The Minister of Basic Education and her delegation addressed the Committee on a range of matters affecting the education sector. This included the release of the “Jobs for Cash” report, the licensing of teachers, competency testing for markers of National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations and the call for the return of inspectors to schools.
On the “Jobs for Cash” report, the Minister reported that almost a year ago the Department had set up a Ministerial Committee to investigate allegations of teacher posts being sold in various provinces. The task team asked for postponements as they kept finding more information as time went on. The Minister asked them to release an interim report to keep the public abreast of the process. The task team submitted a final report in March this year, which was set to be released in April. However, the Department received correspondence from SADTU lawyers barring the Department from releasing the report before the union had an opportunity to read it. The Department then consulted its lawyers and was subsequently advised that anyone mentioned in the report has to see it before it is made public. They were instructed to give all parties cited in the report 21 days to go through the report and then get back to the department. The department is going to present the report to the Cabinet Sub-Committee before it goes to Cabinet. By 6 May the process will be finalised and the report will come out as is, as it was written by an independent body. As soon as they receive the comments back, they will have to go back to the department lawyers to find out what the department can do, as the report does call for criminal charges. The department’s plan is to release the report on 6 May. They will only know how to proceed when the report has been seen by all implicated parties. The Department is working with the Department of Justice to guide it on how to manage the sensitivity of the report.
On the selection of exam markers, the Department reported that it had strict criteria, which included a recognized three-year qualification, including the subjects to be marked at second and third year level; teaching experience at Grade 12 level for the subject concerned and proficiency in teaching and learning.
These criteria are very stringently monitored and audited by the Department and in the past two years it had audited all appointments of markers, chief markers and deputy chief markers across all provinces.
The Department is working with the South African Council for Educators (SACE) to look at the licensing of teachers. The process will include teacher induction in a programme developed by SACE, thereafter tested, and then registered as professional educators. This work is underway with SACE and will be completed within a reasonable time.
The Committee heard that there are systems in place where the Department has moved away from the traditional school inspectors. The Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS), which was adopted as a collective agreement at the Education Labour Relations Council in 2003, allows for the evaluation of all school based educators based on performance standards and is linked to pay progression.
Members asked if the Department specifically tested markers and if there are any differences in the marking quality across the provinces, what has been the response of the unions about the licensing of teachers and if DBE had done a study of other countries that use the pay incentive system. They also asked about the induction of teachers, Special Needs Education and the rural allowance.
The Acting Chairperson said the Committee has been looking forward to the Minister’s address on important matters that affect the Department. This meeting would give the Minister an opportunity to fully expound on issues that the Committee has been waiting to get answers to.
Minister of Basic Education briefing
Ms Angela Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, indicated that they received correspondence from the Committee about areas of concern in the education sector, areas that they wanted her to address. The Department has raised quality and efficiency as main concerns in the sector during their Lekgotla where they invited different people to really spell what it is they are concerned about around equality and efficiency then develop plans to help address those concerns. The Committee raised the following concerns on which they would like a response: licensing of teachers; school inspectors; competency testing; performance graded incentives; competency testing for markers of National Certificate and the designation of teachers in essential services.
She said the designation of teachers in essential services has never been a policy or a matter that has been processed; she added that teaching has never been seen as an essential service nor is it in process, so she does not think it is a subject they can engage on. On the issue of inspectors; there is an agreed upon framework on the systems which does not include inspectors. There is agreement on whole school evaluation, on the Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) and on the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU), there is no process on the topic of inspectors, so there is no report to bring to the Committee. She added that they have prepared answers for the topics brought to them by the Committee but will address some other topics they the department views as concerns.
The Chairperson interrupted the Minister at this point as she saw a hand from a member of the Committee.
Ms Boshoff stated that ten months ago she wrote to the Chairperson of the Committee requesting for the Minister to attend a meeting in order to speak and give information on Special Needs Education which has had no mention or discussion. It is very important that attention be given to learners with special needs as they are not receiving the attention they rightfully deserve.
Mr Davis said that on the submission presented to the Chairperson on items to be addressed by the Minister, the DA also included the latest progress on the Jobs for Cash report. He asked that the Minister to brief the Committee on that. He also wanted to know what role Parliament will play in that process and when the report will be tabled in Parliament.
