Education Laws Amendment Bill; Higher Education Laws Amendment Bill: deliberations

Basic Education

09 September 2002
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Meeting report

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
10 September 2002
EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL; HIGHER EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL: DELIBERATIONS


Chairperson: Prof Mayatula (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Education Laws Amendment Bill [B31-2002]

Higher Education Amendment Bill [B30-2002]
AEB proposed amendments (Appendix 1)
IFP proposed amendments (Appendix 2)
DP proposed amendments (Appendix 3)
NNP proposed amendments (Appendix 4)
ACDP proposed amendments (Appendix 5)
ANC proposed amendments (Appendix 6)

SUMMARY
Political parties read through their proposed amendments to inform the process of developing further and passing both the Education Laws Amendment Bill and the Higher Education Amendment Bill. The ANC was the only party that made quite a number of submissions followed by the IFP and the DP. The were no conclusive discussions as the Chairperson suggested that the meeting was an informal consideration of the Bills. Parties would still have to caucus the matter and come back for a formal consideration before the Bill could be debated.

MINUTES
The parties submitted the following amendments. The parties will caucus on these proposed amendments and will meet to formally consider the Bills.

Appendix 1
AEB Amendments

Dear Prof Mayatula

Amendments to Education Laws Amendment Bill

The AEB makes the following urgent requests:

Curriculum for independent schools:

The proposed amendment by the ANC, namely to change curriculum with curriculum statement indicating the minimum outcomes or standards is a great improvement.

The AEB however proposes that the word outcomes be omitted.

Motivation:

The Constitution (section 29(3)) only places an obligation on independent schools regarding the standard of education, not the outcomes. Outcomes may be interpreted as referring to the actual content of the curriculum, and if applied as such, will certainly expose the new Act to litigation at the Constitutional Court.

The amendments should be made in the following places:


Page 4, line 27
Page 10 line 10
Page 20 lines 12 and 14
Page 22 line 4

First appointment or appointment after break in service:

That section 10 and section 11 of the new Bill be omitted.

Motivation:

The new proposals will seriously minimize the jurisdiction of SGB’s, in favor of the Department. I am convinced that the judgment of judge Bertelsmann only last Friday has specific bearing on the proposed legislation, in particular the following.

In determining what is in the best interest of the child, the judge gave preference to the opinion, evaluation and decision of the SGB, over and above that of the Department.
As the judge based his finding on the interests of the child, it is clear that he is referring to a Constitutional right. Such a right may not be jeopardized by any Act of parliament.
I have acquired an independent legal opinion, which I will submit to the Committee.

The AEB has sympathy with the aims of the Bill, namely to distribute educators to remote rural schools. We are convinced however that this could be addressed and achieved in many other ways than infringing the rights of SGB’s. Special incentives and a specific bursary for students committing themselves beforehand to serve in such schools are but two possible remedies for the problem.

The Committee must take into consideration the widespread objections from educational organisations during the public submissions.

Thank you

CASSIE AUCAMP, MP
LEADER AEB

Appendix 2

IFP AMENDMENTS
EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL

Clause 2
4(c)
to remove the whole of line 14 i.e. age requirements for different grades at a public school

Clause 3
to add statement after curriculum to read ‘a national curriculum statement’
to remove the word ‘process’ and insert the word ‘procedure’
to remove the word ‘process’ and to insert the word ‘procedure’

Clause 4
line 36 to add the words ‘of a serious nature’ after the word ‘proceedings

Clause 6
line 54 to remove ‘an’ to insert ‘associations’
Clause 8
The same as Clause 2 – 4C(ii)

Clause 9
(b) to (I) as in clause 30, otherwise remove whole clause

Clause 10
Reject

Clause 11
(7) line 44 to remove the words ‘with his or her consent’ to insert ‘for a mandatory 2 years’

Clause 26
Remove entire clause

Clause 27
Same as clause 3 (a), (b) and (2)

Appendix 3:
DA’S PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO HIGHER EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL:
B30-2002:06-09-2002

In general, the objective of the Bill, as set out in the title and in the memorandum are acceptable. Our proposed amendments are matters of detail.

  1. POINT OF DEPARTURE
  2. The Bill does not refer to the Labour Relations Acts (LRA) as amended. The LRA Amendment Act 12 of 2002, has significant implications in particular for clause 4 and 5 of this Amendment Bill. We suggest that wherever there is reference to LRA of 1995, this should be amended to read the Labour Relations Act as amended.

