Department of Basic Education & Umalusi on their 2013/14 Annual Reports, with Deputy Minister present

NCOP Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture

05 November 2014
Chairperson: Ms L Zwane (ANC; KwaZulu-Natal)
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Meeting Summary

Umalusi and the Department of Basic Education, in the presence of Deputy Minister, Enver Surty, presented to the Select Committee on their respective Annual Reports for 2013/14. Umalusi noted its role in quality assurance and its significance for education in South Africa. It was independent, which provided credibility to the system. The National Qualifications Framework Act of 2008 led to changes in the responsibilities of various bodies in the quality assurance landscape, but it was heavily involved in the Ministerial and South African Qualifications Authority task teams. Umalusi had achieved unqualified audits since its inception.  In this year, it had a surplus of R19 603 472, due to increased accreditation applications, the increase in private FET college fee collections, interest income from reserves which had not been expended and the reduced expenditure due to approval of posts to be filled over two financial years. It noted the extent of grant funding, and the percentage that it must make up itself. Umalusi indicated that Independent schools were registered by The Provincial Registration Commission and that Umalusi was involved in the accreditation and considered the curriculum and qualifications of the teachers. There had not been some monitoring done against targets, because of a transitional approach. It was filling vacancies by approving new posts and monitoring the appointment process.

The Committee enquired as to the extent to which Umalusi monitors private schools and the qualifications of teachers in these schools, and whether it was monitoring corporal punishment. The Committee further enquired as to where the examinations were monitored in private schools to gain more grants from government. They asked about the relationship between the accreditation of Umalusi and the SETAs and on Umalusi's plan to address its vacancies in the entity. Umalusi stressed that there were some disparities in statistics reported in the media and the indicators for quality were not solely the number of matric passes; it had benchmarked itself against other organisations and country standards.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE), with input from the Deputy Minister, tabled and took Members at length through the Annual Report. The Deputy Minister submitted that substantial improvements had been made, but conceded that there was much still to be done to achieve the excellence in standards that the DBE wanted. The greatest single challenge lay with poor quality standards and this was why the role of Umalusi was so important. Less than 2 000 practitioners were now under-qualified and that over 14 000 educators had at least a level 4 qualification, a transition to level 6. DBE had achieved 99% spending in four of its five programmes, and it received an unqualified audit report with matters of emphasis that were being attended to. There had been some underspending on the Schools Infrastructure Backlog Grant, because of delays with or firing of poorly performing contractors, and transfers were withheld for the HIV Conditional Grant and the Capitalisation Grant owing to low spending in three provinces. Overspending on goods and services resulted from more examination papers being set, and the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements being introduced for Grade 12. The Deputy Minister explained the split in concurrencies and functions and it was also explained that some of the over-spending was picked up by the provinces. An exhaustive comparison of targets and achievements was set out for each of the programmes.

The Committee noted that the work of the Department and committee had increased considerably, and it was quite difficult to make comparisons with previous years. They wondered what the DBE was doing to implement recommendations made previously by this Committee in relation to audits, pointing to poor results again in the Eastern Cape.  The Committee expressed concern regarding the provision of schooling in rural areas and enquired as to the mechanisms to increase their pass rates, commenting that teacher absenteeism was a problem, and asked also how teachers could be attracted to the rural areas. Ms L Dlamini (ANC; Mpumalanga) noted that the work of the Department and committee had increased considerably and therefore the standards in previous years could not be used as a comparison. Referring to the audit outcomes for the provinces, she asked whether the DBE implemented recommendations from the Committee, since she noted no change in the audit outcome for the Eastern Cape. They asked how South African standards compared to others internationally, asked for investigations into the Vocational Education and Training Colleges in Mthatha, wanted to know when the Director-General's post would be filled, and the reasons for the backlogs of teachers, and whether the DBE was engaging with unions. They raised the point that although matriculants had been congratulated on their writing of examinations, some in Northern Cape were prevented, by protests and poor roads, from reaching the examination venues and asked how the decision to delay their examinations to next year would affect them. Members asked to what extent DBE was buying into programmes of other departments on culture and sport, how it retrieved textbooks, how it dealt with security at schools, the court cases, and whether universal access to primary education had been achieved.

