PC Basic Education: Outstanding Oversight Reports & Legacy Report

Basic Education

10 March 2014
Chairperson: Ms H Malgas (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Portfolio Committee considered and adopted outstanding draft minutes and draft reports. The draft minutes of 5 November 2013, and 18 February 2014, were adopted without amendment.

The draft report of the Portfolio Committee on attending the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi), and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) Standardisation of 2013 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination Marks Meeting, was adopted without amendments.  The draft report on the Official Release of the National Senior Certificate Results for 2013 was adopted without amendment. The draft report on an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape was adopted with amendments.  The draft report on its engagement on infrastructure with the Department of Basic Education and provincial departments in Pretoria, was adopted with amendments.

The draft report on oversight visits to farm schools in the Free State and Western Cape, was adopted with amendments. The draft report on its activities undertaken during the 4th Parliament (May 2009 – March 2013) -- The Legacy Report -- was adopted with amendments.

The Committee reflected on its performance during the past five years, and paid tribute to the Chairperson and the support staff. The previous Chairperson was also thanked, and a letter of thanks would be sent to her.
 

Meeting report

The Chairperson said that Members should have the draft minutes of 5 November, the draft minutes of 18 February, the Umalusi standardisation meeting, the official National Senior Certificate (NSC) results release, the oversight visit to the Eastern Cape, oversight visits to farm schools in the Free State, and the Committee Legacy Report.

Consideration of outstanding minutes
The Chairperson tabled two sets of minutes for consideration. She said the Committee would go through these documents page-by-page and Members could give their input where necessary. The Committee adopted the following minutes, with amendments: 


5 November 2013


Mr K Dikoba’s (AZAPO) name would be removed from ‘Apologies’.

18 February 2014


The Chairperson asked the Committee Secretary to add, after “and Science.. the Whip on behalf of the Committee thanked Professor Mabusela for the good work he was doing.”

Mr D Smiles (DA) said that the minute of 12 November, which dealt with the delivery of textbooks, was missing.

The Chairperson said that this could have been the end of October, but this would be checked. 

The Chairperson said that the Committee Secretary had just reminded her that this was actually the meeting of 29 October, where printing, procurement and publishing were discussed.  The reason she could not remember that meeting initially was because she had asked her Whip to chair it while she went to another meeting.  

Oversight Reports


The Chairperson tabled six reports for consideration.  The Committee would go through these documents page-by-page and Members could give their input where necessary.


Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on attending the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) Standardisation of 2013 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination Marks Meeting.

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

This report was adopted without amendments

Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on the Official Release of the National Senior Certificate Results for 2013
The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.


This report was adopted without amendments

Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

The Chairperson noted that this report was very well written.

Ms A Lovemore (DA) said that there were two issues that had definitely been raised and had not been captured. One had to do with the real shortage of mathematics and science teachers. The Committee had proposed that the placement of mathematics and science teachers be de-linked from the placement of excess teachers, because none of the excess teachers were mathematics and science teachers.  They had to be de-linked, and dealt with completely separately.

The other issue had to do with the turnaround strategy.  The lady who was so insulted by the provincial officials, was the only one who had a decent turnaround strategy in place. Every other principal had said that they were doing extra lessons, but they were in fact covering the curriculum with extra lessons which the learners could not attend because was no transport. That was absolutely critical, and both of these issues should be addressed in the recommendations.

The Chairperson asked if the Member could provide the wording for these two recommendations.

Ms Lovemore agreed to do this.
 

Mr Z Makhubele (ANC) suggested that the Committee should speak to the Minister and the MEC with regard to challenges facing individual schools.

Ms N Gina (ANC) felt that it should remain as it was, because the Committee could not speak directly to the MEC. The Committee could not go to the provinces and issue instructions to them, but it could work through the Minister to make sure that certain things happened in various provinces.

Mr K Dikobo (AZAPO) said that he concurred with Ms Gina.

Mr Makhubele said that he was working from the premise that education was a core competence. There were operations at the national levelm but difficulties were experienced at the provincial level because changes could not be effected to budgets.  This had been a problem for some time. The Committee had always insisted that other than just policy, implementation had to be what was expected at a national level. This had not been successful. The recommendation could be phrased as follows: “Minister should, in the spirit of co-operate governance …” This was not said, but it was implied by the proposal.

The Chairperson said that the proposal would be left as it was.

The report was adopted with amendments

Draft report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on its engagement on infrastructure with the Department of Basic Education and Provincial Departments in Pretoria

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration.

The delegations from Parliament and the Department had to be added.

Ms Gina said that the absence of Gauteng and North West province had to be recorded.

The Chairperson said that the problem was that this report had been rewritten, because the first draft was not adequate.

Mr D Smiles (DA) said that there was no record of the challenges in the Northern Cape. The Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Commission (PICC) had to be included.

Mr Dikobo said that the names of the presenters of the provincial reports should be added.

