National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU) & Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC): progress reports

Basic Education

25 October 2016
Chairperson: MS N Gina (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU) presented on its work for the past five years (2012-2016) and its plan for the next five years (2017–2021). NEEDU is completing its first five-year cycle of systemic evaluations identifying, on a system-wide basis at school, district and provincial levels, the factors that inhibit or advance school improvement. The findings were in these areas:
• Reading
That teachers in the 134 rural schools visited did not have a good method to teach foundational level learners how to read. Actions taken include a Reading Advisory Committee to advise on reading matters, prioritising reading support in the provinces, and piloting the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA).
• Curriculum Delivery
Gaps such as the development and implementation of Provincial Literacy and Numeracy (LitNum) were observed in Curriculum Delivery. Actions taken included asking for learner’s books to monitor quality of writing and held School Management teams and principals accountable for curriculum delivery.
• Utilisation of Learning and Teaching Support Materials (LTSMs)
Most learners in primary schools did not have sufficient Learning and Teaching Support Materials (LTSMs) and textbooks for mathematics and languages due to an ineffective retrieval system from previous learners Actions taken included developing LTSM policies that ensured that textbooks were retrieved from schools that did not have a good retrieval system.
• Time management
Many schools experienced time management issues such as late coming and absenteeism by learners and teachers and teachers did not follow the time allocated to subjects on the timetable. Actions taken included monitoring of time management in schools by district and provincial officials. DBE and the Minister engaged district and provincial officials in a discourse on time management.
• Assessment
Teachers in most schools are not able to construct/set assessment items of good quality. Learners perform "well" in school based assessments but poorly in common and international assessments. Teachers assess what they have taught not what they ought to have taught. Few schools have school improvement plans that are informed by assessments. Actions taken by DBE included aligning PED school improvement plans with DBE plans. Subject committees and School Based Assessment (SBA) workshops were conducted in provinces to train advisors in setting up quality tasks.
• Special Schools
The preliminary findings indicated that special schools do not have a systemic way of admitting learners and different curricula were used in each special school.

Findings at the school level are presented to districts and provincial education departments (PEDs) to take necessary actions. Gaps in the districts to support schools are presented to PEDs for corrective action. Two years after an evaluation, NEEDU makes follow-up visits to a sample of schools, districts and PEDs to monitor and support the implementation of NEEDU recommendations. Some schools have made progress on areas that continue to cause concern in the system.

During the 2nd five-year cycle (2017-2021), the focus will shift to development to ensure system-wide impact of NEEDU findings.  The prioritised focus areas include making proposals:
- Conducting a deeper investigation about why schools do not use DBE workbooks optimally. This will involve focus group discussions in 2017 at school and district levels across the provinces
- By December 2016, a report with proposals to maximise the utilisation of workbooks by all teachers
- Investigating whether tuition time allocated to different subjects is sufficient.

In discussion the Committee raised concerns about time management, low level skills of teachers teaching reading, challenges faced by learners in reading, delay in issuing reports, lack of seriousness of schools on retrieval of textbooks, correct placing of learners in Special Schools, curriculum of Special Schools, the improvement plans of NEEDU, curriculum delivery, follow-up visits on schools monitored and the negative impact of SADTU on deployment of teachers as seen in 2013 report on NEEDU were identified.

The Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC) is a social compact between the Department, stakeholders and communities. The major thrust of the QLTC is to provide a platform for communities to actively and constructively become involved in the improvement of teaching and learning. The activities for 2016/17 were outlined. These included mobilising communities and schools in curbing social ills such as. drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, bullying and school violence; encouraging parents to play their part in the education of their children; communities protect their schools against vandalism and during service delivery protests; mobilising around the Read to Learn campaign mobilising the business community to adopt underperforming schools; mobilising communities in monitoring delivery of quality learning and teaching. The achievements of QLTC during 2015/2016 were noted for each province. Based on a Western Cape Executive Council decision, there is no QLTC in that province.

The Committee expressed concerns about the challenges of social ills, lack of awareness of QLTC, challenges facing Funza Lushaka, the influence of SADTU, and collaborations with stakeholders.

DBE admitted that the QLTC had not achieved much from the national office as a result of QLTC structure. It was working on engaging the community in some keys areas such as school ownership to avoid situations of disconnect such as the schools burnt at Vuwani, Limpopo.