Meeting report

The Committee Secretary read out an apology from the Minister of Basic Education. The presence of the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty, was noted.

Umalusi 2013/14 Annual Report briefing
The Chairperson commended Umalusi on its achievements and requested presentation on the progress regarding the issuing of certificates, the use of consultants to perform duties and the impact on the budget. She added that the Committee wanted to hear whether the mechanisms for the assessment of  Annual National Assessments (ANA) were credible and mechanisms to assist Vocational Education and Training (VET) colleges and the definition of rural education.

Mr John Volmink, Chairperson, Umalusi, indicated that Umalusi was established in 2002. He noted that the Council consisted of 19 members who were appointed for their expertise in education, and members from the Department of Basic Education (DBE), as appointed by the Minister of Basic Education.

Mr Volmink noted the role of Umalusi in quality assurance and its significance for education in South Africa. He explained that Umalusi was independent, which provided credibility to the system. He further noted that Umalusi had achieved unqualified audits since its inception.

Dr Mafu Rakometsi, Chief Executive Officer, Umalusi, explained that the mandate of Umalusi was determined by the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act. He then set out the qualifications and standards of Umalusi and noted the various sub-frameworks which existed within the entity. He further explained the role of Umalusi with regard to quality assurance and certification (see attached presentation for full details).

He noted that Umalusi was required to maintain a database of learner achievements and related matters for South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). He further explained that the entity was authorised to conduct its own research. Umalusi provided advice and collaborated with various structures and entities.

External Environment and Impact

Mr Rakometsi explained that the NQF Act 2008 had led to changes in the responsibilities of various bodies in the quality assurance landscape. The collaboration with SAQA in the transition to the NQF Act had resulted in extensive Umalusi involvement in Ministerial and SAQA Task teams.

The location of the N1 – N3 certification was a matter which was unresolved. He further explained that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) was implementing the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and that Umalusi was currently analysing the changes made to the curricula and the standards of assessment. However, the future for adult learners remained uncertain as a decision had been taken to extend the Senior Certificate.

Quality Assurance Regime 2013/1014

Dr Rakometsi explained that three categories of curricula existed, namely the intended, examined and assessed curriculum. The quality assurance regime was inclusive of evaluation and benchmarking of existing qualifications and curricula, as well as issuing authentic certificates, development of new qualifications and curricula.

The quality assurance regime also included ensuring that assessments at exit points were of an acceptable standard, by means of external moderation processes, in addition to ensuring that examinations were conducted in a credible manner. This was done by verifying the national and provincial monitored systems of the examined curricula.

Umalusi would ensure that standardisation processes were reliable, consistent and that standardisation decisions were upheld. Umalusi also accredited private assessment bodies and their qualifications, and would certify and monitor the public assessment bodies.

Qualifications, Curriculum and Certification Unit (QCC)

Ms Eugenie Rabe, Chief Operations Officer: DBE, explained that the role of the Qualifications, Curriculum and Certification Unit (QCC) was to ensure and enhance the status and quality of the qualifications Umalusi certified. She noted that this function also oversaw the issuing and verification of certificates. The q

Ms Rabe explained the qualifications sub-framework which had been completed as set out in the Annual Performance Plan. Ms Rabe further explained the curriculum and benchmarked standards which were being undertaken under the Annual Plan.

Ms Rabe explained that the following qualifications had been issued in line with directives and guidelines:

Quality Assurance of Assessments Unit (QAA)

Ms Rabe explained that this function entailed establishing, maintaining and improving standards and quality and assessment at exit points in General and Further Education and Training (FET). She explained that this function was satisfied by means of five key processes, namely:

  1. External moderation of questions papers
  2. Verification and monitoring the conduct of examinations
  3. External moderation of marking
  4. External moderation of continuous assessment
  5. Standardisation of assessment results

Quality Assurance of Assessment

Ms Rabe explained that the exact moderation of question papers had been completed in line with the plans, and that reports had been submitted to the Ministers of Basic and Higher Education.

Evaluation and Accreditation Unit (E&A)

Ms Rabe explained that the E&A was responsible for accrediting private institutions through quality assurance of their provision for the qualifications that Umalusi certified, and noted the information which the unit evaluates. She also set out the statistics regarding the accreditation of private providers (see attached presentation). She noted that institutional site visits were not conducted in 2013, as the accreditation policy had not been approved until the end of 2012, and Umalusi experienced a transition period.

