School Safety measures: Western Cape Education Department briefing

Education (WCPP)

13 August 2019
Chairperson: Ms L Botha (DA)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee was told that the Western Cape Education Department’s (WCED’s) mandate of teaching and learning was to provide learners with the best opportunities possible. Although fighting crime was not part of its the mandate, it could not step aside as it needed to protect learners and staff. The WCED had spent R32 million on safety. If safety improved, these funds could be used in much needed other areas of the Department. Violence and crime in schools showed the moral decay in communities, and everyone needed to form part of addressing this issue.

In its presentation on safety and safety measures in schools across the province, the WCED expressed concern regarding budget restraints. Its programmes fell into different categories and had different stakeholders, ranging range from youth development to community engagement and working with local law enforcement and neighbourhood watches to increase safety. It highlighted new fencing it had invested in at various schools, and access control measures in certain areas had already resulted in improvements. Holiday security and holiday programmes for learners were also making a positive impact not only on learners, but also in curbing vandalism and security breaches after school hours.

The Department described its “resilience scorecard” which was used to classify schools according to their safety risk, and said that there were 455 high risk schools in the province. Efforts to ensure physical security at schools included access control via motorised gates and new fences. The use of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at schools had been effective, and the WCED was in negotiations with the City of Cape Town to expand this project.  It implored Committee Members to mobilise their constituents so that communities took ownership of schools and their issues.

Some Members expressed skepticism over the WCED’s claim that unsafe environments produced unsafe schools. They asked if schools were really safe, despite spending R32m on safety features. It was asserted that the turnaround time for dealing with emergencies by the Safe Schools Call Centre was too long, and that this needed attention. The Committee was also concerned that despite having safety committees, funding and fences, that there had been limited improvement in safety at schools.

The Committee agreed that a further discussion on school safety should be arranged, involving the

Departments of Education, Social Development and Arts, Culture and Sports, and that the provincial South African Police Service (SAPS) and the umbrella school governing body organisation should also be invited so that all parties involved could address the issue.

 

Meeting report

Safety and Violence in Schools: WCED briefing

Mr Archie Lewis, Deputy-Director General: Western Cape Education Department (WCED), said that the presentation would be done in four sections and that various Members of his delegation would handle different sections. It would all form one presentation. The role of ensuring safety was a supporting and enabling role in the WCED. Safety and security contributed to the vision of the Department, which was quality education for all students in the province. Safety depended on institutional management.

He explained the safety structure of the WCED. There were four rural districts, four located in the metro. In each district there was a safe schools coordinator, supported by safe school fieldworkers. There were 25 fieldworkers across the districts who not equally distributed, but distributed according to need. Some districts had even been allocated an after-school safety fieldworker.

Each school had to have a Student Governing Body (SGB), and that this body consisted of various stakeholders. He listed the stakeholders as:

  • School safety officer
  • School management team
  • Parents (SGB and co-opted)
  • Faith-based organisations
  • Sport bodies
  • Local business
  • Local South African Police Service (SAPS) official linked to the school
  • City of Cape Town (Law Enforcement or Metro Police)
  • Community Policing Forum
  • Neighbourhood Watch
  • Local government
  • Community organizations.

Cluster committees of districts also existed, based on a geographical grouping of school safety committees. These clusters were responsible for arranging joint workshops and programmes; formulating cluster safety plans; monitoring school programmes; liaising with the WCED on recommendations; creating a constitution; and formulating developmental plans.

He said crime took place only under certain conditions. The WCED had created a model which explained these conditions and formed part of the prevention model -- the “three spheres” convergence crime prevention model. The three spheres were the offender, the vulnerable victim and an unsafe environment. It was where these three spheres intersected that a crime happened. He used the example of bullying to describe the model. He said that the chances of bullying were very likely in an unsafe environment. If there were not ground patrollers during school break times, then bullying was more likely to occur.

Mr Lewis moved on to explain the Safe School Strategy. He described this strategy as three-pronged, and that the measures were reactive instead of proactive. The strategy consisted of environmental programmes which were focused on environmental modification. This included the installation of security alarms, fencing, wiring and signs. The second aspect was behavioral programmes These focused on attitudinal and behavioral changes in schools. They included education and learner training in conflict management, trauma counselling, entrepreneurial training, cultural activities and intervention with troubled learners. The third facet was systems programmes This focused on development and relationships with the larger community in which the school was situated. The motivation for this was for effective partnerships between the WCED and communities.

The Safe School objectives were linked to five programme areas. Social ills had a great impact on school safety, as schools did not function in isolation. The programmes aimed to:

  • Ensure safe and secure mechanisms at school;
  • Enhance school safety management systems;
  • Facilitate appropriate law enforcement;
  • Build a cohesive school-community culture which was located in a community-orientated problem-solving approach;
  • Lmit substance abuse.

Referring to crime control, he said there were 455 high risk schools in the Western Cape. Crime control was based on a nine-point plan, which could be described in detail if Members wanted more information.

