The availability of suitably qualified teachers to fill all allocated posts was one of the critical priorities in the 3Ts of Teachers, Text and Time or “the concept of teachers in class on time and teaching”. A number of challenges have been identified in the deployment of teachers. These included difficulties in dealing with excess educators; high levels of temporary appointments due to inefficient recruitment and selection processes; and the contradiction between the reported shortage of educators and the non-placement of Funza Lushaka and other graduates. The short-term focus of DBE interventions was to monitor the filling of vacancies at schools and to support Provincial Education Departments to fill vacant posts efficiently. The long-term focus was to improve the management of teacher deployment. The PERSAL system had information that was neither sufficient nor of a high quality due to poor practices in the capturing and quality assurance processes. This needed to be corrected.
DBE discussed the interventions it planned to meet these challenges:
▪ Work was underway to develop a national HR planning framework to identify priority areas of intervention for educator human resources. HR planning tools would support forecasting of demand for educators. The tools would be linked to the post provisioning tool and support budgeting for compensation.
▪ The HR information system had to ensure that critical data was routinely captured with accuracy so it could be used for planning and forecasting of demand. Certain fields have been made mandatory on PERSAL and the annual educator information form had been improved to collect more data on educators.
▪ To manage excess educators, DBE would work with Provincial Educational Departments (PEDs) to ensure that the regulations were implemented. There would be retraining of educators and the offering of voluntary severance. A study was underway to improve the post provisioning process in PEDs.
▪ DBE would work with PEDs to reduce the use of temporary appointments. This would include permanently appointing suitably qualified temporary educators.
▪ It would complete the development of a national database of educators seeking employment. An invitation to all qualified educators to register on the database was planned for next month. It would also research new ways to improve the placement rate and ensure distribution of qualified teachers to areas of need.
▪ DBE would assist PEDs to clean and maintain their organisation structure and audit their payroll.
Members raised questions on the placement of Funza Lushaka graduates, revisiting bursary conditions to ensure graduate placement in rural areas, monitoring bursary recipients, providing bursaries rather for scare skills, temporary educators and unqualified teachers, the PERSAL (Personnel Salary) System, the linkage of subjects to skills development, the organogram, the National Development Plan, teacher colleges, provincial departments, absenteeism, teacher transfers, the attrition rate and data capturing. Members commented that Funza Lushaka bursaries were being given for study in fields where there were already enough teachers and they were not targeting scarce skills. Members expressed concern about the short-term nature of the strategy, the lack of information as well as the possible inaccuracy of the data provided.
Department of Basic Education (DBE) presentation on Teacher Demand and Supply
Mr Themba Kojana, DBE Acting Deputy Director General: Human Resources and Ms Devi Pillay, DBE Deputy Director: Human Resources Planning, presented. There was a history of a lack of formal human resource planning and management of human resource information.
Critical information about subject specialization and levels of qualification had not been accessible to planners at district, provincial and national beyond the school level. The
ineffective management of the post provisioning process had a negative effect on all educator recruitment. This led to difficulties in dealing with excess educators and high levels of temporary appointments as well as contradictions between the shortage of educators and the non-placement of Funza Lushaka and other graduates.
DBE discussed the interventions it planned to meet these challenges:
• Work was underway to develop a new national HR planning framework to identify key challenges and priority areas of intervention on all aspects of educator human resources. It was
also developing human resource planning tools to support:
- Management of demand, supply and utilization
- Medium to long-term forecasting of demand and supply of educators.
The tools would be linked to both the post provisioning tool (model) and support budgeting for compensation.
• The HR management information system had to ensure that critical data was systematically and routinely captured with accuracy so it could be used for human resource planning and forecasting of demand.
Certain fields have been made mandatory on PERSAL and the educator information form which was part of the Educational Management Information System (EMIS) annual survey had been improved to collect more data on educators.
• To manage excess educators, DBE would continue work with PEDs to ensure that existing measures in various regulations were implemented. There would be retraining of educators who can be retrained and the offering of voluntary severance to those educators who could not be efficiently utilized.
