Annual National Assessment (ANA) Readiness; National Curriculum Statement Regulations; Limpopo Catch-up Plan

Basic Education

07 August 2012
Chairperson: Ms H Malgas (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Basic Education briefed the Committee on the Annual National Assessment (ANA) Readiness, the Regulations and the Catch-up Plan for Provincial Enrichment in Limpopo. ANA was introduced as a diagnostic tool to identify areas of strength and weakness in teaching and learning. Teachers would be exposed to better teaching practices and parents would be empowered by having information about the education of their children.

The Catch-up Plan for Provincial Enrichment in Limpopo presentation took an unpleasant turn when the Committee expressed dismay at the lack of foresight and vision illustrated by the presentation. The Committee accused the Department of merely demonstrating a show of everyday work without engaging with how the intervention was at the level of impact. No information was provided about study guides and if the same role players would be involved who had previously ‘messed things up’. Members felt that the approach of the Department did not show the urgency required for such a Catch-up Plan. The Department was asked what went wrong, but they failed to respond. A Programme of Action with timelines was asked for to provide the Committee with sense that the Plan had depth and vision. When asked for information about the Plan, the Department claimed that the delegation could not answer the questions as their positions might not be shared by the Department. The report was rejected by the Committee as it was considered ‘an insult to Limpopo learners’. The Committee proposed a meeting with the Department in the next week where they would be afforded the opportunity to make another presentation.

The Committee asked for information about improving learner performance, how parents were going to be involved in ANA and how officials would be empowered in their areas. The Department had to answer to what was preventing them implementing Curriculum Coverage and Teacher Accountability and Time on Task. A Curriculum Coverage Monitoring tool had been developed in this regard and was mandatory for all schools; schools also had to have Accountability Instruments for better monitoring and control. Parental involvement in ANA was questioned as this was not adequately reflected in the presentation. When questioned about subject incompetence Members were informed that teacher competency had compared favourably with the rest of the world with a mean score of 700 in Gauteng.

The Committee questioned parents’ understanding of the results of their children as there was high failure rate with regard to literacy and numeracy but standards were still passed. It was explained that there was a variation in standard between standardised tests and classroom assessment and ANA sought to address this problem through exemplars. The Department reassured the Committee that although dysfunctional schools were in existence, the teams assigned to ANA were highly competent, they had run examinations in the past and the Director-General had delegated certain functions to provinces. Members asked why there was not a random selection of schools for verification. The response was the Department was aware of the selected schools but the schools themselves were unaware and a sample of learners within a school were selected by the Verification Agent. The Committee called for progress reports so that teachers could be properly assisted based on lessons learnt.

Members expressed concerns about security and monitoring because schools would be receiving question papers some days before examinations would be written. This was explained as having to satisfy the need to ensure that all checks and balances were in place for implementation of ANA in its early stages as it was considered a ‘high stakes’ examination. The Committee heard that all procurement procedures were followed with tenders advertised and applications made. Members noted that
the time frames allocated for all marking and moderation seemed to be too long. The Committee was committed to ensuring that the Department was accountable to the guidelines provided.

The Committee was given a briefing on the National Curriculum Statement Regulations. The Department of Basic Education said it was making great strides in catering for disabled learners through strict policy guidelines, Ministerial intervention where necessary and basically providing the requisite support for learners. The role of Umalusi as the Quality Council was explained and their relationship with the Department outlined. Members asked
how the teaching of the curriculum was conducted outside of formal institutions especially with regard to changing subjects and getting motivations. The decision to separate Assessments and the Curriculum was explained and there were admissions to the challenges regarding promotions.

Meeting report

Readiness to Administer: Department of Basic Education briefing
Mr Rufus Poliah, Chief Director of Examinations: Department of Basic Education, said that he was going to briefly look at the progress up to this point and touch on key issues related to the Annual National Assessment (ANA), particular registration and administration, and would conclude with support to learners. Standardised testing was not new in South Africa as it had been experimenting with some form of macro testing. In terms of the countdown there were 27 days to go and the first test would be written on 18 September. ANA could be used as a diagnostic tool and provided credible and reliable information for monitoring progress in learner performance, and more importantly to improve the quality of that performance. Teachers had never been confident about the standards of their assessment, but with ANA teachers were all exposed to a national standard. ANA would also allow excellent schools to celebrate their outstanding performance.