  3. AMENDMENT TO SECTION 27 OF THE ACT: THE COMPOSITION OF COUNCIL
  4. Clause 6,7 and 14 of the Higher Education Amendment Bill reduce the number of members from internal constituencies; and effectively reduce the size of Councils to a maximum of 30 members. We suggest that a new provision be added to 527 to ensure that the people appointed as members in the categories for external members vacate their seats if they enrol as students or are appointed to the staff. We suggest that this be inserted in the bill by way of the addition of the following subsection; and the renumbering of the remaining existing sub-sections of 527 of the principal act:

    1. The members appointed in terms of sub-section (4) (c) and (h) must be persons who are not employed by, or students of, the public higher institution concerned and cease to be members, if employed by the institution or enrolled as students of it.
  5. AMENDMENT TO SECTION 40 OF THE Act: LIMITATION ON TOTAL BORROWINGS

The Democratic Alliance, in principle, supports the Minister’s right and duty to impose limitations on an institution’s total borrowing contemplated as the default position; 5% is unreasonable. If the Minister wishes to stop a particular institution borrowing; the powers in subsection (b) (i) allow him or her to do so. The Higher Education institutions collectively assert that the default position of 5% places an unnecessary burden on the institutions especially when bridging funding in sought by most institutions at the beginning of an academic year prior to the payment of the government subsidy, commencing only in April.

R.S. NTULI

DA SPOKESPERSON ON EDUCATION


Appendix 4:
NNP Proposed amendments

13 September 2002

Proposed Amendment to Clause 10 of the Education Laws Amendment Bill.

Clause 10

"That the clause be deleted"

Dr. BL Geldenhuys

NNP

Appendix 5:
AMENDMENTS to
EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL [B 31-2002]
African Christian Democratic Party – African Christian Democratic Party

10 September 2002

CLAUSE 3

On page 4, from line 25 to read:

6A.(1) The minister may by notice in the Government Gazette determine

  1. a national curriculum statement indicating the minimum academic standards and

limited to broad terms such that it allows for sufficient freedom of conscience,

belief, religion and interpretation; and

  1. assessment guidelines of leaner achievement so as to maintain a national standard, however the assessment instruments will be determined by the provinces and independent examining boards.
  2. CLAUSE 4

    On page 4, line 36, after "at" insert "formal" and after "proceedings" insert "unless good cause is shown by the governing body".

    CLAUSE 5

    On page 6, re 10A

    - A preamble or footnote should place the need for this amendment in context so that it can not be read to apply to minor issues and thereby cause problems.

    - Otherwise agree to ANC amendment

    CLAUSE 6

    On page 6, line 54, to omit "an association" and insert " relevant associations"

    CLAUSE 9

    On page 10, from line 10 to read:

  3. to prescribe a national curriculum statement indicating the minimum academic standards and limited to broad terms such that it allows for sufficient freedom of conscience, belief, religion and interpretation, applicable to public and independent schools;
  4. to provide national assessment guidelines for learner achievement applicable to public and independent schools;
  5. to provide for a process for the assessment, monitoring and evaluation of quality education in public and independent schools to be determined by provinces and independent examination boards;


CLAUSE 10


On page 10, line 34 after "on" to insert "the specific post and" requirements of the post

On page 10 line 38 insert "(d) the approval of the relevant governing body".

CLAUSE 12

Agree with ANC proposal

CLAUSE 26

On page 18 from line 39 to read:

  1. national assessment guidelines for student achievement applicable to public and private further education and training institutions;
  2. a process for the assessment, monitoring and evaluation of quality education in public and independent schools to be determined by provinces and independent examination boards;

CLAUSE 27

On page 20 from line 12

  1. a national curriculum statement indicating the minimum academic standards and
  2. limited to broad terms such that it allows for sufficient freedom of conscience,

    belief, religion and interpretation; and

  3. assessment guidelines of leaner achievement so as to maintain a national standard, however the assessment instruments will be determined by the provinces and independent examining boards.