The Chairperson said that the Minister is not running away from addressing issues as she has highlighted that there are topics she is willing to attend to that were not covered. She asked the Committee to give the Minister and her delegation the time to speak and then the Committee can engage with the DBE and presentation afterwards.
Deputy Minister Enver Surty said that he has to leave to attend the Cabinet Sub-Committee, but regarding the importance of Inclusive Education, they have publically and persistently indicated the importance of this area. On 8 March 2016 the Committee had a comprehensive discussion on Inclusive Education and spoke particularly on White Paper 6. Also at the last Committee meeting the Deputy Minister attended they had discussed the Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Strategic Plan where they had raised Inclusive Education. They spoke about sign language being a part of the curriculum, Braille being introduced and being made available, technology as an enhancement instrument, the importance of Special Schools and the training of educators to cover just a few topics. He said the Committee might want them to come back and tackle this topic again given its importance.
The Chairperson thanked the Deputy Minister for the clarity and direction and once again asked the Committee members to restrain themselves and give the Minister an opportunity to make the presentation.
The Minister said they will come and report on the work they are doing with Inclusive Education if asked to do so by the Members.
On the “Jobs for Cash” report, the Minister reported that almost a year ago the Department had set up a Ministerial Committee to investigate allegations of teacher posts being sold in various provinces. The task team asked for postponements as they kept finding more information as time went on. The Minister asked them to release an interim report to keep the public abreast of the process. The task team submitted a final report in March this year, which was set to be released in April. However, the Department received correspondence from SADTU lawyers barring the Department from releasing the report before the union had an opportunity to read it. The Department then consulted its lawyers and was subsequently advised that anyone mentioned in the report has to see it before it is made public. They were instructed to give all parties cited in the report 21 days to go through it and then get back to the department. The department is going to present the report to the Cabinet Sub-Committee before it goes to Cabinet. By 6 May the process will be finalised and the report will come out as is, as it was written by an independent body. As soon as they get the comments back, they will have to go back to the department lawyers to find out what the department can do, as the report does call for criminal charges. The department’s plan is to release the report on 6 May. They will only know how to proceed when the report has been seen by all implicated parties. The Department is working with the Department of Justice to guide it on how to manage the sensitivity of the report. She added that until the report is released on 6 May she cannot expound any further on this matter.
The Chairperson said that it will be the responsibility of the Committee Secretary to schedule a time to engage with the report once it is released and invite the Minister to brief the Committee and engage with it.
Mr Davis asked if they can respond to the Jobs for Cash topic now, but the Chairperson said she will allow the department to present first, then the Members will be given a time to interact with the presentation later.
Competency testing of Exam Markers
Ms Priscilla Ogunbanjo, Director of Examinations and Assessment, DBE, responded to the question about competency testing for markers of the National Senior Certificate examination question papers. The DBE utilizes the criteria which are stipulated in the Personal Administrative Measures (PAM) which are stringent and listed some of them as being: A recognized three-year qualification, including the subjects to be marked at second and third year level; Teaching experience at Grade 12 level for the subject concerned; Proficiency in teaching and learning. These criteria are stringently monitored and audited by the DBE. In the past two years the DBE has audited all appointments of markers, chief markers and deputy chief markers across all provinces to ensure strict compliance to the criteria. There is a national standardisation of marking guidelines of all 130 examination papers. Chief markers and internal moderators of all provinces are part of that standardisation meeting. All markers have to ensure that they have marked at least twenty scripts before they go to that meeting. At that point the chief markers and internal moderators trained on the marking guidelines and a tolerance range is applied. The range looks specifically at the discrepancies between the marker and the moderator and what is allowed. This is one of the key improvement and enhancement areas DBE has implemented in the past two years to ensure that all markers mark within the very narrow tolerance range. There are therefore not many discrepancies across the marking. There is no significant difference across provinces in marking. The department has brought in authorization; where markers who are unable to mark within the tolerance range within the first ten ‘test’ scripts are given another opportunity and are retrained. If they are still unable to mark within the range, they are not allowed to proceed with the marking. Some markers in the past have withdrawn themselves from the process.