Statistical Information and Research Unit (SIR)

Ms Rabe explained that the mandate of the SIR unit was to conduct research as identified by the needs of the organisation and report on key indicators of quality and standards in General and Further Education and Training. Ms Rabe added that the mandate also included a function to establish and maintain databases, to lead statistical research and analysis and to inform and provide statistical support for the work in other units. The SIR unit also played a role in organisational and professional development at Umalusi.

Governance and Office of the CEO

Mr Jeremy Thomas, Chief Financial Officer, Umalusi, presented on the governance and the Office of the CEO (GOCEO) and outlined the role of the unit. It would ensure that Strategic and Annual Performance Plans were in place and that the organisation carried out its remit. Corporate governance was implemented, in line with the King III code, the work of Umalusi was advocated through a Communications and Public Relations Strategy, and  stakeholder relationships were built and managed.

Information Technology Infrastructure and Systems

Mr Thomas explained that Umalusi had been able to source the necessary internal providers and individuals.

Finance, Human Resource Development and Administrative Support

Mr Thomas explained that R15 million was kept as a reserve for litigation. He reiterated that Umalusi received another clean audit opinion this year.

Financial Performance and Financial Position 2013/14

Mr Thomas explained that Umalusi had a surplus of R19 603 472, which was due to increased accreditation applications, the increase in private FET college fee collections, interest income from reserves which had not been expended and the reduced expenditure, due to approval of posts to be filled over two financial years.

Mr Thomas indicated that the value of Umalusi’s total assets was R88 564 899 and that its total equity and liabilities were the same figure.

Umalusi three-year forecast

Mr Thomas explained that R107 354 000 was provided to Umalusi in the form of a grant from the DBE and that Umalusi covered the shortfall. He set out the changes in the grant percentage for Umalusi from 2000 to 2017/18. The budgets were expected to increase by CPI, but in the case of Umalusi, true inflation costs such as travel, flights and accommodation were significantly above CPI.


Dr Rakometsi explained that the mistakes in examinations were only recognised when the exams were written. Mr Rakometsi explained that the following mechanisms were being implemented to address the issues and concerns of Umalusi:

·         Implementation of the GFETQSF

·         Setting standards for the GFETQSF

·         The roll-out of new accreditation processes

·         Budget requirements in years to follow in terms of grants

Dr Rakometsi explained that the Select Committee would be invited to the Conference held by Umalusi in 2016.

He noted that the certificates provided by the entity had security features which prevented fraud, such as a watermark, a border only viewable under magnification, and that could not be duplicated, and special ink that also could not be duplicated.

Umalusi did not use consultants and that "external individuals" were professions who contributed to the entity seasonally for evaluation and accreditation for independent providers. He explained that there was agreement with National Treasury that this saved money.

In answer to the question raised by the Chairperson, Dr Rakometsi also confirmed that Umalusi was not currently involved in the quality assurance of the ANA.

Dr Rakometsi explained that VET colleges that were accredited by Umalusi made commitments to provide the agreed programmes, failing which they would lose their accreditation.

The experience of employees at Umalusi had been assessed and an independent survey would be integrated into the performance plan. It also had a partnership to discuss incentives given to teachers to teach in rural schools as endorsed by its partner, WITS University. A task team had been established to deal with the recommendations taken to the Umalusi Council. The document which would be submitted would be a provisional report.

Department of Basic Education2013/14 Annual Report briefing

Deputy Minister's comments
Mr Enver Surty, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, repeated the apology on behalf of the Minister. He thanked the Acting Director General and the senior managers of the Department of Basic Education (DBE or the Department) for their capacity and commitment. The Deputy Minister referred to the contributions made by Oliver Tambo, and noted that the current system of education was noteworthy considering that democracy had only run for a short period of twenty years. He noted the achievements of the DBE thus far and the move towards ICT. He explained that the Annual National Assessment (ANA) was necessary for evaluation of the system and implementation of the appropriate interventions. He indicated that 82 schools had been delivered which had been fully equipped, as promised by the Department.