CLAUSE 28

Agree with ANC amendment

CLAUSE 30

On page 22 from line 4 to read:

  1. a national curriculum statement indicating the minimum academic standards and
  2. limited to broad terms such that it allows for sufficient freedom of conscience,

    belief, religion and interpretation, in public and private centers; and

  3. national assessment guidelines for learner achievement applicable to public and private centers;
  4. a process for the assessment, monitoring and evaluation of quality education in public and private centers to be determined by provinces and independent examination boards;

Appendix 6:
ANC AMENDMENTS
EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
[B 31-2002]


CLAUSE 3
1. On page 4, in line 27, after "curriculum" to insert 1'statement indicating the minimum outcomes or standards"
2. On page 4, in line 28, after "process" to insert "and procedures".

CLAUSE 4
On page 4, in line 36, after "proceedings" to insert", unless good cause is shown by the governing body for the continuation of the proceedings in the absence of the parent or the person designated by the parent."

CLAUSE 5
1. On page 6, after line 47, to add:
"(4) In considering whether the conduct or participation of a person in any initiation practices falls within the definition of subsection (3), the relevant disciplinary authority referred to in subsection (2)(a) must take into account the right of the learner not to be subjected to such practices."

CLAUSE 6
1. On page 6, in line 54, to omit "an association" and to insert "associations".

CLAUSE 9
1. On page 10, in line 10, after "curriculum" to insert "statement".
2. On page 10, in line 12, after "process" to insert "and procedures".
3. On page 10, in line 15, to omit "for quality" and to insert "of'.

CLAUSE 10
1. On page 10, in line 34, after "on" to insert "the specific post and"
2. On page 10, in line 34, omit "of the post" and to insert "thereof'.

CLAUSE 12
1. On page 12, in line 6, after "Council]" to insert "which may be" CLAUSE 13

Clause 13
1. On page 12, in line 19, to omit "the Head of Department" and to insert "him or her".
2. On page 12, in lines 21 and 22, to omit "Head of Department" and to insert "presiding officer".
3. On page 12, in line 26, to omit "Head of Department" and to insert "presiding officer".
4. On page 12, in line 33, to omit "Head of Department" and to insert "presiding officer".
5. On page 12, in line 34, to omit "the presiding officer" and to insert "he or she".
6. On page 12, in line 36, to omit "putt" and to insert "put".

CLAUSE 15
1. On page 14, after line 32, to add:
"(6) For the purposes of this Act, "initiation practices" means any act which in the process of initiation, admission into, or affiliation with, or as condition for continued membership of; a further education and training institution, a group, intramural or extramural activities, inter institution sports teams, or organization-
a. endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a person;
b. undermines the intrinsic worth of human beings by treating some as inferior to others;
c. subjects individuals to humiliating or violent acts which undermine the constitutional guarantee to dignity in the Bill of Rights;
d. undermines the fundamental rights and values that underpin the Constitution;
e. impedes the development of a true democratic culture that entitles an individual to be treated as worthy of respect and concern; or
f. destroys public of private property.
(7) In considering whether the conduct or participation of a person in any initiation practices falls within the definition of subsection (6), the relevant disciplinary authority referred to in subsection (4)(a) must take into account the right of the student not to be subjected to such practices."

CLAUSE 26
1. On page 18, in line 39, after "national" to insert "process and procedures for the"
2. On page 18, in lines 41 and 42, to omit "for quality" and to insert "of'.

CLAUSE 27
· On page 20, in line 12, after curriculum to insert "statement indicating the minimum outcomes or standards".
2. On page 20, in line 13, after "process" to insert "and procedures".

CLAUSE 28
1. On page 20, from line 24, to omit subsection (3) and to substitute
"(3) A person may not conduct or participate in initiation practices at public and private centers.
(4) Any person who contravenes subsection (3) is guilty of misconduct and disciplinary action must be instituted against such a person.
(5) In addition to subsection (4), a person may institute civil action against a person or a group who manipulated and forced that person to conduct or participate in any initiation practices."

CLAUSE 30
1. On page 20 in line 45 to omit "and" and to insert "or".
2. On page 22, in line 4, after "curriculum" to insert "statement".
3. On page 22, in line 5, after "process" to insert "and procedures".
4. On page 22, in lines 7 and 8, to omit "for quality" and to insert "of'.

CLAUSE 32
1. On page 22, in line 22, to omit "Sections 1" and to substitute "Section 2".

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