Department of Basic Education 2nd Quarter 2011 Performance including progress on infrastructure development delivery for technical schools and on Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign

Basic Education

21 November 2011
Chairperson: Ms H Malgas (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Basic Education briefed Members on its Second Quarterly Performance Report from 1 July 2011 to 30 September 2011; on the progress on delivery of infrastructure development for technical schools; and on the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign.

The key event in the second quarter was the signing of t
he National Economic Development and Labour Council  Accord on Basic Education and Partnerships with Schools by leaders of organised labour, Business Unity South Africa, community constituencies present in the National Economic Development and Labour Council  and the Minister of Basic Education. Another key event was that the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements for Grades R to12 had been gazetted as National Education Policy. The second quarter also focused on the 2011 Grade 12 examination.

Milestones and performance of each programme against the second quarter target were presented. The Department had continued to implement activities to ensure that key priorities were addressed through the Workbooks, Annual National Assessments, Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements,
Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, and Teacher Education and Learner performance improvement strategies. The Department needed to play a more active role in direct implementation of policies.

The purpose of the recapitalization of technical schools was to improve conditions of technical schools and modernize them to meet the teaching requirements of learners in the technical fields and increase the number of suitably qualified and technically skilled graduates from these schools. The project was administered as a conditional grant and was implemented by provinces for the Medium Term Economic Framework 2011/12-2013/14.

The Technical Schools Recapitalisation Grant Framework required the Department to monitor performance in provinces both in terms of cash flow and non-financial performance indicators. The project reflected challenges around concurrence functions between national and provincial departments and these were being addressed.

As at 31 October 2011, the Department had received signed copies of reports from Mpumalanga, North West and Western Cape. The Department also relied on information from Provincial Treasury.
Expenditure of 26% of the annual allocation for provinces was less than the expected norm for expenditure during this period (30% or more of the annual allocation) and this should increase substantially based on the direct transfers to schools. The Council of Education Ministers had taken the decision to establish a dedicated unit within the Department to interact directly with schools to improve on areas identified and maximise the performance of the project. Other interventions to mitigate challenges of the Technical Secondary Schools Recapitalisation Programme were: on-site support to the provincial officials in terms of addressing the delays related to the procurement processes; guidelines for procurement plans and specifications for tender documents to assist in the implementation of the project; development of a transversal tender for all procurement items; and application of the Division of Revenue Act, Section (16)(1)(c), with regard to withholding of transfers, to the provinces with lower expenditure: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and North-West.

Of concern to Members was that spending of transferred funds as of 30 September 2011 differed greatly between provinces: Mpumalanga 303%; Eastern Cape 28%; Northern Cape 279%; Free State 126%; Limpopo 20%; Gauteng 104%; North West 33%; KwaZulu-Natal 1% and Western Cape 266%. Members felt that the budget was important for validation of the target and performance and to identify trends. With the provinces variations in expenditure, it would be difficult to account for over and under-spending in terms of the Public Finance Management Act. The Department responded that over- and under-spending in provinces would be managed to meet compliance with the Act's requirements. While financial data was available, the validation process on some data was not complete. Members also asked when reconfiguration of the Department would be completed; what the Department was doing to address the shortage of teachers and why the projects were not resolving the problem; and how additional teacher post provision would affect the Eastern Cape.

Members felt that
education and support materials on sexual and reproductive health delivered to schools was a controversial section of the curriculum and required transparency. They asked who was training the educators, who wrote the curriculum, what issues had emerged and if there had been any public comment on it. They also asked what progress on school infrastructure was made; for more information on the financial planning with regard to infrastructure backlogs; if the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative would replace the 50 mud schools by the beginning of the 2012 school year and what the impact of the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative was; for a second quarter report on the Dinaledi schools; and if the collaboration between the Department and Department of Health on health screening of learners would continue and reach all learners who could not afford to go to a doctor.

Members further asked how the Department assessed school readiness for implementation of
Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements policy; why some specialised teaching was delayed because of the introduction of Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements; and how the Department aimed to get suitably qualified educators to execute the goal of recapitalization of technical schools; why the target for Grade 6 learners performing at the required mathematics level was 35% not 100%; why the Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign Project was classified as an Extended Public Works Programme; if the National  Education Evaluation Development Unit and Integrated Quality Management System roles as moderators of school classes were clearly defined to prevent overlap of function; and what the strategy was to ensure that the number of learners in a classroom would not exceed 49 learners.