She said that there are multiple layers of moderation for the marking process at the marking centres; there are at least four layers of moderation from the senior markers, to the deputy chiefs, to the chiefs and the DBE comes in as another top layer for quality assurance in the marking process. With these measures applied, DBE does not see competency testing as a prerequisite for quality marking. Provinces have applied different quality enhancements, but have used the tolerance range as well as moderation tiers which are common across all provinces. There is therefore none or very little marking differences across all provinces. Umalusi commended DBE on the marking enhancements for 2015 and the improvements thereafter.
Licensing of teacher and work with SACE
Mr Willie Kutumela, DBE Director: Education Labour Relations and Employment Conditions, said that DBE is working with the South African Council for Educators (SACE) to look at the licensing of teachers. The process will include teacher induction in a programme developed by SACE, thereafter be tested and registered as professional educators. This work is underway with SACE and will be completed within a reasonable time.
School inspections and evaluations
Mr Habib Karimulla, DBE Acting Director: Education Performance, Development and Whole School Evaluation, said that the emphasis will be on the introduction of school inspectors. There are systems in place where the department has moved away from the traditional school inspectors, these were the IQMS which was adopted as a collective agreement at the Education Labour Relations Council in 2003, which allows for the evaluation of all school-based educators based on performance standards. There are currently seven performance standards for educators of post-level 1 and post-level 2, which are Heads of Departments. Heads of school have ten performance standards and 12 performance standards for principals. This is in terms of the Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS). That is the evaluation that takes place, which is linked to paid progression. An educator has to be evaluated at a level of 2 as acceptable and above, to be eligible for pay linked progression. There is also the whole-school evaluation system which has supervisors called WSE supervisors in provinces. They visit schools to evaluate them as a whole and the findings are recorded and recommendations provided and added to schools. These systems allow for an official from within the school and an external evaluator to sit in the classroom and conduct an evaluation. This is away from the traditional school inspectors. DBE also has NEEDU, which was established to evaluate the system as a whole at four different levels: national, provincial, district and school level.
He added that when evaluations are done at school level, NEEDU officials sit in the classroom to conduct the evaluation. There is a move for NEEDU to be an independent body, as an Office of Standards and Compliance for Basic Education (OSCBE). This body will also be evaluating systems and reporting with greater accountability and objectivity and will function independently. This will demonstrate greater credibility to the general public and to the management structures within the system. The second advantage to establishing the OSCBE is that it will be outside the system and from a vantage point and will be able to evaluate on all four systems in an independent manner.
The Minister asked Mr Karimulla to speak on performance linked pay and incentive.
Mr Karimulla said that currently the IQMS system is linked to performance related pay, the original collective agreement allowed for accelerated pay progression and a normal, basic pay programme. There was an agreement in 2008 where during the Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD), the accelerated pay progression was removed and we now have the basic pay progression of 1%. This 1% is based on the evaluation and if educators are evaluated at 2 and above, they are entitled to an annual pay progression of 1%. Over and above that, the incentive in the system currently at play is the rural allowance; these are applied at different levels in provinces. There are no other incentives currently linked to IQMS.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister and stated the Committee’s engagement with the Department is not limited to this setting, but is continuous and that they continue to write letters to the department about topics that are pertinent to the sector.
Mr G Davis (DA) welcomed the presentation and thanked the Minister for the commitment to bring the Jobs for Cash report to Parliament. He looks forward to seeing precisely which process will be followed but does believe it is important as the recommendations will be far reaching and will need to be scrutinised by Parliament. He also thanked the Minister on her commitment to tabling the original report and asked that comments from the unions and other stakeholders be included in the addendum. On the report, has the department received any responses or rebuttals from the unions?