A study was underway to investigate the post provisioning process in PEDs to improve this.
• DBE would also continue to work with PEDs to reduce the use of temporary appointments. This would include the conversion of suitably qualified temporary educators to permanent posts.
• DBE would complete
completethe development of a national database of educators seeking employment in public schools. An invitation to all qualified educators to register on the database was planned for next month. It would also research new ways to improve the placement rate and ensure distribution of qualified teachers to areas of need.
• DBE would commence with project to assist PEDs to clean and maintain their organisation structure and audit their payroll.
Through the planning at a provincial level, planning at a national level would be ensured and lastly it would inform future policy making.
During the presentation, Ms Lovemore questioned if the figures in the documents were accurate. The Chairperson had commented that such questions needed to be asked at then end of the presentation and also said that it would also be best to have a second meeting on this matter, as there was a need to involve teachers and also allow Members to dissect the document on their own.
In reply to the Chairperson asked why the annexure document was marked confidential, Mr Kojana said it provided an in-depth view. The Chairperson confirmed the whole document was now a public document even though it had been marked confidential.
The Chairperson said that there was a need to receive reports such as the one being given on whether PERSAL system was accurate. This was because the Committee was there to assist the Department and she thanked them for the report as it raised questions. She asked Ms Pillay to explain the PERSAL (Personnel and Salary) system.
Ms Pillay replied the PERSAL system was the main HR system and was married to the finance system called BAS (Basic Accounting System). When a person was appointed and placed on PERSAL, the person was linked to five relevant BAS codes: the objective code, the responsibility code, the programme code and two others. What this did was to link a certain amount of money to a programme; if somebody was placed in that post they were also linked to the budget for that programme. When the person was paid, the compensation budget for that would then go lower. The problem was this was not happening. As a result the Department got incorrect reports about the monies sitting in the different programmes, in terms of the compensation budget. When the monies were paid out they were supposed to automatically decrease. This was how they were linked. Now with the PERSAL clean up the Department had insisted on a signed off copy from the Head of Department of all provinces to say that their BAS codes were correctly linked to the organisation structure which currently was not happening.
The Chairperson said the fact that BAS and PERSAL did not speak to each other was worrying.
Ms Gina said if the inaccurate PERSAL could not talk to the placement needs down in the province and also did not speak to BAS, a lot of money was being wasted. She also mentioned the inaccurate capturing of leave. There was a lot of money being wasted in this respect. Some teachers had been on leave for years. Both the teachers on leave and those replacing them were being paid. What were the measures to solve this problem?
Mr Kojana replied that they had not only identified the challenges to the Committee but had gone further to explain what they wanted to do to overcome the challenges. The presentation outlined the intervention that was being developed for assisting provinces to clean up their PERSAL system. It was not only about cleaning up the PERSAL system, it was also about holding the managers accountable who were managing the system. The information had been provided with clear indication of what the intervention would be.
Mr Makhubele said PERSAL should be adapted if the education system wanted to continue with it. The problem he had was where departmental officials allowed those administering PERSAL to fill it in as they wished. This had been happening for a long time. People would fill in the wrong information and this meant payment was done in an incorrect manner. Why had this been allowed? It was not the system that was wrong but the person behind it. For the system not to talk between national and provincial levels was not good in this day and age.
Inaccuracy of data
Ms N Gina (ANC) said the concern that had been raised was how accurate was the presentation that had been given. She asked if there was a table of how many teachers were exiting the system a year, which would give the Committee a picture of this challenge.
Mr Kojana replied that the data provided was data that had been procured from PERSAL. The presentation sought to show what the Department wanted to do to correct the situation with respect to teacher supply and demand.
Temporary Educators and qualified teachers
Ms Gina (referring to slide 12 on Temporary Appointments that showed 48% qualified temporary teachers in January 2012) asked whether there were this many unqualified teachers in the system? From what she saw there was a huge challenge regarding qualified teachers and the delivery of quality in education.
