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EDUCATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE MEETING
16 September 2003
SCHOOL ENRICHMENT PROGRAMMES: BRIEFING
Chairperson: Prof S Mayatula
Documents handed out:
School Enrichment Programme
The Committee was briefed on the activities and plans of the School Enrichment Programmes in Sports, Arts and Culture, which was established in October 2002.
School Enrichment Programmes
Mr Philip Mnisi, Director of School Enrichment (SE) Programmes: Sports, Arts & Culture, said that his unit was established in October 2002 in the division of Quality Promotion and Development. This division dealt with a range of issues from HIV/AIDS to school nutrition, as well as having the following specific programmes: values in education; gender equity; promotion of safety; whole school and systemic evaluation, and school enrichment.
All these programmes were skewed towards disadvantaged areas. An audit of sports, arts and culture facilities and resources would measure facilities not only available in schools, but in related communities and also in neighbouring schools and communities.
Mr Mnisi reported that provincial governments would give and had given input on the projects of the School Enrichment Programme, which is why some projects would be relevant to three or four provinces only.
The tradition of "amasiko" was not well understood by learners. The media had described it as "virginity testing", hence the need for this project.
Schools' Ballgames was a project under discussion, with the United Sports Associations of SA (USASA) and the Department as initial partners.
Life Orientation educator support would be in the form of resources for the Foundation and Intermediate Phases, as well as the first few years of the Senior Phase, i.e. almost the complete General Education and Training band.
Also under discussion were the Daimler Chrysler Art Exhibition for learners that would be held in Gauteng and the Western Cape in March/April 2004, a joint project with Germany.
The schools' sport strategy and a framework for sharing sporting facilities driven by the need for co-ordination in the events calendar to minimise disruption to teaching and the lack of or unsatisfactory sharing arrangements for sports facilities. These resources had been identified and were currently being refined.
Ms Mentoor (ANC) said that a step forward had been taken to make schools centres for community development and to make clusters of schools share facilities. Youth should be given the opportunity to participate internationally in music, art, culture and sport. The Committee had visited a Learners with Special Educational Needs (LSEN) centre in Gauteng, a model of its kind, whose learners had won gold medals in international competitions. She also asked whether school sports budgets favoured males.
The accountability of USASA should be examined. There had been problems because it retained much of the culture of "coloured affairs" of which it had previously been a division. Learners had been asked to match its financial contributions before participating in its programmes, which had effectively denied them access.
Mr SS Ripinga (ANC) asked for the time frame for the legislative framework for school sport. She also asked what efforts the Schools Enrichment Programme putting into supporting good educators so that the latter could improvise when resources were lacking.
Mr RS Ntuli (DA) was concerned about co-ordination of programmes at district level where resources were lacking. He wanted to know how "hijacking" of funds for unrelated purposes would be prevented.
Ms P Mnandi (ANC) said she was aware of learners who were unable to participate in sport because they could not afford fees, and wanted to know how the Department would rectify this. She also asked for more details and timeframes of the Transnet Multipurpose Centres, and how the Department would ensure that facilities were shared, given that some School Governing Bodies were a problem.
Mr Mnisi said that he had noted the comments and would take some questions back to his division. They were looking at facilitating youth participation in international competitions and through the curriculum and formal entry into further study abroad. The success of SA Music Week had been downplayed - so much talent had been displayed there that some learners would be playing at the Heritage Week celebrations.
USASA had agreed not to make learners pay to participate in school sport in future.
Special attention would be paid to Gauteng's model LSEN centre in the audit of resources.
He agreed that gender should be closely examined. The North West had taken a lead and had organised a girls' soccer tournament in Rustenburg. A national competition was also likely. Girls' soccer would be highlighted in the School Ballgames of 2004.
There was already a draft legislative framework for the sharing of sport facilities for discussion at an upcoming meeting between the Ministers of Education and Sport and Recreation. The audit would also facilitate the drafting of the guidelines in the legislative framework to ensure that it happened. Mr T Mseleku, Director-General of the Department of Education, had been meeting with the Director-General of Sport and Recreation. The Sports Commission was now being integrated into Sport SA and this had delayed the process, but there would be a discussion document before the end of 2003.
Project funding was drawn from conditional grants, which meant that it was earmarked and could not be used for other purposes, as was also the case with supplementary finance from international donors.
The Transnet Multipurpose Centre would target the nodal areas - critical under-resourced areas - identified in President Mbeki's address when opening Parliament in 2002
Training of educators was always the first phase in implementing education programmes. Mr Ripinga said Mr Mnisi appeared to be talking about short courses while he was advocating a programme that trained educators in Arts & Culture and Sport as there was a backlog in these areas. Teacher development was a huge challenge. Arts & Culture and physical education linked to teacher supply and part of the ongoing discussions centred around provision. There should also be clear agreements between teachers and their unions, as sport was an extra-curricular activity in some cases and a core activity in others.
Ms M Olckers (NNP) said that 5 years ago, the Department had retrenched thousands of teachers and Arts & Culture had suffered, and sport less so because it was considered that any teacher could teach it. She queried the point of training Arts & Culture teachers if there was no post provisioning for them.
Mr Hennie Aucamp asked how choir competitions and Eisteddfods would fit into the calendar as these had caused problems in KwaZulu-Natal. He asked about policy re privatising sports education.
Mr S Mayatula congratulated the Department on the performance of the SA Under-12 soccer team.
Mr Mseluku said that the Department was clear that its main aim was to ensure learning and teaching. Last year, extra-curricular programmes, especially in music, had interfered with this and the calendar intended to prevent this. The SA Onderwysers Unie and the SA Democratic Teachers Union had both organised soccer tournaments, but not all learners could participate because dues had to be paid. This answered the question about privatisation - any such programmes were private programmes that should be paid for, and could not be considered school programmes.
To Ms Olckers, Mr Mseleku said that in 1995, Arts & Culture was not part of the school curriculum but now it was and therefore part of post provisioning. The same applied to Sport.
Ms Mentoor asked who was liable if a learner was injured in an activity organised by the school, but not the Department. Mr Mseleku said that it was because the Department was responsible that control was needed.
The meeting was adjourned.
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