The Deputy Minister explained that although tremendous improvements had been made, the Department was still striving to reach the standards of excellence that it sought. The single greatest challenge was poor quality standards in education and for this reason the role of Umalusi was emphasised.

Chairperson's response

The Chairperson commended the Department on its achievements, but indicated concerns surrounding the Department’s underspending. The Chairperson also requested that the presentation should focus on the performance of provinces. Other matters that the Committee wanted to hear about included the equity in appointments, frequency of skills audits and the assessment on impacts and returns on investment. The Chairperson also requested clarity on the high levels of teacher resignation and learner health and safety in schools.

Ms Vivienne Carelse, Deputy Director General, DBE, briefly presented an overview and programme performance of the Department. She noted that the factors influencing the Department's work included the performance delivery environment and the organisational environment.

Dealing firstly with the performance delivery environment, she noted that this encompassed:

- Data and Information Challenges and the production of quality education statistics through good information systems, contingent or institutional, organisational and technical capacity
- Access to Basic Education was required by the Bill of Rights, and there was also a need to ensure access to  adult basic education and further education and training
- Expansion of Early Childhood Development (ECD), to ensure universal access to Grade R and doubling numbers of 0 to 4 year-olds in ECD centres
- Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and their administration up to Grade 12, as a national initiative to improve curriculum coverage, and to give closer and more careful  attention to objective monitoring of effective  teaching and learning
- High quality Learning and Teaching Support Materials (LTSM) to ensure the level of readiness by provinces to procure and deliver all LTSM, including textbooks, before the end of the year
- Annual National Assessment s(ANA) to improve learner performance through a pilot study and other interventions
- National Senior Certificate Results, to ensure that the NSC results improved in quantity and quality, through the provision of appropriate materials
- Competence, professionalism and status of teachers, to improve the number of young teachers entering the teaching service
- Effective teaching and learning in the classroom to monitor and support schools and districts
- School Infrastructure Development, to provide safe environment for teaching and learning
- Learner Wellbeing, through the NSNP programme, to strengthen and monitor the programme to ensure the provision of nutritious meals on every school day and the implementation of the Integrated School Heath Programme that would enable better access to primary health care for learners in primary and secondary schools
- The Section 100(1)(b) intervention in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, through which the Department would continue to provide special guidance and monitor service delivery.

Ms Carelse noted that the organisational environment encompassed the DBE oversight role and responsibility to provinces, through which the Department focused on achieving sound district management and meaningful curriculum support for school. It would also attempt to deal with budget pressures by giving support to budget monitoring and proper administration of Post Provisioning Norms (PPN) in provinces.

Programme Performance

Ms Carelse explained that the Department had established 57 performance indicators consisting of the quarterly, bi-annual and annual targets set by the Department. She provided an overview of the DBE's output, by each programme (see attached presentation for full information). She mentioned the following highlights:

- In Programme 1: Administration the number of staff undertaking staff development and internships exceeded targets. Two reports were produced, and South Africa participated in multilateral bodies and international organisations. 79 disclosure forms were submitted to the Public Service Commission (PSC) since an additional SMS member was appointed. The Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) scores were finalised and submitted in October 2013, and a performance information management strategy was developed to guide evidence-based reporting. Performance bonuses were paid to qualifying officials at end March 2014. She listed statistics in terms of staff trained and inducted and appointment of 64 interns.

- Legal services managed litigation in 17 cases as induction courses and 64 interns were appointed
- 13 out of 40 audits were done, risk registers were signed off and whistle-blowing policy was approved.
- The DBE negotiated agreements were listed, as well as international relations exercises. The Department convened initiatives to support the partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance
- On the communications side, the Department was strengthening of web presence and e-communication through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, the DBE website, and YouTube
- On the programme for Strategic Planning, Research and Coordination, targets were achieved.
- Governance structures were serviced and 71 statutory meetings were held (see attached presentation for all details).

The statistics for the Curriculum Policy, Support and Monitoring Unit were set out in detail. The audit report on ICT in education initiative had been completed. 4   073 of subject advisors and other teaching professionals were orientated in the CAPS. Two reports on subject advisors in each district were produced and that 331 district officials and teachers trained in multi-grade teaching in all provinces in 2013 through nationally funded intervention.