With regard to holiday security plans, in high risk schools security was employed over the holidays. This was done at a big cost to the WCED, however. There was a tradeoff between repairing damage and security costs. The six core projects of the safer schools initiative were:

  • Access control in schools;
  • Forming part of the National School Safety Framework;
  • Ensuring occupational health and safety for teachers;
  • Drug testing and search and seizures;
  • Creative and constrictive approaches, and peer mediation;
  • Anti-bullying;
  • Youth development.

On the topic of anti-bullying, he commented that this project stretched across various sections in the WCED, and that the WCED worked with social workers and psychologists.  It viewed bullying as a very serious issue. 

In the area of youth development, the WCED had different programmes running at the schools. These were focused on:

  • Empowering learners to deal with various problems, including sexual abuse, teenage pregnancies, violence, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS;
  • Learners gaining knowledge and skills through diversion programmes, life skills, sports, arts and cultural activities;
  • Exposing learners to different kinds of information that assist them to make informed decisions;
  • Giving learners the opportunity to acquire leadership and strategic planning skills, through organising and running youth clubs and participating in after-school programmes;
  • At risk learners being able to be involved in discussions and social activities with peers in an environment that encourages positive thinking and constructive behaviour and discourages self-destructive attitudes;
  • Outreach to communities through integrated holiday programmes;
  • A positive influence on learners and communities;
  • Creating opportunities for growth and development.

Mr Lewis said that he hoped the efforts of the WCED reached beyond the school walls and into communities. The Department wanted communities to take ownership of schools and their issues. If this was done, then the battle was half won. There was also a detailed Learner Attendance Policy, and he could elaborate if the Committee wanted more information.

Mr Oscar Apollis, Safe Schools Provincial Manager: WCED, said that the Safe Schools Call Centre (SSCC) was manned by five persons who could speak English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa. On a weekly basis, this centre was represented at the transport management centre (TMC), where all emergency services were situated. The SSCC served as a coordinating centre from which referrals were made to appropriate agencies and from which vital information was disseminated to the relevant parties. Callers received online debriefing in crisis calls, and in non-crisis calls; they were directed where necessary to the counselling agencies of the WCED, non-governmental agencies and community-based organisations. The SSCC operated from 07:30 until 16:00 on Mondays to Fridays. The main reporting categories were abuse, school crimes such as vandalism and emergency crises, as well as general queries. The SSCC was also toll-free. He read out the statistics provided in the presentation to Members, commenting that the SSCC was not about data capturing, but that it was useful to have information to help in shaping programmes.

Mr Lewis reiterated the presentation statistics, and referred to the various external partnerships the WCED had: 

  • The Department of Community Safety, which provides advice on implementation strategies and also conducts safety and security risk assessments;
  • The City of Cape Town, which deploys school resource officers to 53 schools;
  • The SAPS, which shapes protocol and sector policing; and
  • The Provincial Disaster Management Centre, which coordinates all disaster incidents within the province.

Mr Apollis said the Resilience Scorecard was a document which had been produced after a safety summit in 2018. Before the summit, different departments had used different classifications of risk when referring to schools. The summit enabled the creation of the score card so that all departments could use the same criteria. The scorecard was based on risk and underpinned by four pillars:

  • Physical security (access control policies);
  • School governance and leadership (vision of school leadership, school governing body);
  • Ownership of the space (parents and learners taking ownership);
  • WOSA protection of the space (policing forum, community watch etc).

The WCED was working on automating the system, and that this would help circuit managers to identify gaps in the system.

Mr Lewis said that the provincial steering committee’s focus for Strategic Goal 2 (PSG2) was on oversight in the province.

Ms Warda Conrad, Director: Business Strategy and Stakeholder Management, WCED, said that the inter-ministerial committee had moved beyond the PSG2, and on to community safety. The PSG2 steering committee had raised the importance of school safety and invited community safety representatives – Mr Gideon Morris, Head of Department (HOD) and the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) -- to attend and respond to particular questions on safety at schools. This had evolved to a point where discussions and engagements were so involved and often confidential, that it had been moved out of the PSG2 Steering Committee. The Inter-Ministerial Safety Committee had thus been formed, and leading from that had come the Priority Committee on School Safety.

Mr Alan Meyer, Chief Director: Districts, WCED, said that the committee on school safety met on a monthly basis, and representatives from SAPS, Correctional Services, the City of Cape Town, National Police Intelligence and SAPS’s legal services were present. This meeting took place after the anti-gang strategy meeting, and its purpose was to coordinate projects.

The WCED was working with the Priority Committee on School Safety, whose goals were to develop a behavioral change campaign to create awareness among all concerned, and address the safety and security challenges at schools collaboratively within all WC government departments. It had approved a server-based electronic risk self-assessment tool, which had been prepared in partnership with the Department of Community Safety to be completed by schools, and had been developed with the aim of classifying schools according their risk rating -- high, medium or low. High risk schools got more visits in comparison to a lower risk schools, and formal reports were submitted on a monthly basis. SAPS also provided statistics on crime in these areas. There had been a case in Khayelitsha where a school had been robbed of tablets, and the WCED had deployed someone to the court case to talk about the impact of the robbery on the Department and the functioning of the school. In that case, the magistrate had handed out a full sentence.