On competency testing for markers, has DBE specifically tested if there are any differences in the marking quality across the provinces? On the licensing of teachers, what has been the response to this plan from the unions, specifically SADTU? What timeframes does DBE have in mind to implement the licensing of teachers? On school inspectors, the systems in place do not cover the fact that there is not an independent inspectorate of schools, if that was in place there would not be a situation where 22 schools could get a 0% pass rate in the NSC examinations. If there was an independent inspectorate to monitor those school, an early warning system could be put in place. An independent inspectorate tasked to underperforming schools would add real value to the system. On performance related pay and incentive, there is not really much of an incentive for good teaching at 1% pay progression. Has the DBE done a study on other countries that use this system? On teaching as an essential service, there is no question that in some provinces and districts, the lack of teaching, specifically due to industrial action is hampering the right of children to learn and get a decent education. When they went on oversight to KwaZulu Natal, they heard that in the Ugu district that for three months last year and four months the previous year, there was no teaching due to strike action by SADTU in the district. This is the reason why those districts perform badly. Is there nothing on the table to limit the right of teachers to strike?
Ms C Majeke (UDM) thanked the Minister and her department for the presentation. She said that she appreciates that DBE will look into quality and efficiency. The Jobs for Cash has been a thorn in the flesh for most of the community and she welcomes the investigation as well as the school inspection system which is changing. She asked what criteria DBE uses to employ markers. Also, what types of papers are markers tested on?
Prof T Msimang (IFP) noted that the quality of markers has improved to such an extent that Umalusi was satisfied in 2015; what was the situation before 2015? What are these improvements that have been noted and endorsed by Umalusi? On the incentives for rural educators; is this the only qualification for this allowance, is performance taken into account? Performance and results in the rural areas are perennially poor with a few noted exceptions. Secondly, in rural areas quite a number of schools do not offer mathematics and science. Has this system of rewarding teachers who volunteer to teach in rural areas had positive results?
Ms J Basson (ANC) thanked the Minister for the presentation and asked at which stage the induction of a teacher by SACE take place. On incentives, she agreed with the presenter that incentives are applied at different levels which are causing problems. These incentives are not the same between provinces which results in complaints. Some provinces give incentives to schools that are not struggling to get quality teachers. On NEEDU being an independent body, who will the body report to? Who will be able to see that it is doing the correct job? Lastly, on the moderation of exam markers, according to DBE’s analysis at which stage does the leakage of papers happen, is it through the moderation process or the setting of papers? How strict is the process? There is a complaint that the commercial subjects are being failed in huge numbers because of the scope of work that needs to be tested. There is a suggestion that these subjects, Business Studies, Accounting and Economics, be treated like other subjects with two papers?
Ms S Boshoff (DA) said that she want to bring some clarity with regards to Special Needs Education; she never denied that there have been discussions, her request was that the Minister be called to a meeting to address the challenges that Inclusive Education is facing and how DBE is going to take it forward?
Mr H Khosa (ANC) asked for clarity on the induction of teachers; when will it take place, at entry level? What is the duration of such an induction, if it is at entry level, what about those that are currently in the system? How will it be monitored to ensure that all teachers attend, will there be a certification process to prove attendance? Is the induction once off or continuous? On the marking of NSC matric papers, all Grade 12 teachers should be given an opportunity to mark to gain experience. He does not believe in discriminating against teachers, but in empowering them. Those teachers who have been to mark Grade 12 examinations understand the gravity of Grade 12 and can offer better assistance to their learners.
Mr D Mnguni (ANC) thanked the delegation for the presentation. On the licensing of educators, he believes that all unions and stakeholders within the education system are important, were they consulted and what has been the response? The IQMS to QMS changes says that management will play a major role in evaluating the performance of teachers. The previous stated challenge was that unions were a problem, how close is DBE with IQMS being changed to QMS? On the incentives, the presenter spoke about those who are attaining level 1 and 2 but did not address those at level 3 and above. How do they ensure that those who are performing above are incentivized according to their performance level? On Maths, DBE does not have math teachers, some schools can stay for months without a teacher. Maths is taken as a major subject; if you fail maths you fail the grade. This is disadvantaging learners while they do not have the necessary resources. On markers, what does DBE say about those who are best achievers in a subject but do not do well in competency? On the turnaround time for vacancies, notice given by a teacher after a transfer means the school is left struggling. What is the turnaround time and does DBE follow up on notice?