Mr J Skhosana (ANC) had concerns about the number of unqualified teachers. He was not sure whether the country was developing or not. He wanted clarity on this matter. People had spoken about 31% qualified educators, which meant 69% were unqualified – and that was a problem. He asked for clarity on the matter of skills development.
Mr Kojana replied that the slide spoke to the temporary appointments and not how many unqualified teachers there were in the system. It spoke of the number of temporary teachers who were qualified. He wanted to emphasise that.
Ms Mashishi asked about the plan to convert temporary teachers into permanent ones.
Mr Kojana replied that if there was a temporary person occupying a substantive post for too long, this negated the rationale of the labour laws. The process was that a teacher went through a probation period and from that probation period went to permanency. What happened in provinces was that there were temporary teachers occupying substantive posts who had remained temporary. This was why it was important to clean the system.
Linking subjects to skills development
Mr J Skhosana (ANC) said there was a new school system and some subjects had changed. He wanted to know how these subjects were going to be linked to the skills development of teachers given by the Department.
Mr Kojana replied that educators had been trained on Curriculum Assessment and Policy Statements from time to time in order to ensure that there was no disjuncture between policy and implementation of policy. Provinces were using the skills development levy to deal with the issue of how best to ensure that teachers were upgraded and understood the content knowledge that they dealt with.
Short terms solutions
Ms Lovemore said she appreciated the presentation but was disappointed in the short-term nature of it. The stats that had been given were over short periods such as a three-month period for the stats on temporary appointments. One of the reasons the Committee had asked for another presentation was so there could be a longer term view which she did not see in this presentation. They had wanted to see if the country was in trouble, if so how much trouble and what had been done. She did not see that in this presentation. She was concerned about the figures and quoted the Centre for Development and Enterprise which indicated that the country needed approximately 25 000 teachers a year to replace those that were leaving. However it seemed as if only 8 600 had been planned for. The Department had not planned to replace the number of teachers being lost and how was this to be turned around? This was not in the presentation. In terms of Funza Lushaka which was, an attraction tool, only about three quarters of these bursary recipients were actually graduating let alone being placed? What was being done about that? Funza Lushaka was being given bursaries for study in fields where there were already enough teachers and were not targeting scarce skills. The attraction was not strong enough to match the attrition rate. Why was the Department not looking at retention? The Centre for Development and Enterprise reported that (a fact confirmed by Department officials) 49% of teachers leaving the profession were between the age of 30 and 39. What was being done to retain those professionals? When she had raised the same question to the Director General during the Annual Performance Plan presentation, both he and the Deputy Minister assured the Committee that there were plans in place and action being taken. What was being talked about was teacher demand and supply so where was the longer-term plan?
Mr Kojana replied the attrition rate over a period of years had been almost 12 500 educators. This was precisely why the Department had felt that it was important to highlight that particular fact - not because it was in contradiction with anything that had been stated but something was being done internally that would be released. It also spoke to the multitude of plans that needed to be dealt with in terms of recruitment. Hence DBE had been in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education to establish colleges.
Mr M Makhubele (ANC) asked what was the looming or pending challenge that South Africa would be faced with in the not so distant future? This had not been presented in the report. They appreciated that the Department was becoming aware and adapting somewhat to the challenges that they faced; however, what was the bigger picture? The Department needed to be able to tell the country that they would be able to supply teachers through and through. He did not think the country was ready to hear there were not enough teachers. They needed to hear there were enough teachers to fill the vacancies. The Department needed to be able to answer the questions that came with this challenge and deal with the challenge itself. They could not say they did not plan well or these were the shortcomings, the country needed teachers and qualified teachers for that matter.
Mr C Moni (ANC) said that he felt the Department’s strategies were ‘ever green’. His understanding was that in a strategy there were issues that could be tackled now as well as medium range plans. There were also long range plans tackled over a longer period. He did not see a timeless nature in the strategy’s objectives.