The limitations of the ANA 2011 included formulation and translation of certain questions and inadequacies with systems for collecting data from schools. All tests for Grades 1 to 6 and 9 in Mathematics and Language had been set, moderated, edited externally, reviewed and quality assured. Learner registration schedules had been distributed to each school and service providers had been appointed to capture the registration schedules on the General Education and Training (GET) system. Printing and packing was currently underway. The Administration categories were: Universal ANA, Verification ANA and Independent Schools. A test administration manual had been developed and would be printed per school (see document).

The Chairperson said that the report was comprehensive but there was one timeline that she was going to query later in the meeting, and the Committee would keep the Department accountable for the timelines within the report.

Ms Mushwana asked if something could be done to improve learner performance.

Mr H Mwieu, DBE Acting Deputy Director-General, replied that the only way to deal with this was to provide as much support as possible, particularly where inequalities were more profoundly manifested. To improve the quality of education for the Department there were two high impact interventions: 1) Curriculum Coverage and 2) Teacher Accountability and Time on Task. The Department focussed on these two key areas.

In terms of support broadly, Mr Mwieu said that the basis of the support was the National Strategy for Learner Attainment (NSLA) which covered Grade R up to Grade 12. The roles to be played by the Department, districts, schools and classrooms have been clearly delineated. All role players were held accountable, and therefore the Literacy and Numeracy plan were premised on this strategy. The Early Childhood Development (ECD) implementation was also premised on this strategy, as well as the Maths Science and Technology Plan.

Mr Z Makhubele (ANC) asked what was preventing the Department from implementing the two variables mentioned above, Curriculum Coverage and Teacher Accountability and Time on Task.

Mr Mwieu replied that a Curriculum Coverage Monitoring tool for principals was developed and introduced this year and it was mandatory for all schools. Secondly, schools had to have Accountability Instruments for all. A Period control register had to be administered and controlled. The accountability culture had collapsed and the Department was trying to re-establish and restore it. In addition to that, the Department had gone to all nine provinces to reflect on the importance of these interventions. The Minister and Deputy Minister had also gone out to provinces and schools to meet with district officials and principals to check whether teachers and principals had analysed the results of the last ANA. Subsequent follow-up visits had revealed that indeed teachers and principals had started to analysed the results of 2011 ANA and they had developed improved feedback plans, based on the findings of 2011 ANA.

Mr A Mpontshane (IFP) asked how parents were going to be involved as the presentation had not reflected this.

Mr Hwieu replied that parents were involved through Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC) programmes, and through the advocacy programme that the Department had developed about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and radio programmes to encourage parents to supervise learners in going through some of the tasks in preparation for ANA. There were good initiatives especially from KwaZulu Natal to get parents involved in assisting children with homework. The Department was observing this initiative with a view to replicating it.

Mr Mpontshane noted that the last ANA had indicated that the major weakness was subject incompetence by educators especially with regard to the essential subjects. Was a major process required to empower teachers? What would inspectors be responsible for and what was going to be done to empower officials in the areas where they were located?

Mr Mwieu replied that the results indicated that teacher competency in South Africa compared favourably with the rest of the world, as they performed above a mean score of 500, with the Western Cape having the highest score of 700. These results showed that teacher competency was not the biggest problem. The biggest problems were with teacher accountability and time on task. Accountability was a major problem and had to be restored across classroom levels.

Ms A Lovemore (DA) asked how parents understood the results their children were getting as the majority were failing dismally with regard to literacy and numeracy yet they passed their standard.

Mr Poliah said that learners failing tests but passing examinations pointed to the fact that there was a variation in standard between standardised tests and classroom assessment. ANA was seeking to address that problem precisely through exemplars.

Ms Lovemore said that provinces were expected to do so much and with the exception of two, the Department was basically relying on dysfunctional provinces to actually do the work. The support to learners was questionable, as it seemed that the Department was trying to make it as easy as possible to get high scores. If there was good teaching going on, the children would be on par with regard to numeracy and literacy, and would not need guidelines. It was difficult to understand how the Department could say it was an accurate measure of literacy and numeracy in the country if it made it easier to pass.

Mr SG (Paddy) Padayachee, DBE Deputy Director-General: Planning, said that dysfunctional schools certainly existed, but that the teams that they had for the ANA were basically the best people, as they had run other examinations in the past. This did not mean that there would not be problems that would have to be addressed. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) would be responsible for the entire ANA, and the Director-General had allowed that certain functions be delegated to the provinces. Five provinces had basically undertaken this task and support would be provided by departmental teams.