The Department then briefed the Committee on progress with regard to the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign which had been endorsed by Cabinet Lekgotla as a vehicle towards mobilising society on education. Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign was also mandated to brief the Portfolio Committee on Education, Provincial Education Portfolio Committees and Multi Party structures and to increase its consultation with political parties and public representatives. Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign had been further mandated to be the custodian of driving the National Economic Development and Labour Council Accord on Basic Education. The Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign protocol on the rules of engagements in the adoption of under-performing schools had been endorsed by the Council of Education Ministers and would be ratified the following day by the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign Steering Committee before being shared more extensively with the Committee. There were 12 under-performing districts: Mpumalanga (3), Eastern Cape (6), Limpopo (3). Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign progress in each province was described. Drawbacks for the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign were the establishment of fully functioning all-inclusive stakeholder forums at District and School Levels; extensive advocacy to all members of society; and funding to sustain administrative activities and its operation.

Members asked why the issue of teachers arriving late for school was not addressed in all schools; what the impact of having full-time coordinators at national level was; if the My Life My Future programme was in KwaZulu-Natal only; what Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign Committees were active in the provinces; what progress had been made in the provinces since the launch of Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign; and how exactly Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign would operate on the ground, at school level, as some School Governing Boards were non-functional.


Meeting report

 

Department of Basic Education 2nd Quarter 2011 Performance
Ms Vivienne Carelse, Deputy Director-General: Strategic Planning,Department of Basic Education(DBE, the Department), said that the Second Quarterly Report would cover the performance of DBE from 1 July 2011 to 30 September 2011. Details of the report would be outlined in the presentation. Due to time constraints, she would immediately hand over to Mr Coetzee to begin the full presentation.

Mr Gerrit Coetzee, Director: Strategic Planning and Reporting, Department of Basic Education, said that the report had been compiled based on the recommendations made by the Committee following the first quarter report - that performance should be set against targets.

The key event in the second quarter was the signing of the
National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) Accord on Basic Education and Partnerships with Schools by leaders of organised labour, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), community constituencies present in NEDLAC and the Minister of Basic Education on behalf of Government. Another key event was that the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) Grades R-12 had been gazetted as National Education Policy. The second quarter also focused on the 2011 Grade 12 examination.

Programme 1: Administration

Administration performance outputs were 100 % on track. For court cases, 25 % had been successfully resolved and was on track to resolve 50% of court cases by the fourth quarter. For functional national and provincial communication platforms, 40% in the first quarter and 15% in the second quarter targets had been achieved with only 15% outstanding for the fourth quarter. Response to queries from the provincial departments were on track to exceed the 70% target for 2011.

Milestones included implementation of 30 internships in DBE branches for unemployed graduates to be appointed permanently when vacancies became available; training and professional development opportunities for 94 DBE officials; six out of 12 court cases had been resolved and six were being dealt in court. The DBE Amendment Bill was complete; the
National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU) Bill had been drafted and regulations in terms of Section 38A of the South African Schools Act had been published for comment and comments had been received.

Draft agreements on cooperation with China and Serbia were being negotiated and the Japanese government had agreed to send an education expert to assist DBE curriculum development in the areas of maths and science for a period of two years. A presentation was made to the newly appointed ambassadors at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on 23 August 2011 to brief them on DBE, its objectives, as well as on Action Plan 2014. Policy development support was provided for Learner Pregnancy Regulations (draft); Legal advice on the LTSM (submission, evaluation and adoption of Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM); and National Guidelines for School Library and Information Service.

Other significant achievements were progress on the internal reconfiguration process to meet DBE’s strategic intent to improve the quality of basic education and attain the goals of the Action Plan to 2014. The NEEDU Bill was presented at the Hedcom meeting of 29 and 30 August 2011 and at the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) meeting of 22 September 2011

Programme 2: Curriculum Policy, Support and Monitoring
The number for
educators who used and applied Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in their classrooms was 2 822, while the target was 1 600 educators. The number of educators who attended ICT courses was 1 360 in the first quarter and 3 580 in the second quarter. The target was 16 690. DBE was experiencing challenges around measuring the number of schools connected to ICT infrastructure as reports from provinces was not verifiable and were slow to come in.