Mr Kojana replied the presentation did not in any way speak to the short term or long term view but was responding to the issues raised at the workshop. The Department had provided the Committee with a document because they understood there might be questions of whether the entire strategy was being presented or the framework. Not all the information had been captured which was a case of oversight on the Department’s part. That was why the array of issues had been raised.
Mr Makhuble said next time the Committee met the Department, it needed to be taken on board in terms of how far the interventions had gone. When would matters such as those being experienced with PERSAL be concluded? He asked for timelines so that the Department could be held accountable.
Mr Kojana replied that there was a lot to consider in providing clear time frames for tackling the various issues. This would allow them to report progressively when coming back to the Committee.
Ms Lovemore said there were concerns about long term plans. She referred to the Human Resources Planning Framework. It spoke about replacement demand and said ‘policies around improvement of conditions of service and working conditions should therefore be aimed at improving retention.’ It also said that currently there was no system in place for the recruitment of teacher personnel and therefore a strategy was required. It called for the commissioning of a study for demand and supply to establish future teacher needs. It stated that the anticipated result/impact was reliable information on teacher shortages and scarcity. The duration was July 2011 to 2012. It had clearly not been done. The question was: was the Department looking at the long-term needs with respect to teacher supply and demand?
Mr Kojana replied there was a long-term plan for Human Resources.
Funza Lushaka placements.
Ms Lovemore asked why the Eastern Cape had been allocated 254 Funza Lushaka graduates yet the figure in terms of PERSAL stood at 0%. None of the graduates had been placed. There had been 42 placed but those had been from previous years. Not a single Funza Lushaka graduate from this year had been placed. In KwaZulu Natal 513 graduates were allocated and 44 had been placed. How could this be? She asked how could the Department be paying money to learners to become teachers and then they were not placed?
Mr Kojana replied there was a problem in terms of intake in places such as the Eastern Cape. However when the Department had engaged with officials, it had been more about the excess of educators. The system was such that there were excess educators and temporary educators and now there was also the Funza Lushaka graduates within the same province. The failure to deploy educators into a school resulted in that school having to have temporary educators. This created the challenges in the system.
Mr D Smiles (DA) asked if there could be an indication of the old HR framework. Since, if there was a new one, there must have been an old one. What were the guiding policies? Was it the Personnel Administration Measures (PAM) document as this was a document that gave an indication as to demand and supply?
Ms Gina asked when could the Committee see the new HR plan?
The Chairperson asked what conditions were there for receiving bursaries. When she had received a bursary she had had to work for the Department for four years before she could move on. These teachers needed to be sent to the rural areas if there were shortages there.
Ms Pillay said for Funza Lushaka bursaries, there was a definitive contract in place that stipulated that the graduate, having benefited from the finances for studying, would have to go out into the schools for a period of four years. However the Department would need to place them in schools within three months. The graduates then turned the post down due to “inhumane conditions” or personal reasons such as “getting married”. The reason this was raised was because the placement process was complex. Much as the Department wanted to say: ‘There is the post. You benefited from the teaching programme so you must go and work there’ but for some reason it could not work like that in the current education context. As a result the Department was unable to move the graduates to certain posts even though they were contractually obligated to fill those posts.
Mr N Kganyago (UDM) asked what the Department did in reaction to that. This person owed the Department. People needed to pay back the money if they did not take up the post. People could not say they did not want to go to such places. They HAD to go there. Why did they go to university if they were not going to take up the post?
Ms Pillay replied that there were two situations that needed to be looked at. The first was: had the post been given to the graduate before or after the 31 March? If it was after the 31 March, the contractual obligation fell away. If it was before and they had been allocated, they effectively had to take on that post. There was however a twist as it needed to be seen if the Provincial Education Department (as the primary employer) could provide the bursary recipient with the minimum living conditions to take on that post. That was where they were caught out. This was a huge challenge in the rural areas. That was where they struggled in terms of the placement of Funza Lushaka graduates. The contractual obligations were clear but in terms of the human obligations it became problematic to place people.
