Budget Vote 15; Gangsterism and Violence against children in Manenberg schools in the Western Cape: briefing

Basic Education

13 May 2002
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PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND RECREATION

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION; SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND RECREATION: JOINT MEETING
14 May 2002
BUDGET VOTE 15; GANGSTERISM AND VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN IN MANENBERG SCHOOLS IN THE WESTERN CAPE: BRIEFING

Chairperson: Prof S Mayatula (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Presentation on vote 15 for 2002/03 (see Appendix)

SUMMARY
The presentation on the budget was a highlight of the Departments plans and the source of funding. There were question of clarity about the Department's plans. The second presentation was very short because the delegation was incomplete. The ensuing discussion emphasised commitment to fight gangsterism in schools and there was an emphasised argument that socio-economic problems were the root of violence and gangsterism in schools across the country.

MINUTES
Budget Vote 15
The Minister of Education, Professor Asmal, highlighted some of the areas that the Department was grappling with. These include the transformation of higher education, HIV/AIDS education and instilling values in education. The Minister expressed his commitment to betterment of education in general and at all levels. Mr Benade continued the presentation by providing statistical and graphical presentation of the budget. In the presentation he highlighted six programmes that the Department was working on and the sources of their funding. Evident from the budget was that the programme of higher education transformation accounted for 90,79% of the total budget.

Discussion

A Member asked the Minister how underspending by provinces could be stopped and delivery be fast-tracked.
The Minister explained that while the Department has allocated money to provinces, the problem was the procedure and process towards delivery. The process is complex because it does not only involve the Department of Education but other government Departments, some private agencies and tenders too.

A Member asked if the transforming national curriculum would not be confusing for pupils in their final year.
The Minister disagreed and said that while the formal curriculum remained, OBE was being implemented across the curriculum.

A Member asked the Minister if the claim by the universities and technikon authorities that the transformation of higher education was not consultative was true.
The Minister replied that people are suffering from a 'consultation fatigue'. He denied that the process was not consultative. He defended the Department by saying that even though not all universities and technikons were visited, they were all given the information in document form. The Department had also met with professional organisations, student bodies, CHE, and COSATU.

A Member asked if the Department was making any efforts to combat the impact of HIV/AIDS on the resource pool of teachers and education about the disease.
Minister Asmal said that there was an up coming conference on the impact of HIV/AIDS in education. So far he had no idea of the impact or efforts to combat HIV/AIDS but the Department was committed to AIDS education in schools.

A Member asked the Minister about the progress of Microsoft's installation of information and communication technology in school. The Minister said that for the past three months there had been negotiations between Microsoft and the Department. The talks were over and the process of connecting schools would be implemented from 2003. By 2010 every school would be connected.

A Member commented that Accounting and Economics were important subjects yet still the forte of white people and very scarce in the Black populations and he wanted the Departments comment on the issue.

Mr Geldenhys (NNP) asked what the exact estimated costs of the merger or possible mergers of higher education institutions was. He also wanted to know it the allocated budget was enough to cover the costs.
Minister Asmal replied that there was no decision taken yet and that the process was more complex that it seems because it would include changes such as programme rationalisation on regional basis. He questioned the need to have three postgraduate schools in Law in one province, particularly when they are close to each other: it was very expensive. Why should an expensive MBA be offered in Sandton when two other universities provide that elsewhere in Johannesburg? Another member from the delegation added that there would be two broad areas of cost of the proposed restructuring. One is direct cost of the actual merger process, such as the consolidation of information and technology and administration system, and the other area was addressing undercapitalisation of some institutions during he merger process.

A Member asked how OBE would be phased-in in schools. He also wanted to know what the Department meant by "implementing school enrichment programmes". The Member sought clarity on revising post provision, in other words, policies and employment conditions.

