Umalusi - Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training Annual Report 2010/11

Basic Education

11 October 2011
Chairperson: Ms H Malgas (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Umalusi - the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi)  briefed Members on its Annual Report 2010/11. Umalusi was mandated to quality assure qualifications and standards, monitor and moderate learners’ achievement and issue certificates. The Council also evaluated whether providers of education and training in the sector had the capacity to deliver and assess qualifications and were doing so to expected standards of quality. Previously Umalusi’s work was primarily focused on quality assurance. In terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act quality assurance was only mentioned in two lines. The focus was now on standards and qualifications and qualify assurance was in support of those qualifications. There were two new qualifications; one was the National Senior Certificate  for Adults, which was an alternate matric for adult learners. The National Senior Certificate (NSC) was a three-year qualification and it was very difficult for people outside school to take on a three-year qualification, so the one-year qualification was developed as an alternative matric for adults. In addition a National Independent Certificate was proposed and submitted, which was more of a vocation certificate for adults out of school.

In terms of state of readiness for this year’s examinations, Umalusi had completed its work and was confident that the examinations would roll out to the standards of Umalusi in a credible manner.

Umalusi received an unqualified audit report. All creditors were paid within thirty days, surpluses were invested with the Corporation for Public Deposits and all assets registered and labelled. There were no audit queries with regard to asset management.

Umalusi’s total income for the financial year 2010/11 was R59.4 million, and ended with a deficit of R3.6 million. In the approved budget, the Minister of Basic Education approved that Umalusi could utilise up to R18.4 million of its reserves to fund this year’s budget and the deficit showed that Umalusi only required R3 680 484 from those reserves. It could not be known as a surplus due to the fact that Umalusi used reserves which were already in its bank account at the Corporation for Public Deposits.

Umalusi commented on the value and importance of education. Our Constitution declared that every person in this country had a right to quality education and compelled the State to make same progressively available to all the same. Education was the single most potent tool to make it possible for every person to change his or her socio economic condition. It was only through access to quality education that every person in this country would be able to engage meaningfully and productively in a fulfilling and rewarding life. Umalusi emphasised that

- As a nation we must eschew mediocrity and raise the quality of education in a very meaningful and sensible way. The struggle waged in this country for years was not for access to mediocre education, it was for access to quality education.

- It was important to invest in Early Child Development and Foundation Phase so that the young people could have the solid foundation for them to succeed in education and also in life.

- The expectations of our young people and also of ourselves must be raised, and that the bar be raised. To make 30% and 40% a pass mark and a combination of those was not good enough; expectations must be raised. If expectations were raised young people would rise to the occasion, they would always perform to the level of expectations.

- The quality of teaching and learning must be improved. The teachers in the classroom were a product of our society; they must be defended and provided with opportunities to develop into the kind of teachers desirable to have in front of the class.


Members thanked Umalusi for the presentation  because of the spirit that it brought to the challenge of education in this country. Members asked how parents could participate, because quality education did not come from the classroom alone. The Foundation Phase was important. Members congratulated Umalusi for its unqualified report, thanked it for its hard work, referred to the impact of the external environment on Umalusi and felt that there was stress, possibly about the varying views on the nature of standard setting and quality assurance and whose role it was:  Umalusi was in the most strategic position to raise the bar through coordinated discussion and standard testing.

Meeting report

Introduction
The Chairperson expressed appreciation that the Minister had led the delegation at the previous meeting; ministers were very busy and it was an honour that she was present at that meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to look at the Umalusi report and she requested the delegation to speak on examination readiness. The Committee also wished to see what was regarded as fruitless or wasteful expenditure.

Umalusi Annual Report 2010/11 presentation
Dr Mafu Rakometsi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Umalusi, apologised that Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Chairperson, Umalusi, had been delayed. He had taken a flight from Port Elizabeth and was on his way from the airport. He introduced Ms Eugenie Rabe, Chief Operations Officer (COO), and Mr Jeremy Thomas, Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The presentation focused on a summary of the purpose and mandate of Umalusi; the impact of the external environment on Umalusi; organisational performance per unit; readiness of the organisation to quality assure the coming examinations, and the challenges  currently faced on the state of readiness of the organisation.

