaching and learning in our schools, to save lives in our schools”. Makgoe further alluded to the department’s emphasis on “strict adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions during the period in which the pandemic was at its peak”.
In its continued efforts to fight the scourge of unemployment among the youth, the department employed over 19000 Education Assistants with a hope to employ more in the new financial year.
In line with the emerging technological advances brought about by 4th Industrial Revolution, the department heeded the call made by the President to “radically change learning towards the 4th Industrial Revolution and embrace efforts to bring new learning areas such as Robotics and Coding in the foundation phase” by investing in technological resources such as laptops, tablets and creation of online learning portals.