Education Laws Amendment Bill, Higher Education Amendment Bill: finalisation

Basic Education

16 September 2002
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PC Education

EDUCATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
17 September 2002
EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL AND HIGHER EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL: FINALISATION

Chairperson Prof. S M Mayatula (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Education Laws Amendment Bill [31-2002]
Higher Education Amendment Bill [B30-2002]
ANC proposed amendments to Education Laws Amendment Bill (Appendix 1)
IFP proposed amendments (Appendix 2)
NNP proposed amendments (Appendix 3)
AEB proposed amendments (Appendix 4)
ACDP proposed amendments (Appendix 5)
ANC proposed amendments to Higher Education Law Amendment Bill (Appendix 6)

SUMMARY
The Education Laws Amendment Bill and the Higher Education Amendment Bill were agreed upon with the amendments that were introduced by the ANC.

MINUTES
The Chair was informed that the Committee had entered the formal stage of voting on the Education Laws Amendment Bill and the Higher Education Amendment Bill. He invited political party representatives to submit their respective proposals for purposes of voting thereon.

Mr Aucamp (AEB) said that the Committee had not had sufficient time to deliberate on the Bills. There were some contentious matters that had not been fully clarified and that therefore members would be handicapped to vote when no feedback on these matters had been forthcoming.

The Chair disagreed with Mr Aucamp's perspective and noted that the Committee had deliberated on the Bills at various stages and that the parliamentary democracy procedures had so far been exhausted.

Mr Mpontshane (IFP) asked for more time to allow members some time to deliberate and explain clauses 10 and 11 which had generated a lot of controversy.

Mr van der Heever (ANC) asked the Chair not to be drawn into another protracted session of deliberations at this point in time. There was no misunderstanding regarding the two Bills since members had ample opportunity to deliberate the Bills both at Committee level and within party caucus.

Mr Ntuli (DP) said that he did not see why some members were in a haste to vote on a matter that had generated intense public interest without exhausting the issues that had been raised.

The Chair noted that opposition parties had not offered any proposals with regard to the two contentious clauses other than a proposal that the two clauses be deleted in their entirety.

Mr Geldenhuys (NNP) disagreed with the position taken by the Chair and pointed out that his party had already submitted a substantial motivation in support of its proposition, which he said, would not be repeated again.

Mr Vadi (ANC) averred that it was a waste of time to tender an explanation on the contentious sections when, indeed, all parties had already taken specific positions on the matter.

The Chair said that he would hesitantly accept the suggestion put forward by Mr Mpontshane that a brief explanation on the purport of clauses 10 and 11 could help to clear whatever misunderstandings that might be subsisting with regard to the said clauses.

Mr Aucamp (AEB) objected to the Chair's line of thinking noting that the matter at issue was very serious and one which called for thorough deliberation and not only a brief clarification. The manner in which these Bills were being rushed through was an exercise that undermines the tenets of democracy.

Mr van der Heever (ANC) took offence to Mr Aucamp's allegation that the process undertaken at this stage undermined democracy. He pointed out that the program for the deliberation on the Bills was agreed upon and drafted by party's working jointly and that the due process of deliberation on the Bill has been exhausted including public hearings and consultations within party caucuses. He continued that all parties had equal opportunity to reflect on the Bills and that voting was the only item outstanding.

Mr Geldenhuys (NNP) pointed out that after the Committee's last meeting, he had received numerous calls from members of the public seeking an explanation on the implication of clauses 10 and 11. He added that it was only fair that these overwhelming concerns be addressed before a vote is taken on the Bill.

Mr van der Heever (ANC) said that he had also received many calls regarding the Bill and that he has taken the responsibility of explaining the intend and purport of the Bills to interested members of the public.

The Chair pointed out that all the clauses in the Bills were exhaustively explained and deliberated upon and that therefore to claim that the matter had been rushed through was to misrepresent the true position. He then directed that deliberations on the Bill would commence accordingly.

DELIBERATIONS ON BILLS
Education Laws Amendment Bill [B31-2002]
Clause 3
: majority voted in favour of the amendment introduced by the ANC and the proposal introduced by Mr. Aucamp and Ms Dudley out-voted.

Clause 4: majority voted for the amendments introduced by the ANC with Mr. Aucamp opposing the amendment. The proposal introduced by Mr. Mpontshane was out-voted.

Clause 5: majority voted for the amendment introduced by the ANC while Mr. Aucamp opposed the amendment.

Clause 6: the amendment suggested by the ANC was unanimously passed as introduced.

Clause 9: majority voted for the ANC amendment with three members registering their objection

Clause 10: Mr. Abrahams (UDM) proposed that the entire clause be deleted and was supported by Mr. Aucamp (AEB) and Mr. Mpontshane (IFP). This proposal was rejected. The suggestion by Ms Dudley (ACPD) to qualify the clause was also rejected. The ANC proposal was carriedd and the amendments introduced to the clauses were accordingly endorsed.

