Department of Basic Education Quarter 1 performance

Basic Education

04 September 2018
Chairperson: Ms N Gina (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) present the First Quarterly Report on its performance in meeting its strategic objectives for 2018/19. It highlighted its performance outputs against the planned targets in the Annual Performance Plan and its Quarter 1 expenditure for 2018/19.

• The Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill task team has made considerable progress in considering the public comments.
• DBE had met with DPME and configure the 2018/19 APP on the new Electronic Quarterly Performance Reporting System (eQPRS) being implemented.
• Research Co-ordination, Monitoring and Evaluation (RCME) had attended to a Learner Transport Programme Evaluation where an implementation evaluation is currently underway. Survey instruments were designed and submitted on 29 May 2018 with a draft pilot report.
• Of the 42 000 ECD practitioners targeted to complete the on-line training programme on play-based learning, at the end of May 2018 a total of 30 768 had registered and 20 910 had completed the course.
• 3234 young and qualified educators were appointed in the posts in PEDs of which 576 were permanent and 2 263 were temporary, and 394 were substitute/relief appointments. 79% graduates eligible for placement in 2018 were placed by mid-June 2018.
• On the past performance of the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI), 207 Schools built using inappropriate materials have been replaced, 494 Schools provided with proper sanitation, 700 Schools provided with portable water and 372 Schools provided with electricity. On sanitation, an initial baseline of 741 projects has been increased to 992.
• For the Senior Certificate Examination 2018, 164 306 candidates were registered for this examination and 1126 examination centres were registered.
• Due to high public interest, the period for public comments on the draft National Policy on Learner Pregnancy was extended to 31 July 2018.

Members asked how infrastructure, sanitation, libraries were being prioritised as well as how DBE is going to ensure that the provinces are going to be assisted. There was concern about terrible infrastructure conditions; the quality of rural education; the outcome of the initiative for unemployed youth; teachers that have not been placed; what about second chance matric for disabled learners. Other questions were asked about the schools that had been monitored; underspending on monitoring, since there is a conditional grant; why there is such an injustice being done to those learners with profound intellectual disabilities; parental involvement in schools and the education of their children; and learner transport.

Meeting report

Mr Hubert Mathanzima Mweli, Director General: DBE, noted that the briefing was divided into two: DBE performance outputs against the planned targets of the pre-determined objectives in the Annual Performance Plan and the DBE Quarter 1 expenditure for 2018/19.

Dr Mamiki Maboya, DBE Deputy Director General: Curriculum Policy, Support and Monitoring, went through the major highlights for Programme 1 from April to June 2018:
• The Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill task team has to date had seven meetings and has made considerable progress in considering the public comments received.
• DBE had met with DPME and configure the 2018/19 APP on the new Electronic Quarterly Performance Reporting System (eQPRS) being implemented.
• Research Co-ordination, Monitoring and Evaluation (RCME) had attended to a Learner Transport Programme Evaluation where an implementation evaluation is currently underway. Survey instruments were designed and submitted on 29 May 2018 with a draft pilot report.
• There was an Early Grade Reading Study II in Mpumalanga with Grade 2 teachers participating in the study received learning and teaching support material, training and coaching.

Programme 2 aims to develop curriculum and assessment policies and monitor and support their implementation. There is currently an ongoing process of verification of the data. In terms of the monitoring, implementation plans are being developed and evaluation tools are being revised.

• In mathematics, science and technology, monitoring of lesson plans will be done in Q2 and Q3. Mediation of lesson plans to the subject committees. Also, on similar issues of monitoring, the department is trying to put in place systems that can strengthen data capture.

• To develop the curriculum and promote elearning the DBE facilitated and monitored North West, Limpopo and Northern Cape provinces on the implementation of the e-Library solution as well as the provision of ICT infrastructure through Vodacom in the North West and the provision of ICT infrastructure through Liquid Telecomms in the Free State.

