PC Basic Education: Oversight Report & other matters

Basic Education

19 November 2014
Chairperson: Ms N Mokoto (ANC) (Acting)
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Meeting Summary

The Chairperson and members of the Committee considered and adopted the minutes of several previous meetings. The Secretary informed the members about the committee oversight programme scheduled to take place between 25 and 28 November.

Meeting report

Mr Llewellyn Brown, the Committee Secretary, opened the meeting by asking for nominations to appoint an Acting Chairperson in terms of Rule 130 of the National Assembly as the Chairperson was called to a special meeting. Ms N Mokoto (ANC) was elected as the acting Chairperson.

Adoption of Outstanding Minutes

Draft report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and the Select Committee on Education and Recreation on its engagement with the Department of Basic Education in Pretoria.

The Chairperson tabled the report for consideration and requested members to read through page by page.

Members noted minor grammatical errors, spelling errors and wording of sentences to give a clear meaning as to what transpired at the meeting.

The draft report was adopted with minor amendments.

Committee Minutes dated 14 October 2014

The minutes were adopted with no amendments.

Committee Minutes dated 15 October 2014

The minutes were adopted with no amendments.

Committee Minutes dated 16 October 2014

The minutes were adopted with no amendments.

Committee Minutes dated 17 October 2014

Ms D Van Der Walt (DA) noted that the loss incurred on the sale of the building was more than what SACE indicated. Where the minutes stated that there was a huge loss that was misleading, and did not capture the fact that the committee queried the loss incurred.

 The minutes were adopted with minor amendments.

Committee Minutes dated 21 October 2014

Minutes were adopted with no amendments.

Committee Minutes dated 22 October 2014

Minutes were adopted with no amendments.

Committee Minutes dated 28 October 2014

Ms Van Der Walt noted that from the presentation that many schools did not have the basic equipment and facilities and many teachers who currently taught life skills/life orientation were qualified to teach in the physical education component of the life skills life orientation curriculum.

The Acting Chairperson stated that an observation was raised about the training of teachers at a meeting but it was not captured. The issue was how did they expect teachers to teach, some were not interested, some were without the right skills. She requested that this be included in the observations.

The minutes were adopted with amendments.

Committee Minutes Dated 4 November 2014

Mr Khoza raised a concern as to why the South African Council for Educators (SACE) was expected to train teachers.

Ms Van Der Walt, who had raised this issue in the meeting, stated that every other professional body in South Africa, such as the Council for Engineers, was responsible for accrediting the initial training of engineers, accrediting every Bsc in engineering at universities. The question was why the SACE was not similarly responsible; it did not involve making sure that the quality of the training was adequate.

Dr A Lovemore (DA), in reference to the observation stating that members were concerned over the human resources needed to ensure the liability to impart knowledge at university level, requested the meaning of the observation.

The Secretary noted that this was in respect of educators being reduced at university level and how universities did not have the proper human resources to the capacitate the system.

Mr Khoza stated that the issue was that educators were training at the institution of higher learning but the quality of lecturers training the educators did not have the skills and knowledge.

Mr Khoza stated that at the meeting there was a question as to who trained those lecturers.

The Acting Chairperson stated that there was an issue of poor quality outcome in education; it went back to the teacher and the lecturer who taught the teacher. She asked whether the Department of Higher Education guided the universities for them to have uniform standards. She noted that there was also a need for some output from the teachers.

The minutes were adopted with amendments.

Committee Minutes Dated 11 November 2014

Dr Lovemore noted that the Committee was not in agreement with the recommendations of the report.

Members agreed that the report was welcomed and appreciated and that the wording of the sentence should be changed.

The meeting recommended raising the pass mark for the language of learning and teaching to 50% where for 80% of learners it was their second language.  It was not English that was the issue it was the language of learning and teaching.

The observation from this meeting was whether there was any research done on the cognitive demand levels of exam papers.

Minutes were adopted with amendments.

Other Committee business

The Chairperson requested Mr Brown to brief the Committee on the oversight programme.

Mr Brown informed the meeting that a delegation comprised of six members of the committee and four members of staff would be going to Northwest and Limpopo for an oversight visit between 25 and 28 November.

The meeting was adjourned.

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