Mr Poliah said that national test outside school had to provide learners with the scope and depth of the test, hence the need for an assessment framework. The provision of exemplars were necessary because teachers were accustomed to setting their tasks in a particular manner, but when an exemplar was provided the teachers were given an example of what a good test was so they could use the good test to expose the learners to that practice. The Department attempts to focus on teaching and learning more broadly - not just on raising learners’ scores.

Mr Z Makhubele (ANC) expressed concern about issues of capacity and the appointment of service providers to check the accuracy of data.

Mr Makhubele said that he would have preferred a random selection of schools for verification based on criteria. Given that the schools were already identified, he asked what it was based on.

Mr Poliah replied that there was no interference with a random sample. The Department was aware of the schools that were selected but the schools themselves were not aware. Schools would only know that they were part of Verification ANA on the morning when an independent agent arrived at the school to monitor the conduct and the writing of the test. A sample of learners within a school would be selected by the verification agent.

Ms N Gina (ANC) asked if time was available to complete assigned duties as the first exemplars were given to provinces, but it was not clear if the districts were reached.

Mr Poliah said that exemplars had been provided to schools and were on the Departments website. Provinces had printed these and distributed them to schools. The Department was monitoring this process and made sure it was done by all provinces.

Ms Gina asked for clarity about the graph on Learner Registration, Slide 12 in the presentation.

Mr Padayachee said the 6 920 921 million came from an Education Management Information System (EMIS) map in February, in which there was a self-reporting survey. There had been questions about the data but they were official statistics and there might have been an over-count particularly at the Grade 1 level. What had occurred was that a service provider had been appointed to do the capturing; every child was not registered as this was not considered a ‘high stakes’ examination. The issue of data has been a problem in the sector. This was an opportunity to get as close to the population as possible. The figure of 6 746 183 million was captured, so on the 14 December the system would basically be closed and that population would write. The outstanding number was likely some independent schools that were counted in the 6 920 931, or, children from special schools and maybe some public schools who did not have any of these grades. For the ANA there would be approximately a dedicated population of 6.7 or 6.8 million writing.

Ms Gina said that progress reports were needed so that it would be clear how teachers could be assisted based on the lessons learnt.

The Chairperson raised concerns about the guidelines developed on how to use the results. There was no clear intervention plan for provinces so how was the Department going to ensure that provinces, districts and schools knew how to use the results?

The Chairperson expressed concerns about security and monitoring because schools would be receiving the question papers on 14 September 2012 in preparation for examinations on the 18 September, and not all schools had the necessary security.

Mr Padayachee replied that ANA was considered a ‘high stakes’ examination and was not for promotion. Security was not the same as was the case with Grade 12. If a paper was leaked then it was not treated as a criminal act as would be the case with a Grade 12 situation. The Department would conduct investigations into irregularities. The Department had looked at some of the weaknesses in 2011 and the best practices, and one of the decisions that the Council of Education Ministers took was that provincial departments would have to place this process under their exam units, and the support and learners would be a curriculum issue. From the end of August, papers from distribution points would be getting to the schools,

Mr Poliah said that what was being undertaken in the system was to make sure that in terms of the learner’s experience, s/he would not experience it as a ‘high stakes’ experience. In terms of security the Department was making sure that they were run by their examination standards. Papers were sent in sealed bags which were only opened in front of an invigilator. For this year with the system still being new, principals would check papers. At this stage because the system was still quite new, it was seen fit to deliver papers a few days before the time.

The Chairperson asked if procurement had been done with regard to the situation with service providers.

Mr Padayachee said that all procurement procedures were followed where tenders were advertised and applications were made. In some cases External Auditors were present to oversee the process as well.

The Chairperson noted that the time frames allocated regarding all marking and moderation seemed to be too long. Marking and moderation had to be completed by 26 September 2013, but the Minister would be making announcements in the middle of December. She asked for an explanation.

Mr Padayachee said once examinations had been written from the 18 to 21 September, the process would be that all teachers marked their papers, and then the last week of the third term would be complete. On 26 September the mark sheet should be completed, and on 28 September those mark sheets needed to be given to the districts for collection to come to the Capturing Centre. That would be the Universal ANA that would be collected. Then the scripts that the Department would be looking at for the centralised moderation would be collected during the vacation in September/October. Marking would occur at Centralised Marking Centres. In terms of the Management Plan about six to eight weeks from October and November were needed to wrap up all the collection of data and the analysis of the data. This would be given to the Minister as per the plan in middle of December. The Minister would then decide upon the release date.

