Committee reports

Basic Education

07 December 2016
Chairperson: Ms N Gina (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Portfolio Committee met to consider outstanding draft minutes of meetings, draft Reports on oversight visits to Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces as well as draft strategic plan 2015/16 -2019/20.

Members noted that the Committee had received the outstanding report on quality learning and teaching campaign and questioned how the problem of paper leakages and Initial Teacher Training would be tackled. Members expressed concerns that the Department of Correctional Services had not honoured its Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Basic Education; there was no feedback on desk parts on school grounds; calls for a judicial Commission of Inquiry by National African Teachers Union should be discussed, Educational Labour Relations Council was a Department and not an entity; appropriate changes should be made as regards Annual National Assessment, legislation was expected in 2017/18 financial year. Members said there should be standing meetings to discuss 3 stream modules of educational system as well as a quarterly meeting with Unions and school governing bodies; and requested for a joint oversight with the Department of Higher Education and Training to see if the teachers of tomorrow were equipped, and also to schools not performing well.

4th quarterly report 2015/16, 1st as well as 2nd quarterly reports 2016/17, were adopted.
Draft Report on Oversight Visits to Limpopo and Mpumalanga was adopted.
Draft Strategic Plan 2015/16- 2019/20 was adopted.

The Committee adopted thirteen sets of minutes from 24 May 2016 to 30 November 2016.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks by the Chairperson 
The Chairperson said there had been a proposal to await the final parliamentary programme so that topics such as quarterly reports that needed to be attended to next year could fit into standing items. Secondly there were provinces that did not perform well. This always guided the Portfolio Committee on the first oversight visit to the Provinces. On resumption in the second or third week in January, the Portfolio Committee will go to Provinces that had not performed well and would be guided by the quality of results in those Provinces. Everything before SONA was always in a fluid state. After SONA things would go more smoothly because the final programme would have been issued. Going forward presenters would be encouraged to make their presentations concise so there would be an allowance of 15 minutes for the adoption of minutes as the minutes were always ready but merely lacked the time to be adopted.

4th quarterly report 2015/16, 1st as well as 2nd quarterly reports 2016/17
The reports were adopted

Draft Report on Oversight Visits to Limpopo and Mpumalanga
The Chairperson tabled the draft Report on Oversight visits to the Capricorn and Mopani Education Districts in Limpopo Province and the Bohlabela Education District in Mpumalanga Province from 19 – 24 July 2015
The report was adopted.

Draft Strategic Plan 2015/16- 2019/20
The Chairperson tabled the draft Strategic Plan 2015/16- 2019/20. The Strategic Plan was the guideline that assisted the Portfolio Committee to hold the DBE accountable as well as draw the programme of the Committee. She advised Members to constantly read the document even during the holidays for inputs, suggestions as well as additions.

Mr G Davis (DA) said on page 8, under the 3 entities, it was stated that the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) was an entity. This was not so as it was a Department.

The Chairperson said as regards page 9, appropriate changes needed to be made on the quality of education outcome around the issue of Annual National Assessment (ANA) as she questioned how that would be done.

Mr Davis said on page 17 it was said no legislation was expected in 2017/18 FY. He questioned if this was true. He asked if there was need to amend that as he had earlier got a reply to a parliamentary question that said legislation was expected

The Chairperson replied that there was a need to amend that

Mr Davis said it was a good opportunity to add the things that were not in the plan so that there could be a discussion for possible inclusion. The first was the role out of the 3 streams module of educational system which would be piloted from next year and would be part of the discussion for the next 5 years or thereabout. There should be a standing meeting to discuss it. Secondly, the Committee found it valuable when it met a week ago with School governing bodies Association and Unions; it would be useful to have a quarterly standing meeting with the Stakeholders. This should be part of the plan going forward as these Stakeholders reflected a lot of influence over the educational system. Thirdly, the Chairperson had said that there was need to get the quality of the teaching right. The Committee should do a joint oversight with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to the Universities in order to see what was happening in the lecture Theatres as well as see if the teachers of tomorrow were well equipped. There should be visits to schools that were performing well against every odd and have them contrasted with those who were not performing well with the same circumstances. There should be a discussion on the way oversights were picked. Last year there were 22 schools with 0%. There should be an oversight to establish why.

The Chairperson replied that this was correct and added that the first meeting in the new term would be geared towards finalising the Annual Performance Plan (APP). She encouraged Members to study the APP and make suggestions on what could be added. The Committee had agreed with what was before it as well as the additions that would be made in the course of the year. It would be revisited as the need arose.

The draft strategic plan 2015/16- 2019/20was adopted.


Adoption of minutes
Minutes of Committee meetings held on 24 and 27 May 2016; 23, 26 and 30 August 2016; 13 September 2016; and 1, 12, 18 and 25 October 2016, were adopted.

Minutes of 01 November 2016
The Chairperson said the DBE was hand tied on the issue of Initial Teacher Education Programmes as it was the recipient. The DHET had given a presentation on the nature of the programme offered and how it had trained the teachers. There were so many things not done well by the Department of Higher Education and Training. It was a lot of problem to call the DHET to account as regards initial training. How would the Committee tackle this problem? It was one of the topics that should come back for tabling as soon as possible in order to know what army was expected in terms of teachers.

Ms D van der Walt (DA) added that the Committee was not sure of the outcome of the cases of leaked papers and how to prevent it going forward. This should also come back to the Committee for tabling and discussion.

The Minutes was adopted

Minutes of 08 and 23 November 2016
The minutes were adopted

Minutes of 29 November 2016
The Chairperson remarked that the MOU between the DBE and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) had been outstanding for years. There was a need to have a meeting with DCS to know what was stopping the latter from delivering its side of the bargain.

Ms H Boshoff (DA) said at the last meeting, she raised the question of MOU and requested the DBE to provide a report from the DCS on how many desks had been made; the Committee should ask for such report.

Ms J Basson (ANC) said the Committee should get the report from DBE and decide on how to move forward from there.

Ms van der Walt said that two years earlier, she had raised the issue of parts of desks that were found on school grounds. Minister Angie Motshekga as well as Deputy Minister Enver Surty were present in that meeting. There were proposals for the Minister to look at schools that did woodwork. This, as well as the issue of mobile library which was also raised in that meeting, never took off. Those two issues also did notcome back to the Committee.

The Minutes was adopted.

Minutes of 30 November 2016
Mr Davis highlighted Page 12 where Members noted the call by NATU for a judicial Commission of Inquiry to deliberate on the proposals from NATU. He wondered if the Committee would get an opportunity to put that into its schedule to discuss the merit.

The Chairperson replied that that particular issue would be put in the schedule.

The Minutes was adopted.

Closing remarks
The Chairperson thanked Members, 2016 had been a very hectic year. The Committee lost many of its Members to other Committees as it also welcomed a lot of new Members. When the emotions were high it showed that Members were working hard. She encouraged Members to go for the recess and be recharged for the New Year.

Mr Davis appreciated the Chairperson for a job that was very well done as the Chairperson of the Committee. He announced that Ms van der Walt would be joining the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and thanked her on the behalf of the DA for the contributions made in the Committee.

Mr L Ntshayisa (AIC) remarked that it had been a good time spent together as he would be leaving for Buffalo City. The Chairperson wished Members that were leaving the best and everyone a happy Christmas and holiday season.

The Meeting was adjourned.           

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