The percentage of Grade 1 learners who had received formal Grade R (reception) education in six provinces was 60% against the target of 72%. This was due to inadequate reports from provinces and DBE was addressing rectifying the target.

The number of full service schools that physically upgraded to Full Service Schools, but where educators still needed to be trained on Guidelines for Full Service Schools, was 108. The report did not speak to target indicators and DBE was awaiting reports. However, no training of educators in Full Service Schools on identification and support of special needs had taken place due to the implementation of the CAPS process in 2012.

The number of subject advisors trained in CAPS for Grade R to Grade 12 was 2474 in the second quarter and 336 Foundation Phase district officials were trained and oriented with the CAPS document changes. Grades 1,2, 3 and 10 would be implementing CAPS in 2012.

The target for delivery of Grade 1 to 6 maths and language workbooks to 19 000 primary schools in the nine provinces was 24 million. Twelve million were distributed in the first quarter and 12 million were distributed by 29 July 2011 for the work to be covered between August and November 2011. The National Catalogue for textbooks from Grade 1 to 10 had also been distributed to provinces. There was much work still to be done with regard to education on proper use of the workbooks.

There were no milestones to report
on for the Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign Project, which created 4334 work opportunities for unemployed youth.

A total of 5 250 ordinary schools had libraries at their schools. DBE had published guidelines to enable all learners to have access to information.

Implementation of CAPS and human resources allocated towards implementation of CAPS was a priority and toward the end of the year, DBE would report on the CAPS performance indicators.


Programme 3:
Teachers, Education Human Resources and Institutional Development

The annual performance target for increasing the number of teachers participating in targeted priority
teacher development activities with a focus on under-performing schools
had been changed. In the second quarter 31 710 of the target 35 000 teachers participated in teacher development activities at under-performing schools.

Progress on
new teachers below the age of 30 years entering public service for the first time was good. The number fell short of the target by 352.

A total of 1 326 Funza Lushaka teacher bursaries were awarded in the quarter. The cumulative target of 7 000 bursaries set for the end of the second quarter had been exceeded, with 8 068 bursaries awarded to date.

A total of 2 263 schools were visited by external Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) moderators during the second quarter. Under-performing schools in all provinces were targeted during the 1 332 follow-up visits conducted. The external moderators were able to observe the lessons of 98 educators in their classrooms and offer IQMS support.

School Governing Body effectiveness met its target of 10% and was on track.

Allocated teaching posts were all filled and monitoring of the rate of vacancies on a quarterly basis and reporting to HeadCom and the CEM had proven to be helpful for filling of vacant posts and providing information the vacancy rate at each school and district per province to the Minister and senior management. The vacancy rate significantly improved from 10.3% in May to 0.9 % in June.

DBE was confident that the strategy for the Recruitment and Placement Framework would
contribute to ensuring that schools did not have classrooms with more than 45 learners per classroom

DBE would meet the annual target for Acceptable Minimum Standards for schools in terms of services from districts.
The percentage of school principals rating the support services of districts as being satisfactory would be determined at the end of the financial year through a survey. DBE had provided the districts with the Acceptable Minimum Service to schools through the Guideline on Roles and Responsibilities of Education Districts.

Two Education Labour Relations Task Teams had been established
to refine employer proposed evaluation instruments on the Teacher Performance Appraisal System (TPAS) and Education Management Service: Performance Management and Development System (EMS: PMDS) for Principals and Deputy Principals as well as office-based educators, completed their work on 31 August 2011. Both Task Teams submitted their recommendations to a Special Bargaining Council meeting of 13 September 2011, which were accepted by all parties. Once the EMS process was finalised, DBE would be able to engage with the Bargaining Council and enter into performance contracts with principals and deputy principals.

Programme 4: Planning, Information and Assessment
Targets for Programme 4 were in close correlation with the DBE Action Plan 2014. The number of learners tracked
by the Learner Unit Record Information and Tracking System (LURITS) in the second quarter was 1.1 million and cumulatively it was at 9.98 million. The target for 2011 was 10.5 million. The number of public ordinary schools interacting with LURITS was 17 083 at the end of the second quarter, with an annual target of 25 000.