The Chairperson referred to the 97% that were captured and the 3% that were not captured and asked if it could have been the learners who were severely disabled. The Committee requested a breakdown of the 3%. There were challenges when it came to adaptation by deaf and blind learners and it was important to address these challenges. The QLTC had to be ensured of functionality on the ground. Regarding accountability, the Chairperson said that the Committee was going to ensure that the Department was accountable to the guidelines that were given today.

The Chairperson said that the Committee had noted the cost of having service providers and the lack of capacity and would probe this issue vigorously. Mr Mwieu had provided assurances about the competence of teachers.

Many members had questions that were not asked due to time constraints. The questions not responded to would be sent to the Department.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee was still in the process of reading the Regulations document as it was very thick, hence it was suffice to merely provide a brief outline.

Regulations to the National Curriculum Statement for Grade R to Grade 12 
Mr Mwieu provided the background, purpose and rationale for the regulations and stated that the curriculum could not be successfully compliant if the requisite regulations had not been provided. In terms of background the Regulations had to ensure that the National Curriculum Statement for Grades R to 12 were applicable to the public and independent schools who offered the Curriculum. This presentation would focus on the Regulations for the Curriculum and National Senior Certificate. The next set of Regulations would deal with Assessment which would not be dealt with at this meeting. This set of Regulations anchored the Curriculum. There were three important documents that underpinned the National Curriculum Statement:
1) National Policy on Programme and Promotion requirements for the National Senior Certificate (NSC)
2) National Protocol for Assessment for Grades R to 12, and
3) Curriculum Assessment and Policy Statements for all subjects (see document).

Mr N Kganyago (UDM) expressed an interest in the Practical Assessment Task (PAT) and asked how it was implemented. He asked that, in the absence of workshops, how were marks allocated for such students. The concern was that in technical schools, if workshops were not held, the allocation of marks was problematic. An answer was not required in this regard as it was merely an attempt to awaken the Department to this dilemma.

Mr Mwieu said that the recapitalisation of technical high schools should satisfy the needs regarding practical workshops.

Ms Mushwana said that with regard to concessions, she felt that learners with dyslexia should be exempt from all subjects. It was unknown whether they had a niche at schools.

Mr Louis Kriel, DBE Policy Development, replied that concessions were grouped under the category of language impairment. If a learner had a disability, it would be left to the discretion of the Minister to decide if it was valid to go through the process of evaluation. This was covered by policy a listing of which could be forwarded to the Committee.

Ms Lovemore said that during one of presentations at the Umalusi conference, it was indicated quite shockingly that the Curriculum Assessment and Policy Statements (CAPS) had been quality-assured by Umalusi. She asked how a non-quality assured curriculum could have been regulated or gazetted.

Mr Kriel replied that in 2010 the Department approached Umalusi as the Quality Council. They said they could not do all the CAPS, so the Department decided to give them the high enrolment subjects and all the official languages. Umalusi was requested by the Director-General and the subjects were delivered to them on Compact Disk (CD) and they had to quality assure the subjects. They were still busy with the key subjects since 2010. It was Quality Assured by Umalusi and they were now busy with detailing the process and looking at researching subjects and how the Department could approve the subjects. Umalusi could not doubt the quality of the subjects because they were part of the Public Comment Process and part of all the committees. The Department would forward to the Committee the names of those who had assisted with the policy part of the process.

Ms Lovemore asked how one could only progress once in a phase.

Mr Mwiew said that in agreement with the Committee this was a problem. The Department was attempting to get the policy to respond to a myriad of inefficiencies in the system. If the curriculum was covered properly, and if SIASP (Screening Identification and Support Programme) was correctly implemented, then learners with barriers to learning would be identified early in the system. It was also important to ensure curriculum differentiation. The Department was progressing in providing the requisite support for affected learners.

Mr Makhubele asked how the teaching of the curriculum was conducted outside of formal institutions especially with regard to changing subjects and getting motivations. How did this work?

Mr Kriel said that Home Schooling was a very difficult category. They were regarded as Part-Timers by the Department. They had to register with the Department in their province and be affiliated to an Assessment Body. The change of subjects had to be approved by the Department and on behalf of the Assessment body. There was a vacancy at this stage and there was an upcoming assessment body and it was not known whether it would be accredited by Umalusi. The Department was busy developing a policy for home-scholars.

Ms Gina asked how the decision had been reached to separate Assessments and the Curriculum.