Previously Umalusi reported as an organisation in transition with regard to its mandate; the current report was as Quality Council.  While maintaining the ‘old’ quality assurance work it also had to accommodate development of functions to support the new and extended mandate. Aspects that affected Umalusi were as follows:

- The passing of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act in 2009 changed the roles and responsibilities of the various bodies in the quality assurance landscape. The role of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)  was not what it used to be, which impacted on responsibilities that initially were the responsibility of SAQA.

- The amendment of the General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance (GENFETQA) Act in 2008 gave Umalusi an extended mandate that required more capacity and a review of Umalusi’s positions and approaches;

- The amendment of the Skills Development Act and the establishment of the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations (QCTO) with mandates that impacted on the mandate of Umalusi; and

- The amendment of the Higher Education Act with approaches that impacted on Umalusi’s work.

- The NQF Implementation Framework from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) put pressure on policy development in an uncertain environment. The Framework of Umalusi had not yet been legislated, which led to further uncertainty.

- The conceptualisation of the post schools system through a green paper process by the DHET, which was nearing completion;

- Review of the National Certificate Vocational (NCV) through a Ministerial Task Team;

- Revision of the N-courses with the QCTO;

- Revision of the school curriculum through Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS); and

- Varying views on the nature of standard setting and quality assurance – was it the role of Umalusi’s or the role of DHET or the role of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) or the role of the National Education, Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU)?

Ms Rabe reported that there were four professional units in Umalusi in terms of quality assurance work. In the way that the mandate had shifted she began with the Qualifications, Curriculum and Certification Unit (QCC). Previously Umalusi’s work was primarily focused on quality assurance. In terms of the NQF Act quality assurance was only mentioned in two lines. The focus was now on standards and qualifications and qualify assurance was in support of those qualifications.

The role of the unit for QCC was to ensure and enhance the status and quality of the qualifications Umalusi certified, which were the old Senior Certificate, the National Senior Certificate, the NCV and the N-courses and the General Education and Training Certificate, and the certificate for adults. Quality assurance qualifications and their related curricula were Umalusi’s contribution to the overall quality of the certificate. The function also oversaw the issue and verification of certificates.

Last year there was a lot of emphasis on policy development and the Minister of Higher Education issued guidelines on the implementation of the NQF Act and a lot of that fell within the General and Further Education & Training Qualifications Framework which had been finalised and submitted to the Minister.

In terms of the Qualifications Framework there were two new qualifications; one was the National Senior Certificate for Adults, which was an alternate matric for adult learners. The National Senior Certificate was a three-year qualification and it was very difficult for people outside school to take on a three-year qualification, so the one-year qualification was developed as an alternative matric for adults. In addition a National Independent Certificate was proposed and submitted, which was more of a vocation certificate for adults out of school.

Criteria and guidelines for development and evaluation of qualifications and curricula were revised together with SAQA.

Ms Rabe detailed the curriculum evaluated and benchmarked completed as per plan, and certification issued in line with directives and guidelines.

Ms Rabe turned to the Quality Assurance of Assessments Unit (QAA). She briefly explained monitoring for the state of readiness for this year’s examinations. The QAA function entailed the establishment, maintenance and improvement of standards and quality in assessment of exit points in General and Further Education and Training. Umalusi used five key processes: external moderation of question papers; verification of monitoring the conduct of examinations; external moderation of marking; external moderation of continuous assessment; and standardisation of assessment results. All the national senior certificate papers had been externally moderated and approved; verification of the monitoring of the examinations was conducted. Monitoring took place at different levels – provincial departments monitored districts, national department monitored provinces, and then Umalusi verified. In verifying Umalusi shadowed the Department of Basic Education. This year Umalusi would do six provinces: Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape. That had been completed and the monitoring report had been written up. Umalusi also looked at Life Orientation, which was an internally marked subject. Standardisation of assessment results came at the end and was not yet done. In terms of state of readiness Umalusi had completed its work and was confident that the examinations would roll out to the standards of Umalusi in a credible manner.

In terms of the work of last year Umalusi quality assured eleven examinations throughout the year across the various qualifications. Until recently Umalusi had a problem in finding sufficient expertise to do the moderation for all of the papers, however, more recently for this year an additional 38 moderators were appointed and that problem should not continue.