A South
Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) Annual National Assessment (ANA) report was completed and six policy briefs had been drafted with the potential to influence DBE policy toward improving learning and teaching from lessons learned from ANA reports. Data collection for the International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) study had also been completed. In preparation for ANA 2012, the user and technical design specifications of the enhancement of the ANA data capturing system was signed off by DBE for implementation by the South African State Information Technology Agency (SITA). National Senior Certificate (NSC) registration of candidates for 2011 had been finalised; audit of provincial registration data basis had been conducted; and a state of readiness was determined.

DBE had made a funding request to National Treasury (NT) for implementing an amended funding model within the revised Grade R quality framework to ensure that Grade 1 learners had received formal Grade R education.

Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) school infrastructure implementation was approved by NT and transfer for the grant was approved on 15 September 2011. In order for the Minister to provide a revised national target for school allocations and determine quintiles for no fee schools, provinces were being requested to provide information on their finances for school budget allocation for the 2012-14 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). Monitoring and Evaluation of provincial budgets was conducted to ensure that funds were utilised according to budget allocation and an analysis of the budget and expenditure was done by DBE on a monthly basis.

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) funded [ replacement of] mud schools programme was functioning.

Programme 5:
Education and Enrichment Services
Performance of programme 5 had a number of annual targets, 80% of which had been achieved.

In the second quarter, 213 schools out of the target of 225 participated in the Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) pilot programme.

The number of educators trained to implement sexual and reproductive health programmes for learners in the second quarter was 7 468, which far outweighed the target of 3 106. The annual target was 17 160.

The number of LTSM support materials on sexual and reproductive health delivered to schools was 328402, which exceeded the target of 283 664. The annual target was 1 154 196.

The number of Grade 1 learners in Quintile 1 primary schools who underwent health screening in the second quarter was 138 201 and data was still outstanding from Eastern Cape and North West. The annual target was 250 000.




Through the National School Nutrition Programme, 8 975 274 learners in Quintile 1 - 3 primary and secondary schools were provided with meals by the end of the second quarter which exceeded the annual target of 8 633 095 learners receiving meals.


The second quarter target number of public ordinary schools with active Quality Learning and Teaching (QLTC) Committees was 1 500 and 1 515 had been established. The annual target was 3 000. This was very significant in terms of involvement of parents and civil societies in schools.

Currently 343 public ordinary schools benefited from private partnerships. The target for the second quarter was 1 500. DBE was making progress but it was difficult to validate the target.

The second quarter target number of public ordinary schools linked to their local police station for safety issues was 6 000 and 5 563 were currently linked.


The number of public ordinary schools participating in school sport leagues at the end of the first quarter was 9 745. The annual target was 3 000.

The second quarter target for public ordinary schools that had access to materials and information for managing and preventing sexual violence was 250 and only 124 schools had achieved access. The target the year was 1 000.

The Gender Equity Directorate in partnership with the Media in Education Trust (MIET) Africa convened a Roundtable Discussion on Dealing with Sexual Abuse in Schools in order to promote the effective management of cases of sexual abuse in schools and beyond. The HIV and AIDS Life Skills Education Programme was given impetus by training educators to deliver sexual and reproductive health education to learners. The target for this quarter was to train 7 146 educators. To date, 6 719 educators were trained. The 2011 South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod competition was successfully hosted at Heartfelt Arena in Tshwane from 30 June to 3 July 2011.

The DBE and organised labour came together to pledge their commitment to quality education with the recent signing of the Accord on Basic Education. On 20 September 2011 organised labour and the DBE convened a meeting to translate the objectives of the Accord into tangible actions which would in turn realise the objectives as set out in the Accord.

In conclusion, in order to improve performance in the sector, DBE needed to play a more active role in direct implementation of policies. The DG and Minister also reflected on this important role and shift in focus.

During the second quarter, DBE has continued to implement activities to ensure that key priorities were addressed through the Workbooks, Annual National Assessments (ANA), CAPS,
Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) and Teacher Education and Learner performance improvement strategies.

Consolidated Quarterly Reporting for the Technical Secondary Schools Recapitalisation Programme
Quarter 2 (July – September 2011)
Mr Mathanzima Mweli, Acting Deputy-Director General: Curriculum, DBE said that the purpose of the recapitalization of technical schools was to improve conditions of technical schools and modernize them to meet the teaching requirements of learners in the technical fields and increase the number of suitably qualified and technically skilled graduates from these schools. The project was administered as a conditional grant and was implemented by provinces for the MTEF 2011/12-2013/14.