• 5091 ECD practitioners have been targeted for training towards a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 4 ECD qualification. Northern Cape is the only province that does not have any practitioners in training this year due to budget constraints. Of the 42 000 ECD practitioners targeted to complete the on-line training programme on play-based learning, at the end of May 2018 a total of 30 768 had registered and 20 910 had completed the course.

• Monitoring of curriculum coverage was conducted in three lowest performing provinces: EC, KZN and LP. 79 schools monitored. In terms of inclusive education, 14 additional care centres were audited, bringing the total number of care centres audited to date to 234 of the 320 centres. 8 PEDs are in Phase 1 of the implementation of the LSPID Learning Programme.

• A number of Funza Lushaka bursaries were awarded to students enrolled for initial teacher education and a list of 13 408 students recommended for the Funza Lushaka bursary was approved.

• A Report on the monitoring of the implementation of the post-provisioning norms in PEDs, which details the findings of the assessment conducted in February and March, was finalised and approved in May 2018. 3234 young and qualified educators were appointed in the posts in PEDs of which 576 were permanent and 2 263 were temporary, and 394 were substitute/relief appointments. 79% (3 352 of 4 269) graduates eligible for placement in 2018 were placed in mid-June 2018. The rate of placement normally slows down after June each year.

• On the past performance of the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI), 207 Schools built using inappropriate materials have been replaced, 494 Schools provided with proper sanitation, 700 Schools provided with portable water and 372 Schools provided with electricity. Every single ASIDI project creates jobs and business opportunities for local contractors and professional service providers. The programme has created just over 33 000 jobs for the duration of the project cycle, since inception. On sanitation, an initial baseline of 741 projects has been increased to 992.

• Apropos the number of officials from districts that achieved below the national benchmark in the NSC participating in a mentoring programme, a visit to under-performing districts was made by the DDG as oversight of the work done by mentors and to identify areas of concern and the possibility to extend the mentoring to other provinces. Mentors that have served over the past three years have to be replaced by new mentors. The process of appointing mentors has to be established.

• On the 2017 NSC Examinations, remark results were released to candidates for the Supplementary Examinations of 2018. 93 338 candidates were registered for this examination and marks were captured and results have been processed and released. For the Senior Certificate Examination 2018, 164 306 candidates were registered for this examination and 1126 examination centres were registered.

• DBE carried out the annual evaluation of conditional grants: Education Infrastructure Grant (EIG), HIV and AIDS Life Skills Education Programme, Learners with Severe to Profound Intellectual Disability (LSPID), Maths, Science and Technology (MST) and National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) in keeping with the DoRA prescripts. It participated in the evaluation of Conditional Grants performance for 2017/18 in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. School performance on infrastructure, school funding and school furniture was also monitored.

• The best practices from the Schools that Work II report have been presented to the principals of under-performing primary and secondary schools in 17 clusters across 5 provinces. The best practices in the Schools that Work II report have been further packaged in a more user-friendly format in the form of policy briefs. 8 policy briefs were prepared and uploaded on the DBE website

Programme 5 aims to develop policies and programmes to improve the quality of learning in schools.
• A number of schools were monitored for the provision of nutritious meals, the reason being the need to increase the intensity of monitoring at the beginning of a new financial year and ensuring that when schools re-open (Term 2), the programme is effective in supporting teaching and learning.

• Provincial Advocacy and Mobilisation workshops on the HIV, STIs and TB Policy were conducted in NC, GP, NW and FS Province.

• Due to high public interest, the period for public comments on the draft National Policy on Learner Pregnancy was extended to 31 July 2018. 54 draft Life Orientation (LO) Scripted Lesson Plans for the Intermediate Phase & Further Education and Training were finalised for piloting in the third term.

• To promote safety in schools, activities were undertaken including National School Safety Framework (NSSF) Monitoring, and Anti-Gangsterism Strategy Implementation Plan, disaster risk management and measures against bullying, intimidation and threats against learners and teachers.