In this year's matric examinations, 78.2% of learners obtained a pass in January results and 80.8% after supplementary examinations. 98.8 percent of ordered Grade 6 Mathematics workbooks (Vol. 2for 2013) were distributed to schools (Vol. 1 workbooks already distributed by December2012/ January 2013). Ms Carelse further indicated that Grade 12 Siyavula Mathematics textbooks were printed and delivered to all schools offering Mathematics in 2012. Textbooks were retrieved from learners at the end of 2012 for use in the 2013 academic year, but 2013 was the final year of implementation of non- CAPS aligned curriculum. Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) were requested to print the textbooks and print- ready files were sent to provinces electronically.

Resources were produced to support National Senior Certificate (NSC) preparation. Tasks in seven key subjects were set, moderated and released to provinces and published on the DBE website. Learner standards were developed and released to provinces for distribution to all Grade 12 teachers and learners in the schools. She cited other achievements in development of exemplars for ANA preparations, past exam paper uploads, and audits on braille equipment. There were currently 16 212 audits on the availability of Braille production equipment and technologies was conducted in all schools for the blind, and a report developed. The target was 12   500.

On Curriculum Implementation and Monitoring, Ms Carelse explained that a total of 4   073 subject advisors were orientated in CAPS for the Senior Phase and Grade 12 and that the Department developed a plan to strengthen the teaching of African languages through the Incremental Introduction of African Languages (IIAL) programme in all public schools from Grades 1 to 12. 290 teachers and subject advisors were trained by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in multi-grade teaching, through a nationally funded initiative. A National Remedial Reading Plan and a Reading Programme for Grades R to 12 was released following a reading audit report.

Out of the 86 750 candidates who received a matric pass entitling them to take up Bachelors studies, 26  149 were from Dinaledi schools. The Physical Science pass rate, although it had dropped, still exceeded the target of 24 006 by almost 2 000.

Almost seven million learners across more than 24   000 schools participated in ANA 2013.

The 2013 NSC pass rate was 80.8%, an improvement by 4.3% on the previous year. 

In respect of the Curriculum and quality enhancement programmes, 1   583 schools were provided with ICT Infrastructure for teaching and learning in partnership with the Department of Communications and Vodacom Foundation. The Thutong portal was used to provide information on school curricula, teacher development, school administration and management.

Library services were enhanced by the DBE giving some schools mobile library cabinets, container libraries and centralised libraries. 566   364 learners had enrolled in the Kha Ri Gude programme. 2.9 million adults had graduated between 2008 and 2012, set to increase to 3.5 million by the end of the 2013/14 financial year.

A guide to the available professional development programmes was available on the website with 314 offerings covering 33 fields of study.

In 2013/14, 6 762 qualified teachers aged 30 and below had entered the Public Service as teachers for the first time. 14513 bursaries were awarded to students enrolled for initial teacher education during the past year. Ms Carelse noted that the Funza Lushaka bursary allocation from National Treasury for 2013/14 was R893 867 000 and DBE had also developed a tool to track performance of the bursary recipients. A total of 6  762 new and qualified entrants were appointed in 2013/14 and that in 2013 school year, a total of 3  318 qualified educators resigned. Temporary teachers were appointed until permanent filling of posts, and acting managers where there were vacancies in these posts.

82% of graduates were placed in the PEDs. National Treasury approved the procurement by DBE of laptops for teachers.

68 moderators were deployed across all provinces to monitor IQMS implementation and profile schools and 9 330 schools were monitored. There had been 45 labour issues handled. 27 000 principals and deputies were signed up for participation in the Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) management system. The 14th National Teaching Awards were hosted by the Minister.

Under the slide dealing with Planning, Information and Assessment, Ms Carelse set out the statistics for the 2013 NSC examination. Only 0.07% of candidates were implicated in behavioural offences or acts of dishonesty. She also set out the statistics for the ANA, and noted that these had been adapted into Braille and large-size font.

On the Financial and Physical Planning side the DBE had collated, consolidated and analysed the 2013/14 APPs of PEDs and expenditure reports for the period ending 28th February 2014Fee . The Minister's approved list of No-Fee Schools lists was approved and published in the Government Gazette in July 2013.

The Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative (ASIDI) had been operational since 2011, d she noted the current statistics, adding that many rollouts ran over several years. 226 schools were provided with sanitation, and 232 with water.