The Evaluation and Accreditation Unit (E&A) was responsible for accrediting private institutions through quality assurance of their provision for the qualifications Umalusi certified. The unit evaluated the capacity of education and training providers to implement registered qualifications and approved curriculum they sought accreditation for, and the quality of the enacted curriculum it provided, i.e. teaching and learning; and the capacity of assessment bodies to conduct practical, internal and external assessment of learner achievement, leading to the issuing of registered qualifications by Umalusi as well as the standards of assessment products and processes.

Ms Rabe reported on the Statistical Information and Research Unit (SIR) which was mandated to conduct research as identified by the needs of the organisation and report on the key indicators of quality and standards in general and further education and training; to establish and maintained databases; to lead statistical research and analysis; and to inform and provide statistical support for the work in other units. The SIR Unit also played a role in organisational and professional development at Umalusi.

Mr Thomas gave a brief outline of Management Support Structures (MSS). MSS oversaw all the operations within Umalusi and consisted of the CEO, the CFO and the COO. Responsibilities fell within the office of the Chief Executive Officer and ensured that all corporate governance of the organisation was actually working, that strategic plans were in place and that the organisation carried out its remit; it looked after corporate governance and its accompanying responsibilities; it also provided advocacy of Umalusi’s work; and was also responsible to see that stakeholders were effectively managed and relationships ensured and improved.

The Information Technology Systems Unit formed part of corporate services and was made up of three sub-units, being Information and Technology Systems, Finance and Administration, and Human Resources Management and Development. In terms of business continuity, high availability solution was in place for crucial servers. A disaster recovery strategy was approved and implemented. Umalusi believed it necessary and engaged with State Information Technology and other information technology (IT) companies around that matter.

Mr Thomas turned to Finance, Human Resource Development and Administrative Support.
Umalusi received an unqualified audit report. All creditors were paid within thirty days, surpluses were invested with the Corporation for Public Deposits (CPD), and all assets registered and labelled. There were no audit queries with regard to asset management. The organisation was looking to the upgrading of its building to suit organisational requirements.

The vacancy rate was 6%. Development of staff was a priority with greater budget demands for 2010/11 and beyond.

In terms of financial performance, Umalusi’s total income for the financial year 2010/11 was R59.4 million, and ended with a deficit of R3.6 million. In the approved budget, the Minister of Basic Education approved that Umalusi could utilise up to R18.4 million of its reserves to fund this year’s budget and the deficit showed that Umalusi only required R3,680,484 from those reserves. It could not be known as a surplus due to the fact that Umalusi used reserves that were already in its bank account at CPD. Looking ahead, Umalusi’s budget for 2011/12 was R78.8 million, using R15 million from its reserves of R23 million, of which R6.4 million would be used for renovations, leaving R2 million earmarked for the Adult matric project over three years, which left Umalusi without any reserves.

Mr Thomas highlighted that Umalusi received its first grant from the DBE in 2002, which was 11% of total income. The grant went up progressively to 31% in 2009, and 29% in 2010. The grant for the current financial year was 23%, and looking ahead the budget was increasing but the grant was getting smaller. This had been discussed with the Department of Basic Education and with National Treasury and interventions were in place.

Dr Rakometsi concluded the presentation by indicating that the issues raised previously regarding the funding of Umalusi had been addressed by the Department and the Department supported the proposal that Umalusi put on the table. Umalusi had indicated to the Department that with the declining grant percentage there was a need to move from a Certification Fee model to a Quality Assurance Levy, or increasing its baseline allocation substantially. The Department had not yet applied for the Quality Assurance Levy and was supporting Umalusi’s negotiations with Treasury of an increase in Umalusi’s baseline allocation. Feedback was expected by the end of October/early November. Should the increase in Umalusi’s baseline allocation not be available for 2012/2013 the organisation would have no alternative but to dramatically increase certification fees to fund future years.

Umalusi continued to work hard to ameliorate relations with the other Quality Councils (QCs) through collaboration.

Dr Mabizela commented on the value and importance of education and said the greatly admired and revered former President Nelson Mandela said that it was through education that a child who was a miner could become a head of that mine and it was through education that a child of a labourer could become a President of a great nation. Our Constitution declared that every person in this country had a right to quality education and compelled the State to make education progressively available to all. Education was the single most potent tool to make it possible for every person to change his or her socio-economic condition, and for long-term sustainability and stability of our democratic order. It was only through access to quality education that every person in this country would be able to engage meaningfully and productively in a fulfilling and rewarding life.