• Sponsorship and donations in support of the literacy intervention was delivered by the New Africa Education Foundation and its various partners. 7 schools were estimated to have benefited including 5881 learners. 186 books were distributed, all at a total cost of R 450 000.00.

Ms Ntsetsa Molalekoa, DBE CFO, spoke on the financial expenditure report.
The total Appropriation budget of the Department for 2018/19 amounts to R22.722 billion. 83% of the budget amounting to R18.953 billion is allocated to transfer payments:
Conditional Grants: R17.519 billion
Transfers to Public Entities: R144.9 million
Other Transfers: R1.289 billion
Compensation of Employees: R438.1 million
Examiners and Moderators: R26.7 million
Earmarked Funds: R1.205 billion
Office Accommodation: R197.4 million
Specifically and Exclusively Appropriated: R1.472 billion
Departmental Operations: R205.0 million
Departmental Projects: R225.2 million

The total actual expenditure of the Department for Quarter 1 amounts to R7.786 billion and R7.333 billion is made up of transfer payments. A number of tables were presented to demonstrate expenditure on programmes as a percentage of appropriation.

Discussion
Mr H Khosa (ANC) needed some clarity on the information reported and remarked that the presentation had been quite fast. He wanted to know from the department how issues like infrastructure, sanitation, libraries were prioritised. In addition, he wanted to know how the department is going to ensure that the provinces are going to be assisted.

Mr D Mnguni (ANC) took up a number issues he felt he had observed on various slides of the powerpoint presentation. On slide 5, a section on the majors highlights of the presentation, he wanted to know if the number of enrolled candidates included disabled learners. Do you have a funding model and an implementation of that process? Are you taking the lead? On slide 22, therapeutic and psychosocial support, do you have individual plans tailored to students? On slide 13, there were 42 posts available but 50 appointments made, what happened there? On slide 96, adding just a comment, he was concerned about expenditure on learners with profound intellectual disabilities.

Ms H Boshoff (DA) remarked on the outstanding lack of initiatives and infrastructure, where students and teachers were concerned about terrible conditions. She had a number of questions. She asked the speakers whether they had managed to see whether there has been an improvement in the quality of rural education? What has the outcome of initiative for unemployed youth been? We have seen agricultural schools are not working, there was an initiative in Bizo, what was this about? Which provinces are not on board with the IBD? What do we do with teachers that have not been placed? When will have a look at the second chance matrices for our disabled learners?

Ms J Basson (ANC) commented that the target for the first quarter was 35. She asked if the DBE could justify that? If the performance is so poor, how do you justify the 5% spending on support and monitoring? On those schools that have been monitored, are they well supported with equipment? The auditors published a negative report on ECT educators. They targeted the training 5091 new educators, how many of that target have you reached? Some provinces like the Northern Cape do not even have a target of educators to be trained. On the issue of underspending on monitoring, since there is a conditional grant, why is there such an injustice being done to those learners with profound intellectual disabilities?

Ms N Mokoto (ANC) remarked that the report has reflected a lot of improvements and that there were lots of issues that were raised last year that have since been attended to. She wanted to check some points however, first remarking that some of the provinces have a shortage of teachers. In addition, in the North West a lot of unemployed graduates are being urged away from teaching. On the issue of the underperformance of programme two, she maintained that that programme is a core function of the department. When she had visited schools she had found that the current teaching of a full curriculum is lacking. Learners are having teachers that are not competent enough. The department ought to placing more priority on improving quality of education. She expressed her disappointed in this programme.

She also requested a brief on infrastructure. Members had seen, for example, that schools lack sufficient sanitation, libraries or laboratories. How far ahead are we on this issue? There was also the issue of the discrepancy in the indicators. Programme 2 and 4 on the report do not, she felt, really give us an aligned indication of what is happening. What really happened there? What are the real total number of indicators on slide 9?