The Information Management System and school census information was conducted on time. DBE had intensified support to provinces and districts. 17 out of the 18 districts that performed below 65% in 2012 NSC examinations had improved. In 2014, there would be more intensive support and 27 districts were identified for training sessions.

The DBE continued to improve its responsiveness and the rate at which it resolved cases referred by the Presidential Hotline. 1 026 enquiries were received and 1 024 of those were resolved.

The National Education Evaluation and Development Unit produced the national report on teaching and learning in the intermediate phase, and some of the results were:
- The DBE had underperformed against the target for learners benefitting from educational enrichment services
- The HIV and AIDS Life Skills Education Programme was continuing to train educators to implement sexual and reproductive health programmes for learners. A consultant was appointed to develop implementation plans for the third to fifth years of the Sexual HIV Prevention Programme (SHIPP), the Department recruited a consultant to support the DBE with the development of implementation plans for years three to five, and DBE finalised a submission requesting approval for development of scripted lesson plans on sexuality education in support of CAPS for Grades 7 to 9 learners was finalised.
- The DBE Strategy on Alcohol and Drug Use was approved annually on 26 June by the global comm for implementation, and the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was commemorated in schools.
- Implementation of the HPV vaccine in schools was approved, and the programme launched in Free State in March 2014.
- DBE had partnerships with numerous companies and organisations
- The National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP) continued to benefit learners from the poorest schools across the country.
- Social cohesion, community mobilisation and gender equity efforts in education continued,  and the Moot Court Competition was part of an international effort to promote human rights among young people
- The Department, supported by UNICEF, was implementing a gender empowerment programme that enabled learners entitled Girls’ Education Movement / Boys’ Education Movement (GEM/BEM), which provides a platform for learners to work together in identifying social challenges and establish a rights-based approach
- The South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod was a national event that was held annually. Sports Leagues had registered 5 851 schools.
- Safety in Education workshops were conducted in three provinces
- The National Education Collaboration Framework and Trust (NECT) was launched in July 2013.

Annual Financial Statements

Ms Ntsetsa Molalekoa, Chief Financial Officer, DBE, presented on the Department’s annual financial statements. Four of the five programmes spent 99% of their allocated budgets. There had been under-spending on the School Infrastructure Backlog indirect grant, because some contractors working on the projects were liquidated, or had their contracts terminated for poor performance.

Transfers were withheld for the HIV Conditional Grant and the Capitalisation Grant owing to low spending, across three provinces (see attached presentation for full details).

There had been over-spending on  goods and services, because of an increase in the number of question papers, and the need to develop exemplar question papers and guidelines when CAPS was implemented in Grade 12. In an attempt to strengthen School Based Assessment (SBA), which was, for the past three years, cited in the Annual Quality Assurance Reports of Umalusi as a serious risk to the credibility of the NSC, a National moderation of SBA was conducted across all nine Provincial Education Departments in seven key subjects.

Spending on building and other fixed structures was lower than expected due to challenges experienced in respect of the School Infrastructure Backlogs grant. There were also some delayed claims. There had, however, been over-spending on the infrastructure grant, which was paid for by the provinces. Information in the report came from the provinces.

The DBE had obtained an unqualified audit with emphasis of matter for the 2013/14 financial year. Reported figures required restatement after an error was discovered in the corresponding figures at 31 March 2013, and the material underspending on programme four with respect to the School Infrastructure Backlog Grant.


Ms L Dlamini (ANC; Mpumalanga) noted that the work of the Department and committee had increased considerably and therefore the standards in previous years could not be used as a comparison. Referring to the audit outcomes for the provinces, she asked whether the DBE implemented recommendations from the Committee, since she noted no change in the audit outcome for the Eastern Cape.

Ms Dlamini asked Umalusi about the status of education reported in the media, and the threat that this information was misleading as the presentation indicated improvements and not digressions. She asked to what extent Umalusi monitored private schools and the qualifications of their teachers, as well as infliction of corporal punishment. She asked where the examinations were monitored in private schools.

Ms  Dlamini referred to poor quality of education and pass rates for schools in Mthatha, and requested urgent interventions, particularly in view of high teacher absenteeism.

Ms Dlamini thought the dashboard on achievement of targets was misleading.