 - As a nation must eschew mediocrity and raise the quality of education in a very meaningful and sensible way. The struggle waged in this country for years was not for access to mediocre education, it was for access to quality education.

- It was important to invest in Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Foundation Phase Education. Umalusi quality assured Grade 12 assessments. The Ministerial Committee looked at the retention capacity of our schooling system and it was frightening to learn that a little more than a quarter of young people who started Grade 1 reached Grade 12. It was important to invest in ECD and Foundation Phase so that the young people could have the solid foundation for them to succeed in education and also in life.

- The expectations of our young people and also of ourselves must be raised; he recommended that the bar be raised. To make 30% and 40% a pass mark or a combination of those was not good enough; expectations must be raised. If expectations were raised young people would rise to the occasion, they would always perform to the level of expectations. Low expectation was a psychological barrier. This country invested more in education than other African countries did but the returns were nothing to be proud of.

- The quality of teaching and learning must be improved. People condemned and demonised the teachers; Dr Mabizela wished to defend them. Their inadequacies were not of their making. The teachers in the classroom today did not have good quality teaching modelled for them; their inadequacies were part of the legacy of our sorry past. It was necessary to work with the teachers and improve their subject content and knowledge. As long as it was made out to be their problem that they were not able to teach adequately, the barrier would not be crossed. The teachers in the classroom were a product of our society; they must be defended and provided with opportunities for them to develop into the kind of teachers desirable to have in front of the class.

Quality assurance needed to be located within the national effort to ensure that every young person had access to quality education.  Umalusi’s approach to quality assurance was not in the compliance tick box, it was one that was engaged in the critical issue of quality education to the whole community. Umalusi committed itself to a target of improving the quality of education in this country. Young people in this country deserved better than we had been able to deliver so far.

Discussion

The Chairperson thanked Umalusi for the comprehensive report, and Dr Mabizela for his closing remarks.

Dr W James (DA) thanked Umalusi for the presentation and Dr Mabizela for his closing remarks because of the spirit that he brought to the challenge of education in this country. Dr James agreed wholeheartedly.

Dr James agreed with Dr Mabizela in terms of raising expectations, clearly a third of the knowledge was not a pass. The percentage to pass could not simply be increased without investing in the quality of teaching in the way suggested. The increase would have to be calibrated per year to match up with the quality of teaching, which meant that teachers would have to have access to good, well managed, incentivised in-service training. What did Dr Mabizela consider to be a pass?

Dr Mabizela said he was a firm believer in the power of education to change lives. Education could liberate people from the pestilences of ignorance, want, hopelessness, and despair. It was through education that we could build a winning nation, if we failed to do that then the future looked very bleak.

Under-performance must be uprooted, not only in education but in ever facet of our lives. We must set high expectations of ourselves first and then of others. Thirty to forty percent was not good enough, and was not an invention of 1994; a pass of 33% had always been a part of our education system. We must move progressively to something that was better. To move to what would be considered a quality pass would have to ensure that teachers were adequately trained and competent and everything would fall into place. He was concerned that we seemed to be overly occupied with the pass rate; schools wanted to improve their pass rate and were worried about those who did not do well and ignored those who were at the top who needed to be strengthened further to get a better pass to enable them to go to higher education. He stressed that the bar must be raised.

Dr Mabizela cautioned that the obsession to get high pass rates in matric was causing huge problems in schools and was denying young people opportunities for quality learning.

 Ms F Mushwana (ANC) asked how parents could participate, because quality education did not come from the classroom alone. She stressed the importance of the Foundation Phase.

Dr Mabizela agreed on the role of parents. Quality education would only be achieved by the leadership of the schools, parents and communities, and with teacher unions on board. It was very important to start to shift away from the rights of the teachers and balance that with the responsibilities and to emphasise the professional development of teachers.

Mr Z Makhubele (ANC) congratulated Umalusi for its unqualified report and thanked it for its hard work. He referred to the impact of the external environment on Umalusi and felt that there was stress, possibly about the varying views on the nature of standard setting and quality assurance and whose role it was.

Ms Rabe responded that Umalusi had met with NEEDU and they would work closely together. There was an area of overlap regarding evaluation of schools, but were willing to provide each other with information. The main difference was that NEEDU was about school improvement and Umalusi was about accreditation. Some schools were not accredited and somebody needed to develop those schools.