Ms C Majeke (UDM) remarked that students these days often carry weapons, especially knives and especially boys. How are boys getting these into school and what kind of deterrent can the department develop to prevent this? On parental involvement in schools and the education of their children, she wondered why there seems to be a problem of their not responding to what is happening.

The Chairperson highlighted some targets. Regarding milestones on schools progress, the department would need to look at this as soon as possible. It is indeed an annual target but it is a good thing to see the progress and it would be good to know what members can expect when they go out to schools.

On slide 85, she remarked that is was a general good that the DBE has partnerships to help the issue of reading and writing but looking at the numbers, what is it that is happening? On programme 2, on rural education as an initiative that cut across all the programmes, she expressed her hope to see issues of rural education feature in all the programmes across the department.
She added that we are used to having the initial payment to the institutions, but are there any other instruments that we have that can ensure that students enroll as soon as possible? Students are not getting fair treatment with regards to the allocation of their funding.

Mr Mweli thanked the members for their comments. He remarked that even if they had achieved 100% there would still be more to do. The department has set a high bar.

The budget of 22.7 billion has been allocated to the DBE only. What is under review is only this amount. The oversight visits might have picked up many issues but a lot of these have been dealt with.

On budgeting, almost 18.9 billion is for transfers. Almost 9 billion is for the education infrastructure grant. All 9 provinces have been granted an equitable grant. Teachers and learners are complaining that with the advent of the EIG, provinces over time reduced their grant for educational infrastructure. This conditional grants are for interim developments, not long term ones - they are for identifying particular needs at the time and responding to them. It is not the responsibility of the national government to budget, education is defined as a concurrent function shared between local and national government - it clarifies that this funding is dealt with at the local level.

The right questions have been posed around infrastructure. This 9 billion is insufficient to meet even the new infrastructure needs let alone to ensure that the DBE is on par in maintaining infrastructure. A percentage ought to be put aside for maintenance, if such funding had been put aside money would have been saved in the long run. The treasury ought to ensure that provincial treasuries spend money on infrastructure, in keeping with what is expected. This burden has now been placed on the DBE to ensure that schools are developed properly. This funding should be used for intervention usually.

Regarding agricultural schools, the establishment and running of those schools used to happen within the department of agriculture. Mr Mweli had seen the continued deterioration of the infrastructure in those schools, and felt that there was a need to bring them back and place them on the radar of government. All the focused schools including art and medical schools need to come on aboard and be dealt with sufficiently.

On co-operative governance, there is a relationships with PEDS but this relationship needs to be extended to other departments - the DBE has not done well. The president has requested that the education and health ministers go to the provincial council. A presentation has been prepared to raise those issues that need to be addressed.

On performance in grants like MSG or learners with intellectual disabilities - the DBE has to do better. However, it is still the first quarter - though it is better to show improvement in this first quarter.

Regarding improvements in reading in Kumalang, there was data that indicated progress on the implementation of norms for reading. There are standards at each level that students are expected to reach. The committee can be provided with information of this sort.

On the negative audit report on ECD indicators, in terms of the training of ECD practitioners there is a target - an update for each of the nine provinces could be provided.

Regarding printing of books, the DBE web books for 2019. They are being printed for distribution now, with a deadline in October. The DBE will deal with shortages at the beginning of the year. Volume one web books have all been printed and are ready for distribution. After October they are only dealing with shortages because numbers of students may increase.

On the shortages of maths and science teachers, officials have repeatedly said that we do not have absolute shortages but rather relative shortages. There might be shortages then and there but there are no acute shortages that there have been before. There is an oversupply in some areas but shortages in other areas. Shortages are not so bad that the DBE has to hire untrained teachers to teach in lieu of trained ones. Mr Mweli asked if it were not a good idea to have a central appointing office to distribute teachers according to needs?

Regarding labs, the DBE is providing lab kits (Mobile labs or science kits). These mobile units go where learners are. This is also the case with mobile libraries. All these facilities are brought to the classrooms.