Mr T Khoza (ANC) emphasised IQMS, which is a good programme that is assisting the system to achieve. The tool is meant for development, besides the 1%. The system is done haphazardly because of the 1% that teachers look at, at the expense of the development that is supposed to accompany the IQMS. A challenge is put on school management because of the disputing of scores.
Mr L Ntshayisha (AIC) wanted to check on IQMS and if there are any plans to factor it in for the purpose of development. Everyone is getting 1%, which may mean that all teachers are performing, meaning that monitoring is not done properly. On the rural allowance, it sometimes takes more than two years for an educator who has been deployed from an urban area to a rural school to receive an allowance. DBE needs to check up on officials to ensure that they do the needed work.
The Minster started with the Jobs for Cash report saying that the Ministerial Committee has to give the Minister comments on the report on 29 April. Whatever is added to the report, including addendums, will be left on it for release. She said that this may be an ongoing process, but the Ministerial Committee will release what they have found and if there are any developments further on, they will not be ignored. The Committee will continue to exist. Some people have not come forward because they want to see what will happen to the whistle blowers; which may be tricky and dangerous. Some cases have been referred to the police for investigation. There might be a second report if more information is discovered down the line. She added that the Ministerial Committee will not be dissolved as whenever they believe they are done, someone comes up with new information that needs to be followed up.
The Minster said that the rural allowance has experienced lots of problems, it was a good policy with good intentions, but the implementation has been problematic. The programme is not bearing the fruits DBE desires, but the problem is that the majority of the provinces are rural, so it is a question of who gets rural allowance. Limpopo is 80% rural, which means basically all teachers would qualify for an allowance. It has been a very difficult incentive to administer. KZN also has a majority of rural areas, so the incentive is also difficult to administer. There has been talk of getting allowances for teachers that work in hard areas, areas that are riddled with gangsterism and an allowance for maths teachers. Provincial budgets, because of the pressure of compensation of employees, cannot provide for these extras. On sports, teachers want an incentive for coaching as in other schools they are paid to coach sports. The incentive package is currently very problematic. With NEEDU as an independent body and inspectorate, it is something that needs continuous discussions as Treasury is very reluctant to fund independent bodies because they develop their own lives. At this stage, the reports NEEDU produces are departmental reports which inform the work and strategies of DBE.
On inspectorates, it is a discussion they have been having and there is a framework that exists now. Every school has a circuit official who has a responsibility to monitor the performance of schools. People say DBE needs to bring back inspectors but that is contained in the work of people that are already employed in the sector. The problem may be about the support that is given to those already employed, subject advisors and circuit officers. There is a monitoring and evaluation branch at national and they know what is happening in schools. Provinces that function, do not function well because they have inspectors, but function because they have working systems. Gauteng, Western Cape, North West and the Free State are not in the top four by mistake, it is because the provinces themselves have systems. These provinces have put systems in place to monitor the assessments in schools and to monitor performance at all levels. Gauteng works well because they have a strong district level and system. The Eastern Cape does not need an inspector, but needs to rectify the system. At national, they know where the problems are, but they cannot run provinces. That is why they must come to Parliament to get permission to get a Section 100(1)(b) intervention in order to intervene. The national office does not employ teachers; provinces do. What is needed more than an inspectorate, is the capacity of the sector to be able to support provinces that are problematic. The national office does not have that capacity, theirs is to monitor, evaluate and set up norms and standards, to submit reports to them about how they manage HR, that is as far as national can go.
On Special Schools, the Minister said she and the Department will gladly come back to address the Committee on that. It is a topic that is important and where both national and provinces need to pull up their socks. Provinces establish Special Schools and they need to tell the Committee where they are in this regard. National can come and report on progress and challenges about where provinces are in declaring Special Schools. There are however major problems as parents write to her about being on a waiting list in order to access a Special Needs School. This is an area where all provinces are struggling to keep up and provide. Gauteng, for the first time, is opening 18 schools for Autism in Black communities.
