One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane said on Monday tackling violence, gangsterism and increasing teachers’ salaries are some of the ways in which basic education can be transformed.

He detailed the plan in a two-page document ahead of the announcement of matric results by education minister Angie Motshekga. Maimane criticised the minister’s leadership, saying basic education had collapsed.

“Amid the events this week, let us not be distracted by the DBE [department of basic education] as they manipulate metrics and divert attention to celebrating the individual accomplishments of our brilliant learners who overcame a system that was stacked against them,” said Maimane.

On Tuesday he said more pupils should be encouraged to consider subjects like maths and science.

Here’s how Maimane wants education to be transformed:

Establish an independent education inspectorate 

Maimane said an independent structure, not the department, is necessary to oversee the quality of education and address complaints. This would ensure accountability and improve the education system.

Invest in computing

“We need to build computers that can be shared by multiple schools in a community on a rotational basis. This is the best way to pool resources, provide adequate security and make sure there is the right level of staffing talent to serve communities.”

Tackle violence 

Maimane said increased security in schools will reduce violence and gang-related activities and ensure the safety of pupils.

“The learning environment must be one that is free from any violence and disruption. It must be a place that students want to spend more time in and not less, and it must be a place that makes the teachers feel safe and not on the defensive,” he said.

Increase teacher salaries

Maimane said increasing teacher benefits would attract talented young people and improve the quality of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The department would be able to retire underperforming teachers while motivating those who perform well, he added.

Offer learners incentives

Maimane said that learners who excel in STEM subjects should be be financially rewarded, to encourage more participation in these fields of learning.

“Young people respond well to incentives and we must use behavioural economics to keep the levels of participation and performance consistent throughout their high school career,” he said.