Schools are a microcosm of civil society. Mr Mweli had had a meeting with the national commissioner. Random searches could be integrated at the local level. There is, he thinks, a disintegration of the moral fibre of society where parents ought not to think their responsibility ends when they hand over their children to educators. He appealed to the committee to help address this issue. Children as young as age six know what to do when they hear the sound of a bullet, falling down and covering - psychologically when would those learners be prepared to actually be educated? This is a broader issue than education. We need help from the government.

Rural education cuts across all the DBE’s initiatives. A directorate was created to show that there was mainstreaming of rural education. Every line function must have the responsibility to contribute towards meeting the needs of types of education.

The Chairperson noted that the speaker could not comment on everything raised, but on the issue of conditional grants, remarked that the DBE does sleep on duty. That money must be utilised and implement to where it is supposed to go. That accountability is not presently there. She asked what the office’s role is when it comes to accountability? The DBE and the Portfolio Committee need to ensure that they do not merely sit and lament inaction. What is stopping them from managing and monitoring that this grant is being utilised properly?

On ECD practitioners, she remarked that it was said that all the provinces have targets - this is not a full and proper response - what are we getting out of these targets? She asked for expansion, for more than saying that they just have targets.

Similarly, regarding books, when we talk about issues of retrieval there are so many new measures being introduced like technical subjects and teachers are not getting these books and so are not able to properly teach. In this respect it is one thing to enhance our education but another to ensure that these books are on a catalog and are available to be distributed and referenced. The catalog needs to be more comprehensive and broadly distributed.

Mr Mweli restated that it helps to continually improve their monitoring. He indicated to the chairperson that technical maths and science textbooks were introduced only three years ago. The catalog was instated only in 2012 so these books would not be advertised sufficiently yet. We are due for a new catalog and they will be provided for in it. His reference to targets responded to the question about training targets. They can provide specific information about which provinces are performing if the committee requests it. There are conditions attached to each of the grants. Deviations are transgressions.

Dr Mamiki Maboya, DDG for Curriculum Policy, Support and Monitoring, stated that with regards to early grade reading, there is also an early grade reading study that has been conducted by the DBE that has looked into the effectiveness of reading interventions. They reinforced that there has been an improvement with regard to reading proficiency. It would be possible to share this.

On the rural assistant project in three provinces including Eastern Cape and Limpopo, 750 assistants have been placed into schools. These placements are being monitored.

Eight provinces are on board with regard to grants for learning disabilities. The Eastern Cape is not onboard because there is a challenge with staff turnover and there is no director for this programme yet. They are in contact.

On the second chance matric challenge, the DBE has not been very good with advocacy. They are trying to target all the learners who would not have had access to this programme before.

The DBE wishes to position the department within the broader land reform policy in the country. Education is central to this initiative and stakeholders were brought together to ensure that all groups had a shared pathway.

In terms of monitoring the multi-grade tool kit in the first quarter, this target was not reached. It is a new indicator but it has informed the department that rural education cannot be treated in isolation. Every programme in the branch should have rural education integrated into it. It should find expression. A target of 70 schools should be reached by the second quarter.

Regarding the training of ECD practitioners, data has indicated that 21196 practitioners have completed their NQF level training, this data comes from the national training authority. This is part of a broader programme to strengthen training levels. There is a new programme that focuses on electronic teaching too.

The DBE has to look into the issue of LTSM. Technical subjects are relatively new so care had to be taken to produce quality textbooks. Provinces were asked to provide their rollout plans and this will be followed up on.

On expenditure the chief director has indicated in the main that there are two big expenditures.
Regarding second chance, there is a lot of improvement and already expenditure to that effect is being realised.

On underperformance with regard to rural education, there is an ongoing consultation process. It was not wise to take out initiatives that are still presently undergoing consultation processes. In May, initiatives were not improved so they had to be taken back and re-examined.

Mr Paddy Padayachee, DDG: Planning, Information and Assessment, responded to Mr Mnguni who had asked about slide 5, stating that those numbers do include those disabled learners.