Ms Gina said she had not expected teachers to be forced into posts but some teachers were serving in poor conditions after having paid out of their own pockets to study. If the government took such poor statements from bursary recipient then there would be rural areas without teachers. What about the teacher who had paid for themselves to go study? She did not say that they needed to be forced but there needed to be a balance. Some teachers had made a sacrifice and taken from their own pockets, yet the ones funded by government were able to have the choice. This issue needed further discussion.
Mr Nkosana said that where money had been provided, there needed to be a proper control and monitoring system. Anyone who had received money from the Department needed to be controlled under those conditions. This needed to be stipulated in the application form. Also all those who had been trained via Funza Lushaka needed to be monitored thoroughly. Were people completing the period or merely running away to the private sector?
Mr Kojana replied that he agreed with Members that the bursary conditions should be revisited. The department had come up with a new strategy which which focused on the rural areas. The issue did need to be looked into. That way if someone was deployed, they could provide choices or something to that effect. They would also look into the monitoring issue. The department would revisit the conditions so it was about learners.
Mr Kganyago said that the Funza Lushaka bursaries did not have contingency plans for unanticipated vacancies. He was not clear what this meant? Did it mean that if there was an unanticipated vacancy, it would take long to fill the space? He wondered why this was the case? When people were given bursaries it was for a reason, namely to fill vacancies. He argued that when one was given a bursary and had completed training, one worked for the institution that gave the bursary for the number of years of one’s training. It came back to the question of whether the Department could place the teachers anywhere, as it was not for these teachers to tell the Department where they wanted to be. When people spoke about this, sometimes they argued it was ‘apartheid thinking’ which was wrong, it was just logic. If someone was given a bursary, when they completed the training, they were placed in the place where they were needed.
Mr Makhubele said there was an inability to have intakes. Across the country there was a struggle to appoint teachers, yet the Funza Lushaka teachers still had to be absorbed. They were however not being absorbed. He asked how they were going to be absorbed when there seemed to be excess teachers who were not all on board. There were also temporary teachers, many of who were qualified. Most seemed to be attracted to urban areas namely Western Cape and Gauteng. The system was however not able get enough teachers to the rural areas while urban areas had unemployed teachers. He argued that it was not about choice. He saw a system that was not accommodating.
The Chairperson said that the Department forgot that the Committee listened to them. She gave the example that in the Eastern Cape there were 62 people placed with the Funza Lushaka Bursary but now the number had gone down to 42. There had been a report on 62 bursary recipients but now the numbers were changing. The Department had to be careful when it came to figures - they needed to be correct and would be compared to previous briefing documents.
Lack of information
Mr Smiles said the Committee had been short changed in terms of information. The information had not been put holistically despite the Committee wanting a holistic approach. He asked what had been the latest research and was there a model that had been worked on? If this was an augmented model then the Committee needed to know in order to look at demand and supply and utilisation.
Mr Kojana replied that the Department had provided documents so that these could assist with department responses. DBE had anticipated that there would be quite a number of questions. There were many issues in tackling supply and demand.
Mr Smiles said the absenteeism rate was something that influenced the demand and supply. He said this had not been included as part of the information.
Mr Kojana replied that absenteeism was an important point. There were quite a number of educators in the system that were on leave because of poor health and there was a need to manage this absenteeism. This linked to leave management which needed to be addressed as well within the monitoring instrument.
Mr Makhubele said nowadays a teacher was contracted as permanent almost from the first day. However back in the day, a teacher was put on probation before being made permanent. He argued this was now not administered properly. Teachers were made permanent without a probation period.
Mr Mpontshane said he sympathised with the presenter as she had not been at the workshop and some of the Committee’s concerns may not have been communicated to her. In the workshop, he had raised the notion that generalities had to move to specifics. For example, the Department needed to move away from statements such as ‘the Eastern Cape needed 420 teachers’ to stating what categories of teachers were needed in which quantities (such as how many for science; how many for mathematics). The Department needed to be more specific. This would allow for a greater sense of demand and supply. He asked if this could be included in the next round of presentations.