In response to the first question the Minister said that the OBE was carefully implemented because it was first piloted and then implemented on the basis of the findings of the pilot. On the second question, one delegate said, in relation to school enrichment programmes, what that programme consists of is issues around music sports and the arts and the role that those play in fostering social cohesion in schools.
Mr Benade addressed the third question, saying that it was an ongoing process but unfortunately he did not have the full details of the present position. The negotiations are, however, on going. Some issues around labour relations are at a sensitive stage, for example the assessment system and so forth.

Mr Kgwele (ANC) asked the Department how it intended to co-ordinate and improve its process of delivery. He then emphatically commented that contrary to media reports there is no such thing in the North West province as the school of shame as reflected in media reports yesterday. He explained that the school was in his constituency and he had visited there after the last article was published. The only thing new in the article is that stationery has not been delivered. But it does not reflect the true status, that three schools were crowding in one school, which is the Modisakeng High School. And what the article does not give an update on is that at the time the article was published calling it a school of shame, two other buildings were under construction. The other two schools have actually moved away from that school, they are now stand alone schools.

Presentation on Gangsterism in Manenberg Schools in the Western Cape
There six delegates from the Cape Teacher's Professional Association, led by their Vice-President, Ms Johanneson. Mr Kocks led the presentation by showing a three year back collection of transparencies of some newspaper images of violence and gangsterism in the Cape Flats. Ms Johanneson added that the residents of Manenberg have expressed their plight and want safe school premises. She emphasised that the newspaper images were symptomatic of what is happening in all our township schools. Unfortunately people who were suppose to testify during the presentation were not present. Mr Kocks alluded their absence to fear and intimidation.

Discussion
Mr Kgwele said that there was a presentation on safe schools campaign in the Western Cape and that he hoped this presentation would bring some particular aspects of the safe schools campaign. This would allow the Committee to play an oversight role to determine if the campaign is being effective or not.

Mr Ntuli (ANC) agreed with Mr Kgwele's point. He added that civil society has collapsed in these areas. He appealed for the schools to consider the national moral regeneration and infuse this in schools too.

At this point Ms Johanneson thanked the Committee for understanding and repeated that the newspaper images were symptomatic of what is happening in all our township schools. The Chairperson interjected and asked the delegation If they could not directly answer the specific issues raised by Members.

Mr Abrahams (UDM) advised that community involvement was necessary across the country to assist the efforts of the government to tackle violence and gangsterism. He added that socio-economic problems such as high unemployment could not be ignored and that it was characteristic of idle young people to display the behaviour of gangsterism. He concluded by commending the Association in taking interest in the issue and also in mobilising the community around it.

Mr Raju suggested that the Committee undertake site visits to affected schools and area to see what was going on.

Mr van der Heever (ANC) later agreed to this suggestion. Mr. Raju reiterated the fact that the problem had deep socio-economic problems of apartheid. He observed that there could be no moral regeneration without providing people with basic needs.

A Member asked how the schools deal with thugs within the schools. He also wanted to know if there was any co-ordinated effort by teachers and parents to fight crime in schools.

Mr Molewa (ANC) agreed that socio-economic conditions: poverty and landlessness, were responsible for juvenile crimes. He later noted that while our freedom gives us political rights it does not give us socio-economic rights. Mr Kocks said the government is not running Manenberg and the townships anymore, the gangsters are doing this. This was why many people from Manenberg were afraid to speak before the Committee. He cited the example of a recent gangster fatal attack and appealed to the Committee to find a solution to the problem. Ms Johannes added that the morale of teachers in schools is very low, and it is because of unsafe circumstance in our schools.

The Chairperson again asked the delegation to respond directly to the questions. Mr Kocks repeated the fact that people who were suppose to testify were afraid but they had the answers.

Ms Ghandi asked if there was any involvement of school governing bodies and if the Association had looked at some of the safe schools aspects and issues (such as community policing, admission controls at schools and the relationship between police and the community) have been looked into. Was there any admission control into schools?

Ms Johanneson said that community policy was active in the township but because the problem was deeply rooted thy ran up against the wall all the time. She added that that it was a problem because at some schools there were no proper fencing and gates or security guards at the gate. One the issue of the relationship with police she said, that everybody was trying their utmost but the problem was enormous.