Dr Granville Whittle (Care and Support Services, and Acting: Teachers, HR and Institutional Development) noted that last year there was a placement rate of 92%, this year 80%. These teachers automatically go onto the underemployed teaching register. Employment is provided to most of the teachers but there is an oversupply and the nature of education that is being provided needs to be erased. In SA the DBE is quite able to retain our teachers quite well. On the percentage rate of teacher turnover, SA is 3%. Most teachers who do leave, leave within the first five years. There is a departmental induction course to help retain those teachers. FUNZA was over scribed last year, the demand for teaching jobs is improving.

Regarding conversion of people with a basic bachelors to enter teaching there is the PGC. If you have two specialisations then that allows you to take this postgraduate course and will permit you to come in and teach.

FUNZA payments to students are facing difficulties. Greater efficiency is been worked on. An electronic system is being developed to help monitor this. When students change programme, they are often taken off FUNZA. The view is that we should approve once for the three years. Students do not need to be re-approved.

There is a problem around boys in SA. Boys drop out more than girls and girls outcompete boys except in maths and science. New HIV infections in girls are being curbed, they are still high but are slowing. However with boys it is increasing. We need to understand all this. In the last 30 years the focus on girls has come at the expense of the boys, but now a balance needs to be made to focus more on boys falling behind.

Ms Boshoff asked, regarding FUNZA, how many of these students do get qualified in remedial education?

Mr Mnguni remarked that he had not yet had all of his questions answered.

Dr Whittle replied that the department did not have the figures at the moment, however with disabled students we should be able to provide those details to Ms Boshoff.

Dr Maboya replied about the APP targets, saying there is a bi-annual target. We will put footnotes in place in future.

Ms Molalekoa replied there is an annual allocation grant, the DBE does not have to budget an additional allocation for maintenance. She referred to slide 96, where it was shown that earmarked funds are requested, including books. There are three items for additional grants; maths and science, nutrition and more generally for learners. It is not for implementation of the programme. On learner disability, transferences are generally made quarterly and sometimes case by case. Details can be given if the committee requires.

Mr Mweli added that planning is co-ordinated through the department for planning. The DBE has a subcommittee of Epcom called strategical planning where most of the co-ordination is done. On whether disabled learners are assessed individually, they are and the DBE provide plans to support each one of them. On the advertisement of posts, the discrepancy is due to those posts being filled in the previous fourth quarter.

Dr Mamiki stated that apropos of the grant for learners with disability, most are found in centres belonging to the department of health. There was a court case in the western cape regarding these learners who have not had access to education. We are not aware of the systems being used by the department of health - they ought to comply with the DBE’s methods for providing support.

Ms Mokoto wanted clarity as what this grant is about - is it about training teachers or training learners? The Chairperson also asked for an expansion.

Dr Mamiki responded that the grant covers a number of areas. We have outreach teams of professionals including psychologists and workers who provide services as well as training staff to provide the same support in their absence.

Mr Josiah Baganzi, Auditor General SA Senior Manager, commented that AGSA has found that most issues concerned the utilisation of this grant.

Ms Majeke recounted that when her generation were growing up their parents were very involved in their upbringing, despite the then department’s lack of involvement then. Parents cared for their children’s education. What was be done to ensure parents get more involved as they were before?

Ms Mokoto stated that on infrastructure, on sanitation, members received a report that indicated sanitation was an area where the department seemed to be performing well at the beginning of the year. What is the way forward on this issue? She stated that many schools are dilapidated by lack of maintenance. Also, is there an opportunity to receive updates on progress towards achieving the SDG, members want to understand what has been done towards moving towards achievement of SDG goals.

Ms Basson noted again the challenge of learner transportation and asked whose problem that would be. Would it be an issue for the Department of Transport?

Ms Boshoff asked about the BELA bill, would there be a report on that? In addition, would there be a report on regulations on boarding facilities at special need schools?