The Technical Schools Recapitalisation Grant Framework required DBE to monitor performance in provinces both in terms of cash-flow projections and non-financial performance indicators. The project reflected challenges around concurrence functions between national and provincial departments and these were being managed as best as possible.

As at 31 October 2011, DBE had received signed copies of the reports from Mpumalanga, North West and Western Cape. Other provinces had submitted draft copies of their reports would to be considered by Heads of Department (HODs) before they were submitted to DBE. DBE also relied on information from provincial treasuries.

DBE covered the areas of building or re-designing workshops, refurbishing of workshops, procurement of machinery and equipment and training and up-skilling of teachers. The National Curriculum statement placed importance on teachers having high skills and high knowledge. With respect to performance of the project, R19 million of the second quarter R40 million transferred funds had been spent. Provinces were allocated different amounts and were at different levels of performance and the situation of over and under-performance was being managed.

Percent spending of transferred funds at the end of the second quarter was: Mpumalanga 303%; Eastern Cape 28%; Northern Cape 279%; Free State 126%; Limpopo 20%; Gauteng 104%; North West 33%; KwaZulu-Natal 1% and Western Cape Province 266%. 85% of money transferred to provinces had been spent and 26% of the total allocation for the financial year had been spent. The expected norm for expenditure during this period was 30% or more of the annual allocation and this should increase substantially based on the direct transfers to schools. In comparison to the same period last year, the expenditure for 2011/12 had substantially increased and the overall expenditure and delivery outputs were doing well.

Remedial measures had been recommended for each province for improvement in integrated operational planning, procurement and on-site monitoring. The interventions to mitigate challenges were: on-site support to the provincial officials in terms of addressing the delays related to the procurement processes – this formed part of the continuous grant monitoring plan; guidelines for procurement plans and specifications for tender documents to assist in the implementation of the project; development of a transversal tender for all procurement items; and the Division of Revenue Act, Section (16)(1)(c), with regards to withholding of transfers, should be applied to the provinces with lower expenditure: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and North-West.

The Council of Education Ministers had taken the decision to establish a dedicated unit within DBE to interact directly with schools to improve on areas identified and maximise the performance of the project.

Discussion
Ms C Dudley (ACDP) asked for more of a sense of what the problems were around the
access to materials and information for managing and preventing sexual violence. The programme on educators trained to implement sexual and reproductive health programmes and the LTSM support materials on sexual and reproductive health delivered to schools was a controversial section of the curriculum and required transparency. She asked who was training the educators, who wrote the curriculum, what issues had emerged and if there had been any public comment on it.

Ms Carol Nuga Deliwe, Director: Policy Support; Department of Basic Education replied that training was conducted by a combination of provincial and district education officials responsible for safety at schools as well as South African Police Service (SAPS) officials, School Governing Body (SGB) members as well as some managers and principals at schools who utilised materials developed by DBE on safe environment for schooling. More written detail in respect of school safety can be provided to the Committee.

Mr Z Makhubele (ANC) commented that the impact of the quality of a programme should be justified by the budget and it was not clear what the impact was without the budgetary figures.

Mr D Smiles (DA) asked if it was by policy or by design that there had been an absence of performance against budgetary figures in the report.

Ms Carelse replied that the exclusion of the budget from the presentation was not deliberate but was in the context of the annual performance plan which outlined in detail how the budget was allocated towards each programme. The budgetary analysis could be added to the current presentation and re-submitted to the Committee. The finance officer was currently in a meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) and would provide follow up on finances where required.

The Chairperson said that the budget was important for validation of the target and to identify trends. With the provinces' variations in expenditure, it would be difficult to account for over and under-spending in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
           
Mr Mweli replied that over and under-spending in provinces would be managed by DBE to meet compliance with the PFMA requirements.
While financial data was available, the validation process on some data was not complete.

Mr C Moni (ANC) asked which expenditure and transfers in the provinces were normal.

Mr Mweli replied that the provincial expenditure target was 30% and provinces close to this target were doing well.

Ms N Gina (ANC) asked for clarification on the progress made on school infrastructure. The reports on ASIDI and standard allocation of funds did not give a clear indication of its status.