A Member asked if there were no rehabilitation centres to deal with children that are affected by violence and gangsterism in schools.

The Chairperson said that he was still looking for answers on how the delegation proposes solutions and assistance.

Ms Johannes said that she could only speak for Bonteheuwel, which has a trauma centre but she believes it does not have the sufficient counsellors to do the job properly. She added that they were looking into having a trauma centres in every school. She also agreed that there was a need for counselling affected children.

A special delegate to the National Council of Provinces for Kwazulu Natal made an example of violence and gangsterism in KwaZulu Natal. He urged the Committee to address the problem nationally because in KwaZulu Natal it is so bad that teachers are killed even in front learners in classrooms and in school grounds.

The Chairperson interjected, saying that he assumed the Committee had accepted the proposal of site visits. He added that not all schools will be visited but as soon as the Committee has a full picture it will decide on visits and then on strategies in conjunction with the NCOP.

Mr Kgwele (ANC) agreed with the proposal of site visits. He added that the Committee needs to evaluate the violence in schools (based on empirical presentations) and come up with programmes to address the issue.

A Member commended the Teacher's Association for their courage and bravery in coming and sharing the information. He agreed that the Committee should form part of a front that fights gangsterism in the townships.

Another Member suggested that the Western Cape Provincial Department of Education should be involved as well, especially in terms of funding for infrastructure.

The Chairperson concluded the meeting by summarising the main points of agreement that the should be selective visits to schools to get a sense of what was happening and that the provincial governments should be involved. He added that socio-economic factors could not be ignored.

The meeting was adjourned.

Appendix 1:

VOTE 15: EDUCATION - OVERVIEW

ESTIMATES OF NATIONAL EXPENDITURE: 2002

The national Department of Education is a policy-making and monitoring department and provides subsidies to higher education institutions. Provincial education departments are responsible for school education and the funding thereof. Of the amount of R59 799 million included in Table 6.7 of the Budget Review 2002, R8 803,639 million is for the national Department of Education. This represents 14,72% of the total allocation for education for the 2002/03 financial year. Included in the R8 803,639 million are transfer payments to higher education institutions (84,84%), the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) (5,68%), conditional grants to provincial education departments (4,75%) and poverty relief, infrastructure and job summit funds (0,84%). The balance is for operational expenditure (3,89%).

Transfer payments to higher education institutions - R7 469,432 million

84,8% of the Department's allocation consists of transfer payments to higher education institutions. The amount allocated to higher education institutions represents a nominal increase of 5,48% on the 2001/02 allocation, which inter alia provides for inflation and a possible growth in student numbers. The allocation will provide for an average funding level of 63,1%.

Transfer payments to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) - R500 million

5,68% of the Department's allocation consists of transfer payments to NSFAS for bursaries and loans to deserving needy students studying at higher education institutions. This allocation increased by 11,11% on the 2001/02 allocation.

In addition, the NSFAS will utilise an amount of R187 million from funds recovered from students, resulting in an amount of approximately R687 million available for the NSFAS for 2002/03. R50 million of the R500 million will be utilised for teacher training in 2002/03.

Conditional grants to provincial education departments

  • Financial management and quality enhancement in school education - R224,320 million
  • HIV/AIDS - R142 million
  • Early Childhood Development - R52 million

Conditional Grant for Financial Management and Quality Enhancement in School Education

R'000

1998/99

1999/00

2000/01

2001/02

2002/03

Earmarked fund: National Department

37 822

69 000

(1) 76 455

(2) 70 000

70 000

Agency payment: Provinces

162 178

0

0

0

0

Conditional Grant: Provinces

0

192 000

(2) 253 987

213 000

224 320

Total allocation

200 000

261 000

330 442

283 000

294 320

  1. Includes an amount of R50 million rolled over from 1998/99 (2) Includes an amount of R6,455 million and R51,987 million rolled over from 1999/2000 for national and provincial education departments respectively.