Mr Mnguni referred to slide 86, and stated the members needed specific numbers on the facilitation of partnerships on literacy intervention. On initiation, is there any way the department can enforce this? Especially with regards to students attending school.

Mr Khosa asked about deep rural areas without qualified teachers and what strategies there are to ensure that the department can attract new teachers in these areas. Some teachers could not qualify for admission but nonetheless ended up as assistants.

Mr S Botes (ANC) discussed the role of the virtual mathematics programme, HeyMaths, imported from India. Provinces have not made significant forward movement as a result of these additional offerings. On these offerings, is there a common certification tool? At what stage does the national department of education adopt a ‘big brother’ mentality for appointment? At what stage do we prevent provinces from implementing changes that are counter to quality education?

The Chairperson asked where the conditional grant for learner transport was? Are you still engaging with the treasury to ensure its rolling out?

Mr Mweli replied that learner transport is a growing service, but the worry is the disproportionate growth of the need. There are suspected inefficiencies e.g. where learners are transported directly from their homes - taxpayers seem to be funding the choices of students, not needs - they chose to forgo local schools to go to ones further away. Since 1994 the Government has delivered an unprecedented number of schools. They should reduce the need for learner transport since they are built in communities where access before would have been difficult.

Organised labour contested the 1 + 4 programme, there are strategies that are still underway to continue development.

NCOP should be concerned with these oversight issues. There is a lever to intervene but it is not strong enough. Existing structures mean that if provinces do not comply, excessive bureaucracy prevents meaningful intervention. It is as if the minister finds herself amongst a forum of equals, since that is the nature of the relationship outlined in the constitution.

HeyMaths was hailed as the best programme for improving participation and performance in maths. In Limpopo, where it was implemented, it leads the whole country. HeyMaths has actually seemed to have promoted developments. We need a mechanism for protecting schools and learners, we need to protect schools.

DBE has a strategy in place to attract learners from rural areas. It is no longer recruiting from provinces, learners must also be drawn from rural areas. It is using TEACHSA, an NGO, to help recruit well-qualified individuals and link them to institutions where they can be best utilised.

On teaching assistants, the DBE is creating a pipeline to join the teaching profession. Regarding estimated figures, Mr Mnguni will be given precise figures in future. Initiation in schools, is illegal and is outlawed.

On the BELA bill, there have been an unprecedented number of submissions. The team is still analysing public comments. Mr Mweli remarked that he would like to come and present on these issues at a later date.

Learner transport has been moved to the Department of Basic Education.

Details on the sanitation programme can be presented if wished. The report was presented to the President. It includes an audit and a costed plan.

On SDG 4, the DBE just started implementing since last year. Report would not yet be available.

With regards to parental responsibility, he felt that the more educated people become the more they relinquish their availability as parents. Public representatives should go on a big public advocacy campaign including parental involvement to develop this sense of responsibility. There is a need to promote participation in civil society more generally.

A DBE Chief Director added that there is an ongoing review of the entire programme. The issue of the conditional grant is not a silver bullet towards solving the challenges of learner transport. There will be a draft final report in the next two weeks. Decision will be made on the basis of recommendations in that report - that extends to issues of funding. But the grant will not solve all the problems so we are looking at the totality.

Schools affected by social unrest, there is a serious challenge. In North-West nine schools were burnt in the last year, as well as others in other provinces. Some communities say that if we want a new school we have to burn the old one. Temporary accommodation will be provided but burnt schools should not be given priority in order to dissuade these communities in future.

Mr Mweli added that he should say that the DBE will not rebuild intentionally burnt schools and thereby condone arson. These schools are often burnt on issues irrelevant to education. Schools must raise funds for rebuilding on their own.

Mr Mnguni added that the government should also be strengthening law enforcement. A bill states that destruction of structures should resort in 30 years imprisonment.

The Committee adopted the minutes of 28 August 2018 and the meeting was adjourned.

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