The Committee recommended that;
- The DBE should come up with strategies to address reading challenges faced by learners from the side of teachers and district officials as identified by NEEDU.
- The DBE should ensure that all stakeholders especially teachers monitor learner assessments and know what to do when learners fail such assessments as identified by NEEDU.
- The Committee agreed that QLTC had relevant roles to fulfill in Basic Education therefore; the programs of QLTC should be fine tuned so that the agency could achieve these relevant roles.
- The Minister should address and give an update on issues raised on NEEDU and QLTC by the Committee.
The Committee resolved to commit to performing their oversight functions and assist NEEDU and QLTC in achieving their mandates.
 

Meeting report

The Department of Basic Education delegation included Dr Palesa Tyobeka, Deputy Director-General: Planning and Delivery Oversight Unit; Dr Sibusiso Sithole, Chief Director: NEEDU, Mr Thula Nkomo Director. QLTC and Mr Elijah Mhlanga Chief Director: Communication.

National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU) presentation
Dr Sibusiso Sithole, Chief Director: NEEDU reported that the purpose of the presentation was to brief the Committee on the impact of NEEDU’s work for the past five years (2012-2016) and the plan of action for the next five years (2017-2021). NEEDU just completed its first five years of systematic evaluation on all phases of schooling (all sample school visited), most districts and all provincial Departments of Education (see document). He further reported that, the evaluation focused on identifying on a system-wide basis the factors that inhibited or advanced school improvement as stated in the document.

Reading: Main Findings and Action Take
87% of teachers in the 134 rural schools visited did not have a good method to teach foundational level learners how to read and even when teachers identified these struggling learners the teachers did not always know how to help these learners. In addition when teachers assessed reading the assessment results were either not used or not used properly. Furthermore in over 90% of schools sampled, the School Management Teams (SMTs) and principals did not monitor reading level of learners and most districts visited did not have a system of monitoring reading levels in schools.
 
Actions taken by DBE included setting up a Reading Advisory Committee to advise on reading matters, prioritising reading support in the Provincial Education Departments (PED) and reported to the National Strategy for Learner Attainment (NSLA) and piloting the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA). The EGRA involved testing each reader’s fluency in reading and monitoring whether readers understood the sounds or what they read.

Curriculum Delivery: Main Findings and Action Take
Gaps were observed in the development and implementation of Provincial Literacy and Numeracy (LitNum) strategies by teachers in 870 schools evaluated between 2012 and 2016. Primary school teachers did not cover the curriculum of mathematics and languages properly resulting in learners writing less frequently in primary schools. SMTs did not have a good system of monitoring the work of teachers but SMTs sign and stamp learners’ books for compliance purposes only.

Actions taken by DBE were asking for learner’s books to monitor quality of writing and holding SMTs and principals accountable for curriculum delivery. This resulted in the monitoring of the quality of learners’ books by provinces and districts.

Utilisation of Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM): Main Findings and Action Taken
In the 870 sample schools evaluated between 2012 and 2016 most learners in primary schools did not have sufficient LTSMs such as textbooks for mathematics and languages due to an ineffective retrieval system from previous learners and schools did not have graded readers because they did not have enough materials to read. He also reported that, in some schools when the workbooks are supplied the learners do not use the workbooks but, they were kept in boxes.
The actions taken by DBE were development of LTSM policies that ensured that textbooks were retrieved from schools that did not have a good retrieval system (current PED reports indicate 85% textbook recovery), significantly improving the quality of workbooks, development of graded learners that could be provided to schools in all languages and providing quarterly reports on the use of workbooks.

Time management: Main Findings and Action Take
Time-on-task is a major challenge in most schools. Loss of time goes undetected in many schools because there are no control systems. Time is still lost when teachers: go to workshops, attend teacher union meetings, attend memorial services , take sick leave, return late to class after break. Many schools experienced late coming and absenteeism from learners and teachers and teachers did not follow the time allocated to subjects on the timetable.

Actions taken by DBE include district officials monitoring time management in schools closely. The Minister, Director General and senior DBE officials have engaged district and provincial officials and principals on time management.

Assessment: Main Findings and Action Take
The only type of assessments done by schools are statistical but NEEDU seeks item assessments which involves whether the student understands what is been taught for instance in mathematics or whether the teachers are knowledgeable in the subject. In addition, few schools had school improvement plans based on assessment analysis results.