The national office has found that young graduates come with very good content knowledge, but because universities are research and academically positioned, there is very little opportunity to get teachers trained in pedagogy and the practice of teaching. She is in discussions with the Minister of Higher Education about ensuring that the current teachers being trained get a focus on Information Communication and Technology (ICT) during their induction. The turnaround time of filling teacher posts differs between provinces. The top four performing provinces have systems in place to ensure a fast turnaround time. She added that she was able to place 120 young graduates in schools that needed Maths and Science through the Teach South Africa programme, by simply having a phone conversation with the MEC for Gauteng. Performance in rural areas varies; a study was done and Limpopo is the best province that services poor African kids. When you go the University of Cape Town, you find that there are many children from Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal doing maths and science. KZN has half of their matriculants doing maths and science and Limpopo has some of the best schools in mathematics and where in deep Venda you get a school producing 95% Bachelor Passes. It therefore varies between provinces and districts.
Ms Ogunbanjo responded to the questions about marking. She wanted to correct an impression that there are differences across provinces in the selection criteria. The criteria used are stipulated in the PAM and all provinces adhere to the criteria. The DBE goes out and audits the appointment processes and audits even the list of selected markers, looking at CVs to ensure that provinces have actually complied with the criteria as per PAM requirements. In addition to that there are other criteria not stipulated in the PAM but that have been adopted, which is looking at the performance of teachers in the classroom previously as well as their performance in previous marking sessions. If a teacher was not able to mark very well there is an evaluation from the marking centre that will be looked at also. The Western Cape does apply competency testing but in a limited number of subjects. When looking at re-mark results from learners who have requested them, there is no big difference of results between provinces. The moderation systems that are applied by both Umalusi and DBE are other methods of empirical testing. Those three layers of the senior marker, deputy and chief conduct moderation on the scripts and when the DBE does the audit you will have a tool where you record what marks the three levels gave and they are compared. Umalusi comes to the DBE to do a fifth layer of moderation and check whether there are any discrepancies or large variations between the marks given by different markers. In 2015 the tolerance range was escalated to all subjects as a method of moderation; this was only previously applied to the top seven priority subjects. With the tolerance range you are now able to compare the quality across the subjects. She went over the criteria for selection again. She added that a teacher should have taught in Grade 12 in the last five years for at least two years due to the changes in the curriculum. When it comes to the scripts that markers are given, the DBE uses real life dummy scripts; scripts that are made up of exam questions pulled across the provinces to make up a practice paper. Only after the teacher has marked within the tolerance range; which is the agreed deviation between the marker and the moderator, can they be hired. It is a very narrow margin with some questions having zero tolerance, meaning the teacher must get the exact score. Part of the training involves moderators being able to determine the variation in the tolerance range and return scripts to markers if necessary for them to re-mark, if they have not marked within the range.
Everyone who is involved in the marking process has to be trained and tested on these dumpy scripts and has to mark within the tolerance range. This same level of training is cascaded to provinces and Umalusi monitors that training with the DBE. The initial intention from the DBE is not to be punitive, but is one of capacity building; markers are given an opportunity to improve if they did not achieve well in the first batch of script marking. Some markers recuse themselves from the process. The moderation setting, the entire process takes place at the DBE and is in a very secure area which is monitored by CCTV. Every single room where the examiners, editors and typists sit is monitored and covered. Those cameras are monitored on a daily basis and are also extended to the Director’s office and can be monitored from there. People are searched when they go in or out and no other officials are allowed in that area. The DBE is very confident of their security processes. The DBE is very far in the leakage investigation and cannot divulge any details. What they do know is that the paper leaked in Limpopo as it had the bar code and security features of that province. If it had leaked at national level, it would have had certain markings that are specific to national papers. With regards to Accounting and Business Studies having two papers; there has been discussion. There needs to be evidence and some kind of research that has to justify the splitting. They are working together with the curriculum branch to bring about empirical evidence to influence the split. That will not happen is 2016 as the papers are already set. On the provision of the opportunity for all Grade 12 teachers to mark, DBE acknowledges that and is currently doing a road show on marking, development and assessment. The number of teachers that go to marking centres is determined by the number of candidates that have written Grade 12 in that particular year. In most schools there is a rotational process taking place around grades so everyone gets the experience of being a Grade 12 teacher. In the current appointment criteria, a teacher currently teaching Grade 11 who has Grade 12 experience can be appointed as a marker.