This grant was first introduced in the 1998/99 financial year in the Department of Education with the sole purpose of improving the financial management of the education system and enhancing the quality of education at school level.

Projects addressing the areas such as Curriculum 2005, quality assurance, education management development, district development and administrative support to provincial education departments, school safety, mathematics and science, rural development, urban renewal, values in education, talent search, development targeting disadvantaged and female learners in gateway subjects and critical professions, improvement of the Senior Certificate examination results and working systems and processes, including financial systems, procurement procedures and personnel practices, have been included in this programme since 1998/99.

The priority areas for 2002/03 national and provincial projects are mainly:

  • Teacher development in mathematics and science;
  • Values in education;
  • Masifunde Sonke;
  • Whole school evaluation, school record keeping, quarterly reports on school attendance and school supervision;
  • Regular assessment of learner performance;
  • School safety;
  • Improvement of the Senior Certificate examination results;
  • Professional development of school principals, with emphasis on the introduction of new appointees;
  • Developing functional and effective school governing bodies;
  • Orientation and ongoing professional development of educators for Curriculum 2005;
  • Provincial strategic planning and the availability of credible and reliable data for planning and budgeting; and
  • Working systems and processes, including financial systems, procurement procedures and personnel practices.

Conditional Grant for HIV/AIDS

R'000

1998/99

1999/00

2000/01

2001/02

2002/03

Earmarked fund: National Department

0

0

4 365

(1) 6 060

6 000

Conditional Grant: Provinces

0

0

26 930

63 500

142 000

Total allocation

0

0

31 295

69 560

148 000

(1) Includes an amount of R0,680 million rolled over from 2001/02.

The overall goal of the HIV/AIDS programme is to ensure access to an appropriate and effective integrated system of prevention as well as care and support for children infected by HIV/AIDS. This is a joint effort of collaboration between three departments namely Health, Social Welfare and Education. Each Department received individual allocations for this grant. The Department of Education is responsible for the implementation of life skills programmes and HIV/AIDS education in primary and secondary schools. For 2002/03 the allocation for this high priority initiative increased by R79,3 million (115,43%). These funds are mainly for life skills programmes in schools. During 2002 this programme will target grades 5 to 9 learners in 40% of schools, 200 master trainers will have been trained by March 2003 and materials for grades 5 to 9 learners will be developed during 2002/03.

Conditional Grant for Early Childhood Development

R'000

1998/99

1999/00

2000/01

2001/02

2002/03

Earmarked fund: National Department

0

0

0

9 000

13 000

Conditional Grant: Provinces

0

0

0

21 000

52 000

Total allocation

0

0

0

30 000

65 000

The allocation for this initiative increased by R35 million (116,66%). The purpose of this initiative is to provide children eligible for the Reception Year with access to a quality education and care programme, particularly the poorest children in our society. These funds will inter alia be utilised to develop criteria for the registration of Level 4 practitioners with the South African Council of Education during 2002.

Earmarked funds

  • Infrastructure: Thuba Makote Project - R34 million
  • Poverty relief: National Ikhwelo Project - R40 million.

Earmarked fund for infrastructure: Thuba Makote Project

0,39% of the Department's allocation consists of earmarked funds for the Infrastructure: Thuba Makote Project. The allocation for 2002/03 for this priority decreased by R14 million to allow for a period of evaluation and the extrapolation of lessons from the pilot schools. The location of sites and the distribution amongst provinces of the next 18 schools will be based on criteria and discussions with provinces, designed to ensure that these are located in areas of greatest need. The building of 18 rural schools will also be initiated in the 2002/03 financial year. The programme will in total develop 27 schools in rural areas, three in each province, identified as being of greatest need. Furthermore, with a request to roll-over funds the first 9 pilot schools, 1 in each province, which were initiated in 2001/02, will be completed and handed over during the 2002/03 financial year.