Actions taken by DBE included aligning PED school improvement plans with DBE plans. Subject committees and School Based Assessment (SBA) workshops were conducted in provinces to train advisors in setting up quality tasks. Over 72% happy with support they receive to develop school improvement plans.

Special Schools: Preliminary Findings
Special schools do not have a systemic way of admitting learners, different curricula were used in each special school. Many special schools do not plan their programs and the absence of a national standard curriculum in special schools makes it difficult for learners to progress after exiting the special schools. Consequently, the evaluation of curriculum delivery is complicated.

Working with and through the provinces to ensure impact
To ensure that NEEDU findings lead to system-wide changes:
- Findings at the school level are presented to districts and provincial education departments (PEDs) to take necessary actions
- Gaps in the districts to support schools are presented to PEDs for corrective action
- Two years after an evaluation, NEEDU makes follow-up visits to a sample of schools, districts and PEDs to monitor and support the implementation of NEEDU recommendations

Improvement at school level
NEEDU made follow-up visits to a sample of 158 schools that were evaluated in 2012 to establish if these institutions have made an attempt to implement NEEDU recommendations
 Some schools have made progress on areas that continue to cause concern in the system.
It is for this reason that the Minister has requested NEEDU to monitor and support the implementation of the recommendations from the research conducted.

Focus of 2nd five-year cycle (2017-2021)
During this cycle, the focus will shift to development—the “D” in NEEDU to ensure system-wide impact of NEEDU findings. NEEDU will focus on:
- identifying strategies necessary for achieving equality in the provision of quality education
- recommending programmes that work which can be rolled-out on scale
- acting as a research/information hub so programmes are informed by empirical evidence

2nd five-year cycle (2017-2021)
The prioritised focus areas include making proposals with regard to:
- Conducting a deeper investigation about why schools do not use DBE workbooks optimally. This will involve focus group discussions in 2017 at school and district levels across the provinces
- By December 2016, a report with proposals to maximise the utilisation of workbooks by all teachers
- Investigating whether tuition time allocated to different subjects is sufficient.

Dr Tyobeka said that the impact of NEEDU could be measured by NEEDU’s planning commitments and DBE monitors NEEDU’s planning commitments.

Discussion
The Chairperson thanked DBE and invited members to present their observations.

Mr G Davis (DA) expressed concerns about:
- Time management (late coming and absenteeism of learners and teachers),
- Loss of time for time-on-task because no control systems exists,
- Teachers that did not have a method of teaching reading as this could lead to national crises
- Process of paper reports from NEEDU,
- Legislations and Bills that empower NEEDU,
- The role of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) and the negative impact of SADTU on deployment of teachers as seen in the 2013 NEEDU report.

He made the following observations;
- The recommendation to set up Reading Advisory Committee was weak.
- The resignation of the NEEDU CEO took place about one and a half years ago.

Mr Davis asked the following questions:
- What was the extent of the problem of late coming of learners and teachers?
- What is the rate of absenteeism of teachers and learners?
- Does absenteeism occur more with teachers or learners?
- What disciplinary actions are being taken on loss of time during tasks?
- Why are teachers not able to teach learners reading?
- Does the problem with learner reading come from teacher training?
- What would the Reading Advisory Committee do if teachers cannot teach learners?
- Do you believe that the public should have access to NEEDU reports?
- Does NEEDU want its reports publicised or sent to the Minister only?
- What is the status of the 2014 NEEDU report and when was it submitted?
- Has the acting CEO been made permanent and what is the delay in making this officer permanent?
- What is the update on the Bill empowering NEEDU,
- In your view, is SADTU still a problem in teacher deployment?
- Who addresses the Annual National Assessments (ANA)?

The Chairperson noted that some of the questions raised by Mr Davis should be directed to the Minister.

Ms J Basson (ANC) thanked the Dr Sithole, and observed that the main purpose of NEEDU was to develop a quality basic education system for South Africa. She commented that:
- The performance of learners in mathematics was below what the curriculum projected.
- Little information was given on Education for Learners with Special Educational Needs (ELSEN) full service schools.

Ms Basson asked:
- Do you think you should assist the schools, districts and provinces to achieve the goal of quality basic education system for South Africa?
- What are your findings on the performance of learners in mathematics based on curriculum delivery and what can you recommend?
- Can you share your findings on why the schools are not using the workbooks?
- Can you give an update on ELSEN full service schools and what are your recommendations?