The CEO mentioned that it took time for Umalusi to realise that its mandate had changed. When did they realise that the mandate had changed?

Ms Rabe explained that it had been a subtle shift. The mandate officially changed on 1 June 2009 and together with SAQA and other Quality Councils (QCs) had moved slowly forward.

Mr Makhubele noted that Umalusi did tests and assured on the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) programme. If a particular programme was meaningful and was the responsibility of Umalusi it must be able to equally take the blame if the impact resulting from those programmes was not satisfactory.

Ms Rabe responded that the regulations for registration of private Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges only recognised Umalusi as the quality assurer, and not SETA. When private FET Colleges had to be registered that providers that had already been accredited by SETA had to reapply for accreditation by Umalusi.

Mr Makhubele believed that Umalusi was in the most strategic position to raise the bar through coordinated discussion and standard testing.

Dr Rakometsi responded that the Department developed the curriculum without involving Umalusi directly. Umalusi was the standard setting body and was supposed to be the one that spearheaded any curriculum and any qualifications. Now it was the standard setting body for all the qualifications on a sub framework. The question was should the Department set the curriculum and Umalusi set the standards, because standards were set through the curriculum. That was the debate. Umalusi continued to scan the environment, not only for threats but also for opportunities, and how the environment would impact on Umalusi. With the establishment of NEEDU and QCTO, how would the work of those other bodies impact on Umalusi? Umalusi had met with the CEO of NEEDU and fully understood the mandate of the organisation. In discussion it became clear that NEEDU would look at the systemic evaluations. They could check how far the school received support from the district, and also how far the province supported the district. NEEDU’s mandate was so broad that it could also go to the Head Office of the Department of Basic Education. Unfortunately they did not have an Act or an established council. There was clear designation of scope; there were no grey areas.

Ms A Mashishi (ANC) was pleased that Umalusi was ready for the examinations. She referred to the independent schools and asked how often Umalusi monitored them and whether Umalusi was happy with their results.

Ms Rabe responded that NEEDU would do the independent schools. Umalusi was happy with some of the results and very unhappy about others. Last year Umalusi monitored the schools that under performed and went back to assess whether their visit had improved their results and found that there was quite a large improvement.

Ms Mashishi asked for clarity on the Adult matric.

Ms Rabe explained that that concept started with the previous Department of Education for adults out of school. It was a four subject qualification: maths, maths literacy, and a choice of other subjects such as social science, history, geography, general science and biology, and economic science. Learners could go to a centre and enrol for subjects, one or two at a time, with no prerequisite for entry. Last year the Department of Higher Education asked Umalusi to take it forward.

Mr D Smiles (DA) said the presentation convinced him that Umalusi concentrated on the task, and also sensed urgency and consistency. Umalusi needed clarity on what their mandate should be, against the expectations of it. His understanding was that Umalusi sought to have an overall position on quality assurance and not have QCTO, so that there was one South African quality assurer with regard to education and training.

Regarding the role of Umalusi vis-à-vis other quality councils, there was clear designation of scope. Where there were grey areas SAQA had an oversight role and where there was conflict or misunderstanding SAQA would manage that.

Mr Smiles agreed with Dr Mabizela that it was Umalusi’s role to look at quality education. Was there a need for the private sector to come in with regard to teacher training?

Mr Smiles said that research had been done on the Foundation Phase and suggested checking whether that was internal. Investment in the Foundation Phase must begin next year; it could not be delayed again. He had asked the Minister yesterday to only allow qualified teachers for Grade R, and not under qualified teachers in Grade 1.

Ms Rabe replied that there had been two projects around that; there was an initial benchmark project comparing with British Columbia, Singapore, and Kenya, the South African Foundation curriculum came up looking good. Umalusi had not looked at Grade R.

Mr Smiles asked what was Umalusi’s preference for the funding model, and why?

Mr Thomas responded that about three years ago Umalusi had indicated to the Department and to National Treasury the various options to ensure that Umalusi obtained the necessary funding. One option was to move away from the certification fee, which was a concept where only those learners who had passed in the system paid a fee for obtaining the certificate at the end of their learning. The Quality Assurance levy was the model that looked at all the learners in the system for which Umalusi had provided some services, whether it was moderation of a question paper or monitoring examinations; and the levy fee to encompass all the learners in the system. It could perhaps be a lower fee but a larger number of learners and therefore could provide Umalusi with the kind of funding it required. A third option was to increase the current certification fees. Umalusi received a grant from the department of an average of 29% of budget; that grant could be increased. In terms of preference, Umalusi just wanted the funding it required to do its work. In discussions with department and National Treasury there was more positivity in increasing the baseline over future years. Umalusi would be happy with that provided it covered Umalusi’s mandate progressively. The fact that Umalusi had used reserve funds for operations put it in an awkward position, as it was essential to have reserve.