Clause 11: IFP proposals were rejected and the clause passed without amendments.

Clause 12: ANC amendments were unanimously passed.

Clause 13: ANC amendments were unanimously passed

Clause 15: Amendments introduced by the ANC unanimously passed

Clause 26: the proposal by Mr. Mpontshane to include MECs was rejected and so was the proposal by Ms Dudley of the ACDP. Instead the ANC amendments were passed as introduced.

Clause 27: ANC amendments were endorsed as amended whilst the proposal made by Ms Dudley was out-voted.

Clause 28: Unanimously passed with the amendments proposed by the ANC

Clause 30: Proposals introduced by Ms Dudley were rejected but the clause was passed with the amendments introduced by the ANC

Clause 32: was unanimously passed

The entire Education Laws Amendment Bill was agreed to with the amendments introduced by the ANC.

The Chair then read the report of the House accordingly.

Higher Education Amendment Bill [B30-2002]
The Higher Education Amendment Bill was unanimously passed with the amendments introduced by the ANC.

Meeting was adjourned.

Appendix 1
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".

Appendix 2
IFP AMENDMENTS

EDUCATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
Clause 2 4(c)
(ii) to remove the whole of line 14 i.e. age requirements for different grades at a public school
Clause 3
(a)
to add statement after curriculum to read 'a national curriculum statement'
(b) to remove the word 'process' and insert the word 'procedure'
(2)
to remove the word 'process' and to insert the word 'procedure'
Clause 4
(6) line 36 to add the words 'of a serious nature' after the word 'proceedings
Clause 6
(ii) 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
NNP Amendment
13 September 2002
Proposed Amendment to Clause 10 of the Education Laws Amendment Bill.
Clause 10
"That the clause be deleted"
Dr. B L Geldenhuys

Appendix 4
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 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;

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:
AMENDMENT PROPOSED TO HIGHER EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL
B30-2002


CLAUSE 1

Clause rejected.

NEW CLAUSE

1. That the following be a new Clause 1:


"Amendment of section 1 of Act 101 of 1997

1. Section 1 of the Higher Education Act, 1997 (Act No. 101 of 1997) (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), is hereby amended -

(a) by the substitution for the definition of "higher education institution" of the following definition:

"higher education institution" means any institution that provides higher education on a full-time, part-time or distance basis and which is-

"(a) merged, established or deemed to be established as a public higher education institution under this Act;

(b) declared as a public higher education institution under this Act; or

(c) registered or [conditionally] provisionally registered as a private higher education institution under this Act;";

(b) by the insertion, after the definition of "higher education quality committee" of the following definition:

"incorporation of a subdivision" means the process of incorporation as contemplated in sections 21(1)(b) or 24 in terms of which an identified subdivision, faculty, school, department, section, or component of a public higher education institution or education institution becomes part of another public higher education institution while the latter institution's legal personality as contemplated in section 20(4) is not affected by the incorporation and "an incorporated subdivision" has a similar meaning;";

(c) by the insertion, after the definition of "local juristic person" of the following definition:

"merger" means the process contemplated in section 23 in terms of which two or more public higher education institutions lose their status as juristic persons on the date that they are merged into a new juristic person as contemplated in section 20(4);".

CLAUSE 4

1. On page 4, after line 2, to insert the following paragraph:

(a) by the substitution in subsection (1) for paragraph (b) of the following paragraph:

"(b) an incorporated subdivision of a university, technikon or college."

2. On page 4, in line 11, to omit "section 197" and to insert "sections 197 and 197A".

3 On page 4, in line 14, after "transferred" to insert "automatically".

4. On page 4, from line 16, to omit "without the employees' consent".


CLAUSE 5

1. On page 6, in line 11, to omit "section 197" and to insert "sections 197 and 197A".

2. On page 6, in line 14, after "transferred" to insert "automatically".

3. On page 6, from line 16, to omit "without the employees' consent".

4. On page 8, after line 13, to insert the following paragraph:

"(e) by the substitution for paragraph (b) of subsection (7) of the following paragraph:

"(b) [four other members] a minimum of six members and the maximum of eight members.".

NEW CLAUSE

1. That the following be a new Clause to follow Clause 5:

"[Merger] Incorporation of subdivisions of public higher education institutions

24. (1) The Minister may, after consulting the CHE and by notice in the Gazette, [merge] incorporate a subdivision of a public higher education institution with another public higher education institution.

(2) The assets, liabilities, rights ad obligations of the subdivisions concerned devolve upon the public higher education institution with which the subdivision has [merged] been incorporated in a manner agreed by the councils of the public higher education institutions concerned or failing such agreement, in a manner determined by the Minister after consulting such councils.

(3) Sections 22(2) to (6) and 23(2), with the changes required by the context, apply to [a merger] an incorporation referred to in subsection (1)."

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