The Chairperson asked if ASIDI would complete the 50 mud schools by the beginning of the 2012 school year and what the impact of ASIDI was.

Mr Solly Mafoko, Director: Infrastructure and Physical Resources Planning, DBE, replied that the R8.4 billion infrastructure budget in the provinces was managed by the DBE but located at provincial level for the provision of new schools and the rehabilitation and maintenance of existing schools. An amount of R8.2 billion was allocated over the MTEF for the ASIDI programme and R700 million had been allocated for the current financial year, of which R420 million had been allocated for the eradication of mud schools. The remaining R280 million was for electricity, water and sanitation.

The ASIDI programme, implemented by the DBSA, had identified 50 mud schools/inappropriate structures in the Eastern Cape. The contractors for first 28 schools had been procured and the tender for contractors for the 22 remaining schools would be closed on 29 November 2011. It stated explicitly in the tender contract that this was an accelerated programme and contractors would be expected to complete the 50 schools by 31 March 2012. The Basic Services programme had identified 300 schools to receive electricity from Eskom and water and sanitation from the Mvula Trust, Independent Development Trust (IDT) and Eskom by 31 March 2012. The implementing agents worked together with the Department of Public Works (DPW).

Mr Smiles asked how the ANA and the assessment unit in programme 4 (evaluation) assisted curriculum support and monitoring in programme 2.

Mr Mweli replied that in the education sector it generally took about 12 years to determine the impact of an intervention - such as the impact on the effect of training educators. The impact of output data, such as the number of educators trained, was available.

The Chairperson asked if DBE had norms and standards, or guidelines, in place for infrastructure. This was a question based on the Auditor-General’s feedback.

Mr Mafoko replied that DBE was advised to change norms and standards to guidelines. The guidelines for planning of primary and secondary public school infrastructure were approved by the CEM the previous week and would be published before the end of the year and presented to the Committee. Eight design plans for schools had also been approved. Over and above guidelines, a cost model had been developed to standardize the cost of building classrooms across the provinces - quotes from contractors varied by huge amounts.

The Chairperson asked for a second quarter report on expenditure on the Dinaledi schools.

Mr Mweli replied that the report was on his computer and he would share it with the Committee. Figures would confirm that DBE was not performing well in Dinaledi schools. The CEM had recommended that the same unit for provincial training and monitoring should be implemented in Dinaledi schools.

Mr Smiles asked why the highlights and challenges of DBE support of provinces had been omitted in programme 1.

Mr Anton Schoeman, Acting Deputy Director-General: Administration, DBE, agreed that more emphasis should have been placed on the support offered by the DBE team. Each programme in each province was assisted with support on personnel expenditure, finances, asset management and line function issues. Teams visited the provinces on a quarterly basis, reported back and made assumptions about where more support was required. Skills around finances were lacking. Six of the nine provincial departments had  received qualified audit reports.

Mr J Skosana (ANC) asked how DBE was progressing with libraries in schools.

Mr Mweli replied that the plan to improve on the number of libraries in schools was through the Infrastructure Delivery Programme; mobile libraries (Japanese Government collaboration) and library services in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture and at provincial level.

Mr Skosana asked if teachers who were given computers were also trained on how to use them.

The question was not answered.

Mr Skosana asked how DBE assessed school readiness for implementation of CAPS policy.

Mr Mweli replied that DBE was very confident that at the opening of schools in 2012, all provinces would be ready to implement CAPS from Grade R to Grade 3 as well as in Grade 10. Six provinces were ready and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Limpopo and Gauteng were completing their teacher training.

Ms F Mushwana (ANC) asked how, if not all public ordinary schools were registered on the system, the percent of schools interacting with the information tracking system could be derived. She asked when the exact numbers would be revealed.

The question was not answered.

Ms Mushwana asked if the school choral event was for a particular provinces or if all provinces were invited to take part.


The question was not answered.

Ms A Mashishi (ANC) asked how DBE would improve on the number of school SGBs.

The question was not answered.

Ms Mashishi asked what the abbreviation MIET was for and if the Committee would receive a report on MIET.

Ms Deliwe replied that this was the Media in Education Trust.

Mr Smiles asked for more information on the financial planning with regard to infrastructure backlogs.


This question was not answered.

Mr Moni asked when reconfiguration of DBE would be completed.