Ms D Van Der Walt (DA) expressed her concern about:
- The low level of skills of teachers teaching reading.
- The seriousness of schools in retrieving textbooks
- How bad the reading quality of learners was.
- The statistics on reading challenges might be higher since the sample size used was small.
- Parents of a certain generation could not assist learners because they were not educated.

Ms Van Der Walt asked:
- What is the solution on retrieval of textbooks within schools in South Africa?
- What is DBE doing to let learners get access to libraries since libraries are not available in some schools and some municipalities?
- What is the total number of schools that does not have LTSM’s such as textbooks (sample size of 870 schools or the total number of schools) in South Africa?

Ms N Mokoto (ANC) expressed her concern about:
- The improvement plans of NEEDU for quality basic education.
- Curriculum delivery
- Follow-up visits on schools monitored.

Ms Mokoto asked:
- Why are the schools left out of the feedback as the presentation gives the impression that feedback is given only to districts and provinces?
- What are NEEDU’s recommendations about curriculum development programs for matriculants?
- Does NEEDU do follow-up visits on the schools earlier evaluated or are only new schools evaluated?

Ms H Boshof (DA) expressed her concern about:
- Correctly placing learners in Special needs schools.
- Curricular of Special needs schools.
- Progression of learners in Special needs schools.

Ms Boshof asked:
- Who are the skilled personnel that would assist in placing learners in special needs schools?
- What intervention is there to develop the curriculum of special needs schools?
- What intervention is there to develop Latter Care Centers for learners coming out of special schools?
- What information does NEEDU have on the status of special needs schools?
- What is the status of DBE’s Office of Standards and Compliance programme?

Mr H Khosa (ANC) welcomed the presentation and noted that:
- NEEDU had a better system of monitoring than district officials.
- Some learners could not read by themselves and this is a challenge for the education system.
He expressed concerns that monitoring visits and development of quality education undertaken by NEEDU was a duplication of duties by other programs in DBE.

Mr Khosa asked:
- Does NEEDU plan to transfer monitoring skills to district officials?
- What are your plans to rectify the challenges faced by some learners with reading?
- What planning advice would you give to ensure that teachers are assisted in getting the right skills?
- Does NEEDU have the capacity to assist in monitoring visits and development of quality education?

Ms N Mashabela (ANC) asked:
- What role has NEEDU played to improve learner and educator performance in multi-grade schools?
- What is being done about the learners that cannot read and are placed in the next grade?

Mr T Khoza (ANC) asked the following questions;
- Did NEEDU come up with better methods to assist districts on how to monitor reading?
- Which province has the greatest prevalence of late coming and absenteeism?

The Chairperson observed that all most committee members emphasised the challenges faced by learners in reading and expressed her concern why teachers could not teach reading. She asked NEEDU for their recommendations on what could be done about employing only teachers that have the right skills into the early grade system and the role of NEEDU in quality education in the next five years.

Response
Dr Tyobeka informed the Committee that some of the questions asked by Mr Davis would be addressed by the Minister. She noted that some of the monitoring investigations were done in 2012 and DBE has implemented some plans such as putting in a direct approach to strengthen the use of workbooks and using Early Grade Assessment tools.

Dr Sithole reported that;
- There was a satisfaction level of 68% in surveys on whether schools felt supported by the district offices.
- Districts now collect data on absenteeism and DBE would report on the criteria used and present the data in the next report.

Mr G Davis (DA) asked for the Chairperson permission to interrupt and expressed concerns that the DDG was answering questions on behalf of NEEDU which should not be so as NEEDU was independent. The Chairperson deferred on this and stated that any DBE official was empowered to answer questions.

Dr Tyobeka stated that a request for a strategic system wide curriculum strategy had been made by NEEDU based on results obtained when the schools were monitored.