Mr Kojana replied that what had been done in the system was a ‘Human Resources Connect’ where every educator in the system was profiled. Once these educators had been profiled, one was able to have the details of each educator thus if there was a need, the Department was able to make a placement. This was above and beyond the work already done and would allow for the Department to have that information for themselves as well.
Mr Mpontshane asked if a call for the reopening of teacher colleges would be justified. He asked if such a call was misplaced because of the number of teachers in the system. He asked for empirical data. The Human Sciences Research Council had come with a report stating that in 10 years, South Africa would need 50 000 teachers. What was the Department’s reply to that?
Mr Kojana replied that DBE was working with the Department of Higher Education to establish teacher colleges. He could report that there were already plans in place for the establishment of formal teacher education centres. One was operational in Mpumalanga, one was due to be established in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo as well as another in Mpumalanga.
Mr Mpontshane asked if the Department had done away with the old system that had reported quarterly returns and annual returns for teachers, whilst also ensuring each school gave the exact number of teachers it needed. Lately the Department was merely shooting in the dark. He asked what was happening below district level. Were schools still involved in supplying that crucial information?
Mr Kojana replied that the process of collecting data was still continuing. That was why the Department could supply information such as how many children there were in the country. They could also supply the information on how many teachers there were. The more important aspect was how that data was utilized for issues of supply and demand. The reason a mechanism was put in place as a Department was that there was a need for Heads of Department Committee (HEDCOM) sub-committees. The Department had felt that it was important to monitor the provinces on a quarterly basis to see what was actually happening. There had been a meeting in August in which there had been indication of some form of improvement. It was clear that the national level needed to engage provinces on a regular basis to see if there was improvement. It was important to see if there was a shift in what was being done in the provinces.
Mr Kganyago said he had not been in the workshop and thus he had a lot of questions. He wanted to know about the power of the Department to transfer teachers. If there were temporary qualified teachers and a vacant permanent post existed elsewhere, he believed that one could transfer that teacher to places where they were needed. He wanted to know what the power of the Department was because it seemed like the Department could not transfer teachers. If the Department did have that power then the question of rural and urban was not relevant.
Mr Kojana replied there were systems in place that allowed for the movement of teachers. There had been an agreement on that matter. However the struggle was always implementation in the provinces. Hence these issues needed to be highlighted. DBE could indicate what measures had been put in place in order to deal with such challenges. The Department had had to go into the Eastern Cape and indicate that this was a critical matter that needed to be resolved soon. If it was not resolved soon, the composition of employees would be a problem. There had been moves to revive Provincial Education Labour Relations within the Eastern Cape. This had been revived in the provinces in order to help the movement of the teachers.
Ms F Mushwana (ANC) spoke about the filling of vacancies and wanted to attach it to the ground. She had visited a school and was shocked at the number of missing teachers. If the Department had planned for the various vacancies, for example retirees, why was there still a challenge? If the Department knew who was going to retire (which was based on age), why was there a problem? She had visited a school in which there were 10 vacancies. She was concerned that if there were 10 educators short, how did teaching happen with so many missing teachers? What could be done to avoid this? A plan needed to be made or else this became a talk show.
Mr Kojana replied that when looking at Human Resources matters one should look at if there was movement but he could assure the Committee there was movement in ensuring that there was a teacher in front of classrooms.
Mr Kojana said that the reason there was an intervention in Limpopo was because of the filling of vacancies. There had been a great number of educators in the system to the point of excess but there were some schools without teachers. That had been a big problem in the province. There had to be a mechanism for dealing with the problem. When that intervention had occurred, the Department had had to go and sit down with unions and officials to find a mechanism in dealing with the problem. A resolution was signed in which unions and everyone agreed on the moving of teachers to match the vacancies in the schools.
Information Management System
Mr Moni said that it seemed like the Committee and the Department spoke past each other. He asked what was the problem with the information management system in the Department. Was the manager still employed?