Mr H Groenewald (DA; North West) thanked the Minister and Deputy Minister for their passion. Mr Groenewald enquired as to the standing of South African standards in qualifications in comparison to other countries.

Mr Groenewald explained that the TVET colleges in Umtata had been experiencing progress however, the classrooms in many were occupied by non-students and that this occurrence should be investigated.

Mr Groenewald expressed concerns about the lack of site visits for private providers, and asked why this was so.

Mr Groenewald also expressed concern regarding the provision of schooling in rural areas and enquired as to the mechanisms to increase their pass rates, as teaching was not adequate. He wondered how qualified educators could be attracted to the rural areas.

Mr Groenewald asked the Deputy Minister when the Acting Director-General post would be filled.

Mr Groenewald was pleased that schools infrastructure was improving, and commended the DBE on this.

Mr Groenewald enquired as to the backlog and reason for the backlog in teachers, especially young teachers. He wanted to know of any mechanisms to improve the relationship between the Unions and education and reduce the impact of Unions.

Mr Groenewald enquired as to the status of HIV/AIDS in schools and the Department’s standing on the issue.

Ms T Mampuru (ANC; Limpopo) asked the reason for the poor audit reports in Limpopo and the difference between the Provincial and National Departments.

Ms Mampuru enquired as to the difference between the Level 4 and General Education and Learning Certificate, saying that there was a perception that it was equivalent to Grade 12.

Mr S Stock (ANC; Northern Cape) indicated that the Minister of Arts and Culture noted the priority of national pride in schools. Mr Stock expressed concern that the matriculants had already been congratulated, but the protests and state of the roads in Northern Cape had prevented 469 students from sitting the examinations, and they had to be registered as part –time learners to write the examinations next year. Mr Stock enquired as to the unintended consequences.

Mr Stock noted that the Department of Sports and Recreation required buy-in from the DBE on sport in schools, and wondered how far this had gone.

Mr Stock enquired to the Department’s policy for the retrieval of textbooks for learners, and what measures were being taken to improve security in the schools.

Ms T Mpambo-Sibhukwana (DA; Western Cape) complimented the Deputy Minister and Department for their work. Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana enquired as to the reason for the shortfall on the ICT project.

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana expressed concern regarding the migration of teachers from rural to urban areas and asked how DBE intended to mitigate this. She also wanted more clarity on the Funza Lushaka bursary and expressed concern regarding the lack of interest in teaching as a career.

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana enquired to the amount spent by the Department in litigation and the status of the cases.

Ms Mpambo-Sibhukwana referred to the audit outcome of KwaZulu-Natal and wanted to know the response by the Department. She asked what interventions were being implemented for poor audit opinions.

Ms P Tlake (ANC; Free State) wondered if the Department should be interrogated on the content of the Committee's report on oversight, as it had not been adopted or presented.

The Chairperson indicated that the Department was not required to respond to the concerns from the oversight visits.

Ms P Mququ (ANC; Eastern Cape) enquired as to Umalusi’s plan to address its vacancies.

The Chairperson asked the Deputy Minister about the extent to which the provinces were under obligations to account to the National Department.

The Chairperson expressed the need for adequately qualified teachers and enquired whether the Universal Access to primary education had been achieved.

The Chairperson enquired as to the relationship, and the accreditation process, between Umalusi and the SETAs.

Mr Paddy Padayachee, Acting Director General, Department of Basic Education, explained that line functions had been actioned as a result of site visits, with proposals.

Mr Padayachee indicated that the Department did take seriously and note down the concerns of the Committee, and the presence of the Deputy Minister showed that the DBE did take this Committee's recommendations seriously. The audit outcome should be improved in the next two years through a directive from the Department. He explained that a team in collaboration with National Treasury had been established and begun this process.

The Deputy Minister thanked the Committee for their commendations. He explained that some competencies were National and others, including education, were concurrent. As a result, the provinces had the responsibility to undertake certain competencies, although the National Department had a responsibility to support provinces, by means of statutes and policies. The Department would meet with District Directors throughout the country. If provinces did not comply then interventions would be directed according to Constitutional provisions, or by assuming the provincial function. The NCOP must endorse a decision to intervene in the functions of the provinces.