Mr Schoeman replied that an organogram had been approved by the Minister and had been implemented in DBE. The Minister and Director-General (DG) had specifically prioritized areas with specific issues. The funding of the organogram was a challenge as the 2010 Department split was done without any additional funding for human resources (HR) and without addition of warm bodies. DBE received R18 million to address the shortfall in personnel. The chief financial officer (CFO) post had been filled and the three deputy director-general (DDG) posts had been advertised for interviews to commence shortly.

Mr Moni asked why the target for Grade 6 learners
performing at the required mathematics level
according to the country’s Annual National Assessment
was 35% not 100%.

Mr Mweli replied that in terms of policy, 35% was the minimum requirement for promotion of the learners, but DBE was indeed pursuing the 100% target. The National Development Plan suggested that by 2030, 90% of learners should be
performing at the required mathematics level.

Mr Makhubele asked why the Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign Project was classified as an Expanded  Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Mr Mweli replied that the rationale for the Kha Ri project being an EPWP was the extent to which it was able meet the national target of creating jobs and responding to challenges of employment.

Mr Makhubele asked for clarification on why some specialised teaching was delayed because of the introduction of CAPS.

Mr Mweli replied that during the process of strengthening the curriculum it was useful to wait until the process was finalised so that new developments were incorporated into teacher development to respond to the needs of those teachers. Special schools would also benefit from the CAPS process.

Ms Gina commended DBE  on school-based assessments (SBAs) to ensure school results and looked forward to hearing about the progress on CAPS.

Mr Mweli agreed that once SBAs were established correctly, schools were 90% towards addressing problems and responding to targets of the National Development Plan. SBAs would continue to be strengthened.

Ms Gina asked what DBE was doing to address the shortage of teachers and why the projects were not succeeding in resolving the problem.

Ms Deliwe replied that the shortage was due to teacher absence and vacation of posts and lack of timely response to the vacant posts. DBE was working with the Department of Higher Education and Training to plug the gaps and track new teachers to ensure that they were supported in their new jobs. 

Ms Gina asked if NEEDU and IQMS roles as moderators of school classes were clearly defined to prevent overlap of function.

Ms Nuga Deliwe noted that DBE would follow up on ensuring that their roles were coordinated effectively.

Ms Gina asked if the collaboration between DBE and Department of Health on health screening of learners would continue and reach all learners who could not afford to go to a doctor.

Mr Mweli replied that together with the Department of Health, DBE was implementing the Strategy for Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS) to reach all learners in the deep rural areas. Weakness, challenges and achievements had been identified.

Ms Mushwana asked if the curriculum advisors trained for CAPS were trained in the circuits with schools or in the districts.

Mr Mweli replied that subject advisors were trained by the national training team, which
consisted of officials from the provinces who were also involved in the development of CAPS. The national team trained provincial teams, drawing all responsible subject advisors from Grade R to 3 and Grade 10, who in turn trained educators. The role of the national team was to monitor the provincial training team. Representatives of unions were also trained, thereby adding capacity at provincial level.

Mr N Kganyago (UDM) asked how DBE aimed to get suitably qualified educators to execute the
goal of recapitalization of technical schools.

Mr Mweli replied that while up-skilling of educators to meet the vision spelled out in the document was a challenge, the four technology subjects at schools were performing well. The extent to which recapitalization of technical schools contributed to the number of artisans and to job creation would be determined from impact studies.

Mr Skosana asked what the strategy was to ensure that the number of learners in a classroom would not exceed 49 learners. This problem had continued for 45 years.

Ms Deliwe replied that lack of infrastructure, the manner in which teachers were allocated across schools and teachers vacating positions had been the cause for learner-teacher ratios not been lower in the past. DBE’s response to the problem had not being optimal. However, the learner-teacher ratio had stabilised in recent years.
 
The Chairperson asked how the shortage of teachers and how additional teacher post provision would affect the Eastern Cape.

Mr Mweli replied that he recalled that the Eastern Cape had the most favourable teacher-learner ratio of 1:28, but a better ratio did not necessarily translate into a better learner outcome.

The Chairperson said that DBE should note that quintiles were being reviewed and would affect the outcome on targets. She also said that the Annual Performance Plan should be attached to the Strategic Plan and Policy Speech and Budget when DBE presented in Parliament.