Ms Lovemore said that a large amount of money had been made available by the National Treasury to employ professionals. This matter should be looked into, and there should be progress reports

The Chairperson said this should be added to the Committee Observations section, and should then also be added to the Recommendations, as section 7.13. This was for the 5th Parliament.

The report was adopted with amendments


Draft Report on oversight visits to farm schools in the Free State and Western Cape Provinces
The Chairperson said that only the delegation of the Committee was present, and the delegation from the Department of Basic Education in the Free State was not recorded. This had to be inserted.

Mr Dikoba said the delegations from organised labour were missing. This had to be inserted.

The report was adopted with amendments.

 

The Draft Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on its activities undertaken during the 4th Parliament (May 2009 – March 2013), hereafter called The Legacy Report
The Chairperson asked about the naming of the Legacy Report.


Mr Dikobo said that “Legacy Report” could be added in brackets, after the brackets with the dates.

Mr Smiles registered a point of order, and asked if this was done in terms of the Committee rules.

The Chairperson said that it was.

Ms F Mushwana (ANC) said “Legacy Report” should be inserted after the date.

The Chairperson asked if work in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo Provinces were considered interventions.

The researcher said that interventions were predominantly the work of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP)

Mr Dikobo said that where the Committee went out on its own and did oversight, this was not considered as an intervention.

Mr Dikobo said that the National Teachers’ Union (NATU) was missing from the report.

Ms Gina asked where in the Announcements, Tablings and Committee (ATC) reports could oversight trips be found.

Mr Dikobo said that Higher Education should be put in brackets after the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).  

Mr Dikobo said that he assumed that Curriculum Advisors would be referred to under Recommendations, and that there would be a separate report for that. It had to be checked if there was an ATC for that. There might, however, be no recommendations and this should be checked. It was unusual that there were no recommendations.

The Chairperson agreed that this had to be checked, as there were places where there were no ATC numbers. There were normally recommendations with ATC numbers.

Mr Smiles said that he could not remember curriculum advisor meetings.

Ms Gina said that Mr Smiles had been absent from that meeting.

The Chairperson said that some of the reports were where the Chairperson had given oral reports. Even if Members were invited in their individual capacity, they still had to report it.

The Committee Secretary said that there were times when the Chairperson was unable to attend a meeting.   She would then delegate a Member to attend, or she herself would report to the Committee.

The Chairperson said that it would be a recommendation from the Committee that if any Member went to a meeting, they should come back with a report.

The Chairperson said that with oversight visits, the weeks were shared with the Higher Education Department.  

Mr Dikobo said that it might not be a problem, where parties shared Members.

Ms Gina agreed with Mr Dikobo that having Members sharing Committees might be an advantage.

The Chairperson said that the Committee had enough Members for oversight visits. For example, with the recent oversight visit, the second week was shared with Higher Education. The Committee Secretary would explain how a Committee delegation was constituted.

The Committee Secretary said that there was a Rules of Parliament booklet that explained how a delegation was constituted, and this would be made available to Committee Members. The Chairperson of the House had never approved a full delegation to go on any oversight visit. He did the opposite in fact, and tried to get as few Members as possible to go on these trips. There was a formula, based on the number of Members.

Mr Dikobo said that he did not understand why there was a limit on Basic Education Members, because when other Committees went on oversight visits, everybody went. When this Committee asked why, they said it was because Basic Education wanted to go on many trips.

Mr Smiles said that there was agreement that there were five outstanding issues, one of which was Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM). The legacy of this Committee should be that it existed for the sake of learner.

Ms Gina agreed with Mr Smiles, and added that it was the legacy report of this Committee that where items were left hanging, they should be highlighted, like the LTSM, infrastructure and subject advisors. This would allow the new Committee to be able to follow up effectively.

The Report was adopted with amendments.

Thanks to the Committee

The Chairperson asked Ms Gina to thank the Committee.

Ms Gina thanked the Committee heartily and added she thought all could honestly say that as the Portfolio Committee of Basic Education, everyone had worked very well together.  There had been differences, as Members had disagreed whenever the need arose, but this was a Committee where even in conflict they could face each other. Members always worked together, even when the opposition was in opposition. This Committee had always been working well together. The Chairperson was thanked for always being able to keep Members together. In any structure people, always looked to the leader, and this Committee was proud to have worked with its Chairperson as the leader.  

However, this Committee could not have worked so well together if it had not been for the support staff. It was well known that Members could sometimes be trying and difficult, but the support staff were always supportive and caring and persevered. It was unusual that they were all male, but there was not a single day where they had responded negatively.  They were thanked and it was said that without their assistance, the Committee would not have been as successful as it was.  The first Chairperson was also thanked, as she had started the Committee on a good road. It was a pity that she was not here to hear what was said today.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Gina for issuing a vote of thanks.  The previous Chairperson should be written a thank you letter. She had enjoyed being with Members, and was always impressed with the Committee.  It was useful that the whole Committee were ex-teachers, as they could give the Department advice and guidance based on experience.  Wherever people were deployed, they would be doing their best.

 

The meeting was adjourned.
 

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