Mr Kriel replied that there had always been a regulation but it had covered the National Senior Certificate, and it had covered issues like when the learner should register for examinations, the date, how Examiners were appointed, issues of Chief Invigilators, irregularities and all the processes. The Department had tried to accommodate the curriculum part in that way, and that was where the problem was, as the curriculum had actually lost its focus amongst all the other regulations and this made it very clumsy. This was why it was separated. The oldest regulations were for examinations. What had subsequently been developed was a revised one and the curriculum part was taken out. There would be two sets now and the Department now had regulations to cover the area till 2013, but with slight amendments where needed like to change from Subject Statements to the CAPS for 2014. It would not be assessment per se now but the administration of the Senior Certificate. Assessment was duly covered in the current Regulations. The learners were now covered for all grades.

Ms Gina noted the challenge which accompanied the situation where learners were just promoted and then failed when they reached Grade 12.

With regard to Assessments, the Chairperson said that many times at schools learners were promoted and then when they were in higher grades they were taken back to a lower standard.

Mr Kriel replied that this was a difficult issue, and the Department had tried to cover it by propagating support. This policy was around since 1998 and it was at the lower grades that this happened. Grade 11 was the problematic area.

Ms Gina expressed concern about the lack of African language teaching in most schools. The challenge was to manage this issue and open schools to the teaching of African languages.

Mr Mwieu stated that the issue of African languages was serious, and could not be avoided any longer. Next year, indigenous African languages would be introduced and catered for in schools. It will be started at the Foundation phase in 2013.

Mr Kriel said that the current policy and regulations for Grades 10 to 12 allowed a learner to do four languages of the seven subjects. Problems normally arose at the lower level when a third language was brought in because of the time. The Department was currently looking at this especially for the GET level.

Ms Gina asked how indigenous languages were being catered for.

Mr Mwieu said that the question on the state of readiness to implement indigenous African languages in schools could only be confidently answered once the Heads of Education Departments Committee (HEDCOM) workshop had pronounced on it and after that the Council of Education Ministers (CEM). The Department would be ready once it had gone through HEDCOM and once the CEM had identified the deficiencies. For now the Department was going to the HEDCOM workshop to present a report on the state of readiness per province. Mr Mweiu said that the Department should be ready to implement by 2013.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would get back to the Department in regard to the state of readiness of implementing indigenous language in schools. The Committee was encouraged to read through the Regulations.

The Chairperson asked how the Department accommodated the situation where teaching in a mother-tongue enhanced school achievement.

Mr Mwieu replied that the mother-tongue provisions were catered for in the Regulations, but what was mandatory was that the foundation phase had to be in the mother-tongue. Some provinces had the option of taking it up to grade six. The real challenge was to convince parents that foundation phase education had to implemented in the mother-tongue.

Ms Gina said that School-Based Assessment was not well managed by the Department. Assessment was important to ensure quality education.

Mr Mwieu said the issue of School-Based Assessment was a serious problem in South Africa linked to meeting the imperatives of providing quality education. There was something fundamentally wrong with School-Based Assessment and that was why the Department was asserting that the assessment in the classroom had to model ANA and had to model certain international studies, so that assessment could be improved in keeping with national and international standards.

The Chairperson asked if the concession endorsement was only for learners with special needs.

Mr Kriel said that it was a National Senior Certificate with endorsement. This was only for learners at Special Schools as they had complained about doing seven subjects. Learners could opt to do five subjects at the beginning and at the end do the five subject with the proviso that the learner could add two subjects; or the learner could take a chance and do seven subjects but when it came to the examinations and five subjects were passed, then the Department would use a special endorsement on that like a promotion.

Mr Mwieu said that concessions were not limited as there were incidental cases which were subjected to a test and the Minister would be advised to consider them. In the majority of the cases, they were considered favourably.

Catch-up Plan for Provincial Enrichment in Limpopo briefing:
Ms Patricia Watson, Special Projects Office of the DBE Director-General, briefed the Committee on the Catch-up Plan for Provincial Enrichment in Limpopo and outlined the principles, assumptions and 10 Core Systemic Drivers. The 10 Core Systemic Drivers were: Partnerships, Teacher Development and Support Assessment, Trial Exams, Textbooks and Workbooks, District Development and Support, District Monitoring and Reporting, Grade 12 Support, Grade 10 Support and Communication. District development and Support was a key area and hinged on improved capacity to monitor and support through CAPS, Assessment (including ANA, and Workbooks). For District Monitoring and Reporting, each district would create a war room and submit bi-weekly reports from schools to districts, from districts to provinces and from provinces to the national office.