Dr Rakometsi added that Mr S Padayachee, Acting Deputy Director-General: Planning, DBE, had offered to help with the funding problems. The history of Umalusi was inadequate funding. Umalusi, as a statutory body, should be adequately funded.

Mr N Kganyago (UDM) was concerned about the training of apprentices. There was a shortage of artisans; there were FET Colleges all over the country but the emphasis was on theory and should rather be on the practical work.

Ms Rabe could only comment that the number of people who actually obtained the full certificate was extremely low.

Dr Mabizela added that some poor decisions had been made since the advent of democracy. Some of the State entities, such as Eskom, used to train high quality artisans and apprentices, and all those had closed down. It was beyond belief that South Africa imported welders from India. He hoped that the Minister of Higher Education would pay attention, because those were the skills that this country needed.

Ms N Gina (ANC) noted that Umalusi had brought up the problem of the funding model several times before. From which department did the base line funding come – DBE or DHET. Was the Adult matric certificate located in the DBE or DHET?

Mr Thomas responded that Umalusi did not receive funding for work done for adult and vocational education. Umalusi made a bid to the DEHT for funding for that work that fell within their domain. Administratively Umalusi fell under the DBE and therefore the DBE should be aware of Umalusi’s needs.

Ms Gina asked how far Umalusi went in assessing Life Orientation (LO)?

Ms Rabe responded that because Life Orientation was internally marked the standard was variable. If the site based assessment had a difference of more than ten percent then those marks were standardised.

Dr Mabizela added that LO was a subject that was meant to equip our young people with the skill to negotiate challenges in ever day life, for them to become effective and productive citizens in our democratic society, but that was not taken very seriously. That should inculcate issues of values, issues of social justice and the spirit of Ubuntu, which was not being entrenched in young people so that they did not think of just themselves.

Ms Rabe said Umalusi was working with QCTO to regulate the N courses, legally it lay with Umalusi and Umalusi was working with QCTO.

Dr Rakometsi added that the role of Umalusi vis-à-vis QCTO was very clear. The role of Umalusi was clarified in the SAQA Act, which said that Umalusi would quality assure schools according to the South African Schools Act; other centres according to the Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) Act; and other colleges according to the FET Colleges Act. He also clarified the role of Umalusi in relation to the two departments of Education.

The Chairperson was also interested in the funding and from which department it came from.

Mr Padayachee responded that the DBE was driving the issue of the funding and the request put in included all funding required. When the matter was resolved Umalusi would get what was required to carry out their mandate.

The Chairperson was also concerned that there was still no policy in place and asked whether that lack of clarification gave rise to problems with operational issues.

The Chairperson referred to home languages and research on African languages. She felt it was important to add sign language.

Ms Rabe said home languages did not currently include sign language, but it was something that could be considered.

The Chairperson asked what impact the vacancy rate of 6% had on Umalusi’s work.

Mr Thomas responded that Umalusi was in the process of filling those posts but it was sometimes difficult to find the required competence; there was no other quality assurer that did the work that Umalusi did.

The Chairperson requested the Committee Secretary to record that Umalusi thanked the Committee for its support.

She congratulated Umalusi on the unqualified report, which was an achievement considering it worked with R60 million. It showed the calibre of leadership that Umalusi had, and also humility to serve the people. She thanked Dr Mabizela for the dialogue with Dr James. When it came to disclosure of results at the beginning of the year Umalusi showed maturity and was very professional; the Committee thanked Umalusi for that. Next year when the standardisation was announced she would like the Committee to be part of that announcement. She thanked Members for their attendance, she was very proud of the Committee. Members were never absent unnecessarily; they showed an interest in education and the future of this country.

The Chairperson thanked the Department for being present and for leading the delegation. She thanked Umalusi for its presentation and Dr Mabizela for coming from Grahamstown.

The meeting was adjourned.



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