Dr Sithole reported that:
- The sampling strategy which involved mostly rural schools could not be used to make a generalisation on issues of time management.
- The statistics showed that learners attended school late because bad roads affected scholar transport although the figures were not readily available.
- Absenteeism affected teachers more because they had to attend union meetings and training programs. The affected teachers had to leave school earlier because the schools were located in rural areas and bad roads affected their transportation.
- The method of teaching early graders affected learner reading negatively because secondary school teachers who did not know how to teach foundational learners were deployed to teach early grades.
- The NEEDU mandate on reports is that the reports should be sent to the Minister and the Minister has the discretion on how the report would be handled. This mandate does not include publishing of reports.
- The 2014 report focuses only on Grade 7-9 not the senior class of matriculating students.
- Legislation empowering NEEDU would be addressed by the Minister.
- SADTU’s comments on teacher deployment was not the focus area of NEEDU however, time lost due to attendance of union meetings was looked at.

The Chairperson observed that Mr Davis always asked questions on the activity of unions.

Mr Davis replied that the question was a follow-up from NEEDU’s 2013 report.

The Chairperson asked the DBE to continue with their response.

Dr S Sithole further reported that;
- The role of NEEDU was based on evaluation of plans that led to quality education in South Africa but the district officials were involved with developing these plans.
- NEEDU is also involved in writing reports with clear recommendations and guiding schools, district and provincial officials on implementation plans for quality education in South Africa.
- The reports are given to the schools before they are presented to the district officials of DBE.
- The Annual National Assessments (ANA) are addressed by the school.
- The Minister had stated that workbooks are being delivered to schools in time and in different languages so the next phase that NEEDU will monitor is why the schools are not using the workbooks.
- The preliminary findings in special schools are being analysed and the findings would be reported later.
- NEEDU is committed to finding better ways of retrieving textbooks. It hopes to use best practice of schools that have got it right and make recommendations to schools that are challenged.
- We re-visit schools to check if the schools have implemented the improvement plans.
- The recommendations for improvement are shared with the school, district and provinces.
- The challenge of placing learners in ELSEN Special schools has been identified and NEEDU will come with recommendations in its next report. The best that is done presently is for the learners in special schools to learn some skills. More details on the curriculum would be given in the next report.
- The DBE district and provincial officials carry out the clear recommendations that NEEDU provides.
- The struggles that teachers have with multi-grade learners in the same class were because these teachers studied specifically for single learners. The DBE now assists in training teachers on how to develop lessons for multi-graders on the job.
- Late coming of learners is prevalent in rural areas because of bad roads.
- There are no reports on what could be done about employing only teachers that have the right skills into the early grade system presently. This would be submitted after the final report has been prepared.

The Chairperson asked when the final report will be submitted to the Minister.

Dr Sithole reported that the findings on the high schools and special schools are still been finalised and as this affects the time frame, modalities on the time frame are been worked on.

The Chairperson asked for a more specific time frame.

Dr Sithole reported that sampling of the special needs schools is still being carried out and NEEDU will still monitor special needs schools in 2017. The report on special needs schools, which is one of the reports that NEEDU would submit to the Minister would be the last report the Minister receives.

Mr Davis observed that not having a clear time frame was disturbing since this report was supposed to have been submitted since 2014. He asked for an update on the appointment of the CEO of NEEDU. He asked the Committee to raise serious objections about what is happening in NEEDU.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee would communicate and follow-up with the Minister on the status of the CEO.

Ms Van Der Walt said that NEEDU should find a better way to monitor special needs schools in less than one year or should report on the first schools monitored so that the issues could be resolved immediately.

Dr Tyobeka reported that even though DBE had been strengthened there were still funding challenges. The staff at the main office consisted of the CEO and a professional officer, however the provinces have some support staff. The DBE hopes to strengthen NEEDU and address some of the challenges outlined.

Committee Recommendations
-
The DBE should come up with strategies to address reading challenges faced by learners from the side of teachers and district officials.
- The DBE should make sure that all stakeholders especially teachers monitor learners assessments and know what to do when learners fail such assessments.

The Committee committed to performing their oversight function and assist NEEDU in achieving its goals. She appreciated NEEDU for trying to improve the quality of basic education in South Africa.

Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC)
Mr Thula Nkomo, Director: QLTC, reported that the Minister has called for a meeting of all the principal officers in QLTC to address why QLTC is not making the desired impact. He explained that;
- The focus of QLTC strategic campaigns are derived from the Cabinet and Ministerial programme of action.
- The National Development Plan (NDP) calls for QLTC to be strengthened by advocating that all stakeholders be involved in improving education.
- The QLTC’s roles included transformation, bringing about a positive change and improving the quality of basic education system in South Africa.

