The South African Council for Educators (SACE) led the Committee through a presentation on their Budget Review and Annual Performance Plan for 2015/16. It said the presentation would focus on vetting and registration, and would include the specific figures which the Committee had previously requested.
The presentation was interrupted by the Chairperson, who said there were glaring issues which the Committee could not overlook. What the Committee had wanted SACE to clarify was not clear in the presentation. The documents had many grammatical errors and the Committee was not satisfied with how the documents had been structured. While she recognised that there had been time pressure, the fact that the documents had not been proofread was very unprofessional.
After apologising and acknowledging that the documents needed to be reworked, SACE proceeded to advise the Committee that its medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) budget projection for 2015/16 to 2016/17 was R55.4 million. Membership and subscriptions were the main source of funding. SACE also wanted to establish eight provincial offices. It planned to register 20 000 new educators and update the documents for 30 000 of their members in the coming year. It wanted to have a workshop on ethics with its members, because this was something that SACE had not focused on enough. For the next five years, the primary strategic goal was to increase participation in continuing professional development so that it could continue to contribute to the quality of teaching and learning. SACE also hoped to improve research to be able to provide advice to the Minister, the Council, and the whole teaching profession.
At this stage, Members said they were confused by the numbers in the presentation and the handouts not matching. After discussion, the Committee turned down SACE’s request to continue with the presentation and to supply corrected documentation later, saying this would be a waste of time. The Council was told another meeting would be held the following Tuesday, and SACE must have the final documents with the corrected numbers.
The Chairperson opened the meeting by expressing thanks to the South African Council for Educators (SACE) for recognising the concerns that the Committee had raised at the previous meeting.
Briefing by South African Council for Educators (SACE)
Mr Rajendra Brijraj, CEO of SACE, said the Council hoped to make sure registration was complete within seven days from receiving the forms in the office. SACE was also looking into electronic registration and payments, as well as communication through the Short Message Service (SMS) system to the educators. Furthermore, registration would be categorized.
SACE’s emphasis now was on vetting and verification. There would be more details presented later but Mr Brijraj wanted to ensure the Committee that each and every application for teaching would go through the vetting process.
The Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) system now had specific numbers, as the Committee had requested.
In terms of ethical standards, SACE had appointed a number of investigators and panellists from the teaching profession. They assisted SACE as it went around the country and held hearings. SACE would also do much more outreach to face the challenge of ethical violations. In the next five years, SACE also hoped to have offices in all of the provinces.
The Chairperson interrupted to say that there were glaring issues which the Committee could not overlook. What the Committee had wanted SACE to clarify was not clear in the presentation. The documents had many grammatical errors and the Committee was not satisfied with how the documents had been structured. While she recognised that there had been time pressure, the fact that the documents had not been proofread was very unprofessional.
Mr Brijraj apologised and said that SACE had had logistical difficulties in office over past six weeks. Senior officials had been away on SACE business. The documents had been compiled over two weeks, and SACE had reworked most of the documents in line with the Committee’s advice. He recognised that editing was still needed, and SACE would submit a polished version if the Committee needed it.
Mr Morris Mapindani, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), said that the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) budget projection for 2015/16 to 2016/17 was R55.4 million. Membership and subscriptions were the main source of funding. SACE also wanted to establish eight provincial offices. There were already two pilot offices in Durban and the Free State, so that SACE could see what the challenges were. Staff had already been employed, and the offices would be functioning in June.
SACE had received funds from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to subsidise the administration of the CTPD system, but did not know yet what the amount would be.
Ms Tsedi Dipholo, Chief Operating Officer (COO), referred to the issue of registration and ethics, and said that SACE had added the specific numbers, as requested by the Committee. For the forthcoming year, SACE was looking to registering 20 000 new educators and updating the documents for 30 000 of their members. There would be both provisional and conditional registration.
Regarding vetting, SACE would start with a target of 50 000. Vetting was costly, so SACE wanted to develop better working relations with the Department of Higher Education.
On ethics, SACE wanted to have a workshop with its members, because this was something that SACE had not focused on enough. It would target around 15 000 educators, and SACE was expecting around 300 cases to come through. The focus would be on signing up principals and deputy principles for the workshops.
The Chairperson asked Ms Dipholo to clarify the numbers in the Annual Performance Plan handout.
Ms Ella Mokgalane, Senior Manager: Professional Development and Research, discussed the strategic goals. For the next five years, the primary goal was to increase participation in continuing professional development so that it could continue to contribute to the quality of teaching and learning. Secondly, SACE hoped to improve research to be able to provide advice to the Minister, the Council, and the whole teaching profession. She then went over the strategic objectives of the CPTD Programme.
Ms A Lovemore (DA) interjected and said that she really did not understand the numbers discussed in the presentation. The numbers did not add up, and were different in every place. The presentation itself was very different from the Annual Performance Plan handout.
Ms Mokgalane apologised, and said that the numbers in the handout must not have been cleaned up yet.
The Chairperson asked SACE if the documents handed out were the actual final documents, with the cleaned up numbers. That was necessary, otherwise what was the Committee doing? If there were no clean numbers, then the meeting should be called off and the Committee would have to change the programme of Parliament again.
Mr T Khoza (ANC) said that the document had to be clean. SACE had not done what the Committee had asked it to do, so SACE needed to do the documents again so that both the Committee and SACE could speak to the documents together. Otherwise, the meeting was a waste of the Committee’s time. There must be a clear answer -- either there was, or was not, a clean document. SACE did not need to hide the answer. If there was no clean document, then the meeting had to be postponed.
Mr Brijraj replied that he was very sorry about this. In the process of cleaning up the documents, the numbers shown in the presentation were correct. However, the figures in the Annual Performance Plan handout had not been adjusted yet. He asked if it was possible to continue with the meeting while referring only to the presentation, and SACE would then provide the Committee with the correct figures later.
The Chairperson made it clear that that was not possible. The presentation was only a tool for the Committee to understand the numbers on the document. The Committee needed to have the correct documents to refer to. The Committee would call off the meeting, and SACE must agree to clean up the numbers and have the full final copies for a meeting next Tuesday.
Mr Brijraj said that if that was what the Committee wanted to do, then SACE would respect that. Once again, he apologised and said the problems would be fixed.
The meeting was adjourned.
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