Earmarked fund for poverty relief: National Ikhwelo Project

0,45% of the Department's allocation consists of earmarked funds for the Poverty Relief: National Ikhwelo Project. This project is an expansion of the Department of Education's Agriculture and SMME pilot encompassing 5 000 adult learners across all 9 provinces. The overall goal of the project is to provide access to skills development in General Education and Training for adult learners, to enhance their social and economic capacity.

Departmental operational budget

  • Personnel expenditure - R119,094 million
  • Personnel expenditure: Examiners/moderators - R24,004 million
  • Operational activities - R109,789 million

Personnel expenditure

1,35% of the Department's allocation consists of personnel expenditure. The increase in personnel expenditure is due to the provision made for the improvement of conditions of service on 1 July 2002, provision for the carry-through cost of the improvement of conditions of service from 1 July 2001, and provision made to fill vacancies.

Personnel expenditure: Examiners/Moderators

0,27% of the Department's allocation consists of personnel expenditure for examiners/moderators. The increase in the amount allocated for the remuneration of examiners and moderators in respect of technical examinations to compensate for the increase in student enrolment numbers.

Operational activities

1,25% of the Department's allocation consists of operational activities. Included in the amount provided for operational activities are R12,692 million, R9 million, R8,808 million, R1,5 million and R1,5 million for UNESCO membership fees, the South African Qualifications Authority, the Council for Higher Education, the Fulbright Commission and the General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Body respectively. The percentage nominal and real growth (taking 4,7%, 4,6% and 6% inflation rate for 2001/02, 2002/03 and 2004/05 respectively into account) for operational activities for the period 2001/02 till 2004/05 is illustrated as follows:

 

2001/02 to 2002/03

2002/03 to 2003/04

2003/04 to 2004/05

Nominal

11,46

7,13

29,76

Real

6,76

2,53

23,77

EXPLANATION OF INCREASES AND DECREASES IN ALLOCATION

PROGRAMME 1: ADMINISTRATION

INCREASE: R8 302 000

The increase is mainly due to the additional allocation approved by Cabinet for inflation and inflation related adjustments and the provision made for the improvement of conditions of service on 1 July 2002 as well as the carry-through costs from 1 July 2001.

PROGRAMME 2: PLANNING AND MONITORING

DECREASE: R2 431 000

The decrease is mainly due to the reduction in the allocation for the poverty relief, infrastructure investment and job summit: Thuba Makote Project.

PROGRAMME 3: GENERAL EDUCATION

INCREASE: R143 128 000

The increase is mainly due to the additional allocation made by Cabinet for poverty relief, infrastructure investment and job summit: National Ikhwelo Project, an additional amount approved by Cabinet for the Early Childhood Development and HIV/AIDS projects, and the provision made for the improvement of conditions of service on 1 July 2002 and the carry-through costs from 1 July 2001. Provision was also made for vacant posts on the staff establishment that still need to be filled.

PROGRAMME 4: FURTHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

INCREASE: R11 800 000

The increase is mainly due to the increased once off allocation to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for the purchase of an office building, an increase in the amount allocated i.r.o. the South African Certification Council (SAFCERT), the decentralisation of the earmarked funds for financial management and quality enhancement initiatives in education and provision made for the improvement of conditions of service on 1 July 2002, carry-through costs from 1 July 2001 and for vacant posts on the staff establishment that still need to be filled. An additional amount was allocated for examiners and moderators.

PROGRAMME 5: HIGHER EDUCATION

INCREASE: R443 197 000

The increase is mainly due to the increase in the amount allocated i.r.o. subsidies to universities and technikons, transfer payments i.r.o. the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the increased amount allocated for the Council on Higher Education (CHE), and provision made for the improvement of conditions of service on 1 July 2002 and carry-through costs from 1 July 2001.

PROGRAMME 6: AUXILIARY AND ASSOCIATED SERVICES

DECREASE: R9 218 000

The decrease is mainly due to the shifting of earmarked funds for financial management and quality enhancement initiatives in education to other programmes within the Department and the establishment of youth and community colleges in provinces which were previously provided for on this Programme.


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