Some of the achievements of QLTC during 2015/16 were;
- Spearheading the Drop All and Read Campaign in communities across all nine provinces.
- Collaborating with LTSM policy development and innovation directorates on the delivery of 1000 library projects across the provinces.
- Addressing social ills, even though this measure has been reactive due to the structures in place.
- Monitoring and supporting functioning of the newly elected School Governing Boards (SGBs).
- Explained the benefits of Funza Lushaka to some communities. Funza Lushaka is a program which responded to the shortage of teachers and addressed the level of unemployment among youths.

He reported key achievements in each provinces under the purview of Members of the Executive Council (MEC). However, he identified the challenges faced by QLTC as being:
- QLTC not properly located uniformly in provinces
- Constant QLTC structural meetings not convened
- QLTC not adequately resourced.
 He explained the remedial measures put in place and concluded by reporting that QLTC had opened up in some rural areas such as Msinga in the Mzinyathi district.

Discussion
The Chairperson asked what plan was in place by the national office if the MEC did not invite QLTC for interventions.

Dr Tyobeka admitted that this was one of the areas in which QLTC has not achieved much. Unfortunately the head of QLTC is not available but Mr Nkomo would speak on his behalf. DBE was working on engaging the community in some keys areas such as;
- School ownership to avoid situations of disconnect between QLTC and the community (schools were burnt at Vuwani, Limpopo).
- Collaborations with QLTC
- Partnerships in building schools.

Ms Basson appreciated the presentation and expressed her surprise at the support of the Eastern Cape community for the work of QLTC. She however observed that some teachers are not aware of QLTC in the rural areas.

Ms Basson asked:
- How does QLTC assist rural schools and the dedicated community that supports the school?
- How does QLTC create awareness in the rural areas?
- What are the plans put in place to monitor QLTC in the rural areas?
- What is QLTC’s advice on producing quality educators in the rural area?
- Does QLTC monitor the involvement of parents in QLTC?
- Why does Western Cape not have QLTC structure?

Ms Van Der Walt asked the following questions;
- What budget allocation was given to QLTC last year and what is the allocation in the coming year?
- Is South Africa getting value for money because it seems that QLTC is duplicating duties?

Mr Davis agreed with Ms Van Der Walt asking much was allocated to QLTC. He observed that;
- The Committee should appreciate the Western Cape for not participating in QLTC programs because in his opinion QLTC was a waste of resources.
- Teacher absenteeism is a great challenge to Basic Education.
He asked what QLTC is doing to stop the negative trend of absenteeism in SA schools caused by SADTU’s negative impact.

The Chairperson observed that Mr Davis was unfair because he always refers to the union when he asks questions.

Mr Davis replied that SADTU was referred to because the reports emanating from the government agency QLTC captured SADTU’s comments therefore he questioned QLTC based on the comments SADTU made.

In addition, Mr Davis asked the following questions;
- What is QLTC doing about partners that are negatively impacting on the quality of learners’ education?
- Do the union members have teaching posts and are the union members paid by government?
- Please quantify the actual impact that QLTC have made on improving the quality of learning and teaching?
- Why is Funza Lushaka facing challenges?

Prof Msimang noted the observations made during a Committee visit to schools in Limpopo:
- Social ills were still a challenge
- Communities did not understand rationalisation such as why schools had been moved further away especially to places that had rivers and bad roads.

Prof Msimang asked:
- What strategies has QLTC designed to bring improvement (for instance KZN committed to having a 70% National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate in Operation Bounce Back turnaround strategy programs?
- Has QLTC recorded any success in bringing down social ills since it started operating?
- Has communication between the community and QLTC (DBE) improved?

Mr Khosa observed that the presentation referred to how the provincial steering committee operates but was silent about the functionality of QLTC in schools.

Mr Khosa asked:
- How often does the steering committee meet?
- Has QLTC made progress on the challenges outlined?
- What are the functions of QLTC in schools and how has these been monitored?
- What has QLTC achieved during the past five years?
- Has QLTC been able to conceptualise its objectives and how have these objectives been monitored?

Ms Mashabela observed that the primary aim of QLTC was to be the catalyst for positive change while transforming and improving the quality of education. She asked how the QLTC assisted parents that were not educated in participating in their children’s education.