Mr Moni asked about teacher training as he had seen that the numbers were bigger in Gauteng and the Western Cape. However in the Eastern Cape, where the need for qualified teachers was big, teacher training was abysmal.
The Chairperson asked what was important within the organogram. When it came down to the different provinces, had the organogram been approved by the Department of Public Service and Administration. She knew that the organogram of the Eastern Cape had not been approved as it was top heavy.
Mr Makhuble said there was a debate going on in terms of what was meant by an organogram. There were two schools of thought. The Department spoke of the organogram only in terms of what one could fund. He felt that both schools could form part of the thinking behind the organogram. For accountability, one could only speak to the funded posts. However, it would be wrong to say that provinces should not have on paper an organogram of what they need. If the provinces asked for more money, there would need to be information on what it was for.
The Chairperson said DBE needed to think about the fact that there was a need to have a lean top and bottom heavy model.
Ms Pillay replied that what they suggested to the provinces was that there should be two organisation structures. There was the one signed off by the Department of Public Service and Administration which was the ideal structure. Thus when they went to get more money they knew that this was the ideal structure to make the province work. What the Department had also said to them was for a particular financial year the province should look at their funded posts and capture this on PERSAL as well as capture their operational organisational structure for that year so they could then accurately determine their organisation structure. They would then peg how much was needed for the hosts in that organisational structure.
The Chairperson asked where the payroll system was situated. In the Eastern Cape it was situated in the Office of the Premier. There were principals “who covered for each other” and there were some who did not. It seemed that solutions were ‘evergreen’ and as Ms Mushwana had said week after week the same thing was being done. She wanted to know within the next ten days what monitoring and evaluation tools were in place.
Mr Mpontshane said the Department had realised some time ago that it was hampered in placing teachers entering the system for the first time. There was then a Bill that became Law allowing the Department to bypass certain procedures such as advertising and the interviewing process. He asked what had happened to that law. Why had the sections of that law not being implemented? He thought it was the Education Laws Amendment Act of 2000 if he remembered correctly.
National Development Plan
Mr Smiles asked where was the National Development Plan taken into account in the new Human Resources model. More specifically in terms of the proposal for a better learner teacher ration 1:22. Had this been taken on board? He wanted to commend the Department on the Funza Lushaka strategy to promote people to study.
Ms Gina asked if it was not premature to speak to the National Development Plan. Even though one might not be satisfied with every point, there was a need to work from today onwards with the Department to address the challenges. The cornerstone was thus the question: were there enough teachers to do the work that needed to be done?
The Chairperson said she thought it was important to note that when it came to Basic Education the learners were central. She asked if there was a Human Resources and Skills Development strategy as the Department was meant to have one. A framework had been given but it seemed to be outdated thus the Committee would like to have an updated one. She also asked when was the performance agreement going to be put in place for managers? People had to be disciplined as it was they who put ‘ghosts’ in the system. She felt it was important to know whether the organograms were approved. Basic Education was labour intensive and she knew that there were problems when it came to the current ratio. She asked that the Department speak to that when they returned. She urged them to use Section 125 of the Constitution. There was also a Department HEDCOM workshop during of the week of the 27 August and the proposals made now should be spoken to in that meeting. She expected to hear what had been done with the Committee’s recommendations.
Public hearing on Wednesday 22 August on education for persons with disabilities
The Chairperson said that the Committee on Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities had invited the Committee to a public hearing on the Wednesday 22 August. The Department of Education would be speaking to them on what they were doing for people with disabilities. She requested that those who were free would go. It would be interesting to hear what the Department would say as the Committee knew there was no synergy at National level when it came to persons with disabilities. This was seen during the workshop. Any documents would be made available to this Committee.
Attack on learners in Limpopo
Ms Mashishi said that three children had been brutally killed on Saturday 18 August in Limpopo. The Chairperson asked members from Limpopo to attend the memorial service and asked the Committee secretary to write a letter of condolence and for Ms Mashishi to deliver it. There needed to be a report back on what was happening. The motive needed to be known and the perpetrators brought to book.
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