The Deputy Minister explained that the intervention in the Eastern Cape was based on five factors, for which mechanisms were implemented by the Department. He explained that this was the first occurrence of the Constitutional intervention. Limpopo and the Eastern Cape performed beyond expectation with regard to the issue of textbooks. Senior Managers in the Department had made great efforts to provide support to the provinces.

The Deputy Minister explained that the Department introduced grade R teaching. He explained that that there was necessity for qualified practitioners and that the Department agreed on the minimum threshold of R5 000 as salary. Less than 2 000 practitioners were under-qualified and over 14   000 educators had at least a level 4 qualification, which was a transition to level 6.

The Deputy Minister explained that the Department only supports ECD but does not control it and that every grade R learner received a resource pack free of charge in their home language.

The Deputy Minister believed that South Africa had achieved universal access to primary schools, but retention in grade 11 and grade 12 were a challenge. One out of every two children may attend high school in Tanzania, which created a distortion in testing. In South Africa, access to education was almost universal but girls exceeded boys in enrolment and performance.

The Deputy Minister explained that the CFO had established a team to go into provinces with Treasury for engagement on audits.  The main challenge was on performance audits. Changes to technical proposals and standards and norms should be adjusted.

The Deputy Minister explained that the interventions should take the form of documentation.

The Deputy Minister indicated that the Department had not lost a court case for four years. He explained that a submission had been signed to create a multi-service arrangement through which the Department provided support.

The Deputy Minister clarified that he did not believe that there had been a reduction in numbers of the Funza Lushaka bursary, and that the awards were based on motivations.

The Deputy Minister agreed that rural migration was a reality, based on economic need, and that it was difficult for rural educators to reach schools from the towns and therefore simpler structures should be made for teachers to live in near the school as an incentive. He explained that 92% of learners were on the system and that the information would correlate even when learners moved schools. He explained that the Department was in conversation with Unions.

The Deputy Minister explained that 82 schools had been completed, and in the Western Cape nine were in progress with ten planned in the next phases. The Department had been in contact with contractors over-and-above their delegated responsibilities, to ensure that objectives were met.

The Deputy Minister said that the  Department supported the flag for nation building. The question of the best route for the matric learners in the Northern Cape was decided on based on consensus and consideration for the learners and their parents. Textbook retrieval had been emphasised by the Department and that the Department had noted prevention learning with regard to HIV/AIDS in schools.

The Deputy Minister explained that teachers who bring the profession into disrepute should be dealt with. He explained that vacancies would be fulfilled by a qualified teacher, or, if none was available, then a Funza Lushaka graduate in their absence. He noted that the post of the Director-General did need to be addressed and was being seen to by the Department.

The Deputy Minister conceded that South Africa’s standard of education was not ; however, the country had made significant progress, as the statistics showed. He further explained that a message needed to be sent to address the concern of corporal punishment. The Department took all recommendations very seriously.

The Deputy Minister explained the colours on the dashboard and identified that it may need more information however it would be retained.

Mr Volmink explained that there had been disparities in the statistics submitted in the media and that the indicator for quality should not solely be the number of Matric pass rates.

Dr Rakometsi explained that research was conducted by Umalusi when a new curriculum was introduced and this was compared with Namibia and international standards such as the Cambridge curriculum. Dr Rakometsi explained that the benchmark was a qualified indicator and that further recommendations were made.

Dr Rakometsi explained that Independent schools were registered by The Provincial Registration Commission and that Umalusi was involved in the accreditation and considered the curriculum and qualifications of the teachers.

Dr Rakometsi indicated that the monitoring which did not take place was a result of the transition into the new approach for accreditation. He clarified that NQF level 4 was not the equivalent of the NSC.

Dr Rakometsi explained that the Council had approved new posts in Umalusi, and that monthly meetings took place to monitor progress regarding appointments.

Dr Rakometsi explained that the SETAs quality assured workshop but that Umalusi benefitted as they included the programmes which Umalusi supported. He noted that Umalusi also conducted continuous internal assessments.

The Chairperson requested a follow-up on the underspending regarding contractors and indicated that the centralisation of the procurement process would save money.  She still needed to hear about the certificate for accreditation, and the status of this, and commended the Department on the introduction of the learner system. She commended the Department for exceeding targets.

The meeting was adjourned.



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