Quality Teaching and Learning Campaign (QTLC)
Mr Thula Nkomo, Director: Quality Teaching and Learning; Department of Basic Education said that the primary focus of the QLTC was to protect the delivery of quality teaching and learning. DBE was proud that in 2011 Cabinet Lekgotla endorsed the QLTC as a vehicle towards mobilising society on education and further mandated QLTC to brief the Portfolio Committee on Education, Provincial Education Portfolio Committees and Multi Party and to increase its consultation with political parties and public representatives. The Minister signed the NEDLAC Accord on Education and QLTC had been mandated to be the custodian of driving the accord on behalf of DBE. In addition to funding received from the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), over R2 million had been allocated by the DG to the QLTC as a direct response to the Cabinet directive. The Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign Coordinating Team (QTC) consisted of full-time officials at national level who coordinated the QLTC.

The QLTC protocol on the rules of engagements in the adoption of under performing schools had been endorsed by the CEM and would be ratified the following day by the QLTC Steering Committee before being shared more extensively with the Committee. There were 12 under performing districts: Mpumalanga (3), Eastern Cape (6), Limpopo (3).

In response to the ANA outcomes, the QCT in collaboration with the Systemic Evaluation Section had developed a Framework on ANA. QCT in collaboration with the Communications and other relevant sections in DBE had developed pamphlets on tips for parents on ANA, Workbooks, Early Child Development (ECD), and volunteerism in educational matters. QCT was working closely with the Education, Management and Governance Development (EMGD) towards the election and training of the SGBs in March 2012. QCT in collaboration with all sections and provinces was coordinating the school readiness monitoring programme for 2012. The Western Cape, North West and Mpumalanga provinces were ready for monitoring. QLTC progress in each province was described (see handout).

Drawbacks for the QLTC were the establishment of fully functioning all-inclusive stakeholder forums at District and School Levels; extensive advocacy to all members of society; and funding to sustain administrative activities and its operation. The full QLTC Steering Committee would attend the presentation on the
Quality Teaching and Learning Campaign at the next Portfolio Committee meeting.

Discussion
Ms Mushwana asked why the issue of teachers arriving late for school was not addressed in all schools.

Mr Nkomo replied that the issue of late-arrival of teachers was a sore point. The Western Cape and Gauteng were sharing their interesting mechanisms to curb late-coming with the other provinces. In KZN, the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) visited schools unannounced and this was having positive effects.

Ms Gina asked what the daily work of the full-time QLTC officials was and what the impact of having full-time officials was.

Mr Nkomo replied that at national level officials had clear and uniform responsibility and were performing well. The MECs at provincial level were learning from Limpopo - terms of reference etc and sharing best practice towards uniformity across all provinces. Progress in this regard would be shared with the Committee.

Ms Gina asked if the My Life My Future programme in KZN was a national or provincial programme.

Mr Nkomo replied that best practices from this provincial programme would be identified and extended to benefit all provinces.

Ms Gina asked what Committees were active in the provinces and what progress had been made since the launch of QLTC in the provinces.

Mr Nkomo replied that functionality of the structures for implementation of QLTC at most schools were not established and until schools were performing at 100% pass rate and teachers were not late for class, QLTC would not be seen to have achieved its goal. Indeed,
gauging the impact of an intervention programme in the area of education was a challenge but pockets of excellence were already showing. For example, a district in Mpumalanga was effectively utilizing QLTC to engage with communities and identify educational needs. In the next meeting, QLTC would report on the progress of QLTC in the provinces.

Mr Makhubele asked who in the Steering Committee had the authority to lead all the stakeholders. A presentation by the Steering Committee would be helpful. He also encouraged QLTC to talk to performance issues that were measurable and understandable. 

The Chairperson asked if QLTC at the school level would be ward-based and who would take it further on the ground.

Mr Nkomo said that a roster on the QTC was being circulated to Members and should offer more clarity on the leadership. The CEM had resolved that QLTC was a political programme that should be located at the provincial MEC offices. At school level, QLTC should be a sub-committee of SGBs. In the Eastern Cape, the MECs had resolved with other stakeholders that the Education Forums should operate under the QLTC.

The Chairperson said that the Committee expected further discussion on what would happen at school level. There were SGBs that were non-functional. She thanked DBE for the presentations.

The meeting was adjourned.



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