Ms Boshof observed that QLTC would be more functional if traditional leaders were involved in QLTC’s operations. She asked:
- How many schools have adopted QLTC?
- What awareness campaigns are been put in place to address QLTC’s awareness issues?

Response
Mr T Nkomo reported that;
- Rationalisation of schools in the Eastern Cape generated some issues however the MEC in Eastern Cape made huge efforts to communicate why DBE rationalised the schools.
- Provinces give more information on QLTC as the structure of QLTC was conceptualised based on provinces.
- Union officials are seconded in terms of directors and the DBE pays the union officials to attend meetings.
- Funza Lushaka is facing challenges because some communities prefer foreign teachers.
- In the past Western Cape’s QLTC was the most functional. However, he could not speak further on the issue as the Minister has convened a meeting of MECs to identify what happened.
- On budget allocation QLTC received meagre allocations. This has a huge implication on the roll out of funds for QLTC projects.
- On duplication he could not respond but there was no structure on the ground in DBE that duplicated QLTC’s mandates.
- The SC is supposed to meet twice a year but meetings have not been convened since 2014/15 because of tensions that occurred between stakeholders during this period. The Minister has however convened a meeting among all stakeholders.
- The practical successes achieved by QLTC are collaborations between traditional rulers and QLTC this led to support for Nkanyiso Secondary school on the outskirts of Matatiele on the border of Limpopo. Collaboration between parents and QLTC led to parents supporting learners with cooked meals when these learners slept in Matatiele during their matriculation examinations. This also led to parent’s contribution of tokens amounts to secure learners during the matriculation examinations.
- The QLTC has committed to making reports on implementation of strategies and impacts.
- The QLTC notes the concern on social ills and would come up with strategies to deal with these.
- Efforts are being made to ensure QLTC achieve its objectives
- In most schools the QLTC is not functional and efforts are being made to reverse the situation.
- A five year report on QLTC would be presented on 18 November and outcomes will be presented in 2017.
- Yes, QLTC has been able to conceptualise its objectives. This is seen in the collaboration stated earlier as some parents are actually involved in the education of their children.
- The next presentation will come with the number of schools that have functional QLTC structures and give a report on stakeholders that have collaborations with QLTCs in the school.

Dr P Tyobeka reported that
- The DBE was committed to advocating that all stakeholders understand the role of QLTC and have a clear strategy from the national office.
- Traditional rulers are part of the structure of QLTC but DBE has not monitored whether the traditional rulers are involved in all areas.
- The Minister is not available to make contributions on the area of duplications. It might look like programs are being duplicated for instance the Funza Lushaka program is spearheaded by an arm of DBE but QLTC collaborates with this arm on this program.
- Activism has been used to achieve some of the goals of QLTC as some QLTC activities do not require funding.
- The MEC of Eastern Cape Mr M. Makupla embarked on a road show to sensitise the community on why DBE rationalised schools. Schools were rationalised in Eastern Cape so that all communities could be developed.
- The Western Cape had a good performance on QLTC in 2015. However the DBE is working out other performance pointers so as to bring back Western Cape’s QLTC programs.

The Chairperson permitted the Committee to make brief follow-up observations.

Ms Basson thanked Dr Tyobeka and Mr Nkomo for their insightful presentation. She observed that;
- Eastern Cape parents were not against QLTC but only wanted to know why schools were rationalised.
- The parents of learners in Eastern Cape were not against the QLTC’s alignment programs but were deeply involved and wanted to inculcate discipline in learners.
- The presenters had answered the question on Western Cape. She made it clear that her questions were not directed to the Chairperson but rather to Dr Tyobeka and Mr Nkomo. She further advised Mr Davis to concentrate on finding ways of addressing the frequency of high teenage pregnancy in Western Cape.

Mr Khoza advised Committee members to avoid taking issues personally and focus on their oversight functions of assisting DBE agencies to improve the quality of basic education.

Mr Davis agreed with Mr Khoza that Committee members should not personalise issues.

Committee Recommendations
-
The Minister should give an update on issues raised on NEEDU and QLTC by the Committee.
- The Committee agreed that QLTC had relevant roles to fulfill in Basic Education therefore; the programs of QLTC should be fine-tuned so that the agency could achieve these relevant roles.

The Chairperson thanked DBE. She briefed the Committee on QLTC’s achievement in Eastern Cape. She advised the members to indicate their availability for the impending oversight by informing the secretary.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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