Mr Karimulla responded to the IQMS questions. On performance related incentives, studies were made on salary ranges at the ELRC, but from the DBE’s side they do not conduct any international studies on that process. There were a number of agreements that took place at the ELRC since 2003. In terms of the Collective Agreement of 2003, there were two salary ranges; where there is the 1% and a progression that is accelerated to 3% for those who performed better. Subsequently, in Collective Agreement 8 of 2006, three salary ranges were introduced: satisfactory received 1%, then the accelerated salary progression of 3% (good and above) and outstanding performance got a grade progression of 6%. These were the system incentives in place in 2006. Subsequent to that, there was the Collective Agreement in 2009, where these progressions were terminated, and the 1% however remained, which is the current status quo. The IQMS is not for salary progression only, but has a developmental arm linked to it. They have strengthened the personal growth plans particularly those of principals. The circuit managers are responsible for the monitoring of the personal development goals of principals on a quarterly basis to ensure that the necessary support and development identified in their plans, is provided. Circuit managers are required to provide progress on the support that has been given to principals. These monitoring systems take place at provincial level where there are IQMS coordinators that visit schools on a regular basis and provide support and training to the school management teams on implementing the processes. This is not once off, but is an ongoing event at a school.
For those teachers who are evaluated at 1, support and counselling is provided to them and provinces have followed disciplinary process regarding underperformance, letter are written to them, support is provided and if need be other steps will be taken. It is sometimes found that if support is provided to teachers, they are able to move up. The DBE is responsible for monitoring the work of the circuit managers. There is another performance management process that is for office based educators, the Performance Management and Development Scheme, which is in terms of Collective Agreement 3 of 2002. It is a process where they strengthen and monitor the work plans of office based educators including circuit managers and subject advisors. These are also monitored on a quarterly basis at provincial level. One needs to ensure that there is a quarterly review of the work plan of office based officials to ensure that the necessary support, development and identified targets are met.
Mr Kutumela added that the 1% pay progression is viewed as being little compared to the 1.5% progression received in the public service. During the 2012 salary negotiations they put the matter to the Public Sector Coordinating and Planning Council and the result was that the bargaining council requested that the President establish a Presidential Remuneration Review Commission, which was then established in 2013. It is working on the remuneration of all public servants, but starts with the remuneration of teachers. DBE has submitted a very comprehensive input to the Commission and believes that the salary structure of teachers will be dealt with. The matter will be settled in 2017 when the commission reports back to the President. The licensing of teachers is a project that will start in 2016 and DBE hopes it will be concluded at the end of this financial year. When SACE was established, its purpose was to register teachers, with a current register of over 1 million. It consists of teachers that are qualified and those that were regarded as qualified during the Apartheid era with two-year qualifications and N2 qualifications. During DBE’s discussion with SACE, they proposed that they work with SACE to establish standards for new teachers. There is no complete assessment at the moment for new teachers. When new teachers go through those newly established standards they will be fully licensed as teachers.
On striking, Mr Kutumela said that Section 64 of the Labour Relations Act deals with how strikes should occur. Strikes that are unlawful or are not complying with the Labour Relations Act must be dealt with according to municipal interdicts. DBE needs to strengthen the understanding of the provisions of the LRA at district level, where if there are unlawful strikes the first action is to get an interdict and manage the consequences of the interdict. They need to work hard on these sporadic strikes because in terms of the LRA, there must be an issue on the table of the bargaining council before unions can strike. The DBE cannot limit the right to strike, but must manage it by ensuring that unions follow the procedures laid down by the ELRC constitution and the LRA. The unions have asked the DBE to review the incentives policy and they will begin to do so this year looking at challenges and how they can improve in it. Gauteng does not administer any incentive because they believe they have no issue in attracting teachers from anywhere in the country. The issue in those provinces that have this incentive is the criteria for what is a rural area, where does it start and stop.
The Chairperson thanked the Committee and the Minister and her delegation, saying she will not allow further questions as the Minister indicated that she has to attend the Cabinet Sub-Committee meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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