Ms Watson said communication was an important area as circulars would be sent to all schools concerning the catch-up plan to ensure all stakeholders were informed and mobilised. As a national role player UNICEF would be providing financial assistance and technical support. The District Director as a provincial role player would assume full authority and take responsibility for the monitoring and reporting of the implementation of the Ten Point Plan. Multi-disciplinary teams were responsible for meeting with district manager and district curriculum support teams and provincial counter-parts to keep them informed and to provide support where required (see document).

Mr Makhubele said that most of the information in the presentation talked to what should happen, but for today’s purposes the Department was required to tell the Committee what the impact had been and to show that the intervention was at the level of the impact. This could not be gleaned from the presentation. There was an understanding that this catch-up plan was also the subject of the Courts, so part of this was to respond to the Committee in that context, showing what had to be done as a Department, what had to be done with the Courts, how the Department was responding to it, whether there was buy-in and at what level the process was.

Ms Lovemore said that this was not a catch-up plan for affected grades, it was what should be done every day. A copy of the plan was expected today but was not forthcoming. Where was the information about the study guides?

Mr Mpontshane said that the previous speakers had expressed the sentiments that he believed belonged to everyone when it came to what was presented as a catch-up plan. Was the Department going to use the same role players who had previously messed things up? He asked if the delivery unit was going to be restructured and if there were new faces in the delivery unit. One could not get a sense of urgency. He asked what went wrong and if the Department could give the Committee a sense as it wanted to hold some people accountable.

Ms Mushwana commented on the Grade 10 support in the presentation and said that with regard to the Learning Channel mentioned, not everyone had a television set in Limpopo.

The Chairperson said that what was expected was a Programme of Action with attached timelines. She asked what the Programme of Action with timelines was.

Ms Watson thanked the Committee for the questions and said that the questions asked could sharpen the thinking of the Department. She was unable to answer all the questions as some were out of her scope, but could answer questions mainly around programming.

The Chairperson interjected and said this discussion would start with the questions by the Honourable Makhubele, Mr Mwieu would answer first, then Ms Watson.

Mr Mwieu said that he did want to answer but first needed the approval of the leader of the delegation.

Mr Padayachee said that the delegation did not have all the information required to answer the questions and if answers were given, they might not be the position of the Department.

The Chairperson said that the Committee report on the visit to Limpopo had to be made available because that report would make people accountable and accountability was required here.

Ms Lovemore agreed that accountability issues needed to be followed up and expressed shock at the fact that a senior delegation could not answer the questions; and because Mr Padayachee had said that they did not have all the information. She then asked who had the answers. Today was the 7 August and this plan was due for implementation on the 20th, this left 13 days. Surely all the information required was there, and if it was not, why was it not?

Mr Makhubele said that the Department came to this meeting knowing that they were going to be presenting this catch-up plan to the Committee and therefore the plan was specific to the Committee because there were issues there. This was therefore not an intervention and sounded more like normal work. With regard to Limpopo much more was needed.

Ms Gina said that the communication to the Department might not have been clear given the presentation and response received today. She proposed that the report presented here today not be entertained and that the Department meet with the Committee the following Wednesday to make another presentation.

Ms Lovemore agreed with Ms Gina that the Committee effectively reject this report as it was inadequate and an insult to Limpopo learners. The question now was whether the Committee was happy with a meeting next week.

Mr Mpontshane supported the proposal from Ms Gina and agreed with colleagues

Mr C Moni (ANC) said that it made absolute sense to meet with the Department next week.

The Chairperson said that the Committee report on Limpopo would be available as well so that next week a complete picture of Limpopo would be available. The Department needed to report on the Millennium Development Goals as well, but the Catch-up Plan was the priority. The Chairperson thanked the Committee for the way they had expressed themselves.

Mr Padayachee thanked the Committee.

The following questions were asked but not answered
Ms F Mushwana (ANC) asked for an explanation about learner registration and the numbers captured. It seemed that the Department did not have exact numbers and certainty about the numbers.

Ms A Mashishi (ANC) asked if any shortcomings were discovered with the monitoring tool.

Ms Mashishi asked when the orientation process for learners with special needs had started.

Ms Gina asked if testing centres were secure.

Mr Mpontshane asked whether some subjects could be classified as non-examination subjects such as Life Orientation.

Ms Lovemore asked what the primary reasons were for learners' changing of subjects. What checks and balances were in place to prevent this from happening?

The meeting was adjourned.


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