Mr Lewis said the mandate of teaching and learning was to provide learners with the best opportunity possible. To fight crime was not the mandate of the WCED, but the Department could not step aside as it needed to protect learners and staff. The WCED had spent R32 million on safety. If safety improved, these funds could be used in much needed other areas of the Department. Violence and crime in schools showed the moral decay in communities, and everyone needed to form part of addressing this issue.

Discussion

Mr G Bosman (DA) asked how the lack of police resources affected school safety in the province. How was the access policy for schools determined? Were records kept of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on school safety in the province?

Mr F Christians (ACDP) agreed that safety was not the core job of the WCED, but learners could not excel if they were not safe. In 2019 there had been 70 stabbings in the first term, and residents of Hanover Park Primary School had reported that their school was full of bullets. Residents wanted safety from the Department. The WCED had reported 455 high risk schools in the province, and he wanted to know what access control measures had been put in place to ensure that students did not take weapons, specifically knives, into schools. He asserted that despite the safety committees’ existence, learners were not safe. He was familiar with the WOSA approach employed by the WCED, and that R32 million had been spent on safety, but questioned if this approach and expense had resulted in any improvement in learner safety over the past year. Although much money had been spent on fencing and alarms at schools across the province, were they better off and had this shown any improvement in conditions at the schools?

Mr M Sayed (ANC) asked if school safety committees were functional, and what the role of metro police was in school safety. He referred to the first meeting the WCED and the Committee the previous week, where the case of the school in Khayelitsha where tablets had been stolen had been discussed. Consultation between the WCED and the school prior to the theft had raised issues of lack of surveillance, but nothing had been done by the Department. It was only after the theft that appropriate safety measures had been installed. He asked what mechanisms were in place to make sure that complaints were listen to by officials and that action was taken. What were the consequences for officials who failed to take action?

He said he noticed that there had been no mention of sexual violence and gender-based violence at schools. He asked for this to be explained, and wanted to know what mechanisms were in place to deal with these issues. Substance abuse was rampant in schools, and added to violence levels in and outside the schools. Had the WCED had done an assessment on the number of shebeens near schools and in poor and working-class communities? Could the WCED engage with the government to find a solution to end this problem?

He said the sale of alcohol at school fundraising events was problematic. How was the Department mitigating the risk factors? In poor and working-class communities, the selling of alcohol at school events often led to drunken fights, damage to school property and student assaults. How would the Department deal with this?

Mr R Allen (DA) said he was glad that there were safety committees in each school. He asked if the WCED monitored these committees. What was the turnaround time when a school reported a crime to the WCED’s toll-free line? In the June holiday, there had been eight break-ins at a school in Mitchells Plain. How could the WCED introduce innovation and increase its effectiveness? How could schools be made safer and more secure without making them look like prisons? How many safe school workers were employed by the WCED? On the topic of holiday security, he asked what measures were being taken to ensure that schools were ‘burglar proof,’ or how burglaries could be mitigated. What were the criteria for classifying a school as a high-risk school? He asked if the inter-ministerial safety school committee’s minutes could be provided to the Education Committee.

WCED’s response

Mr Lewis said some questions did not fall within the mandate of the WCED. If SAPS were present, they could speak to the problem of resource deployment. From media reports, he knew that a lack of staffing at SAPS was a problem for the province.

Some of the problems faced in schools could be fixed with legislation, and the Committee had the powers to do so. Legislation existed which forced shebeens to have licences. This was done via a public process, where members of the community could object if they did not want a shebeen to be opened. However, there was a problem in that many shebeens were not licensed. The Department could only raise complaints about this and try to keep learners safe, but could not do anything about this problem.

The safety measures sometimes resulted in a temporary improvement, but it would then revert to no improvement. The safety issue was bigger than the schooling system. Unemployment was at 29% and the economy was in trouble, and if these societal issues were not addressed, safety would not improve, as crime was the symptom of a bigger issue. What communities needed was a collective and integrated approach to deal with criminality which spilled over into the schools. This was why school safety measures must be continued.

Mr Meyer said that the involvement of SAPS had had a significant impact on the system. There were 27 high risk stations concerned with gang activity, of which 23 were found within the Cape Town metro area. These stations included Steenberg and Lavender Hill. Police resources were called specifically to those areas. This helped in cases where ambulances were escorted to schools. SAPS and the WCED worked closely together, and there was regular liaison between the two groups. In recent weeks, the army had been bought in to assist on the Cape Flats. This showed the reality of resource constraints in the high-risk areas. The WCED also worked closely with the metro police, as well as neighbourhood watches. These watches helped in providing access control at schools. In the case of Levana Primary School, the principal had worked closely with the community. An example of this was when a new library had been opened at the school recently. The community had provided safety for the event.

He would like to believe that the WCED was better off. Learners had called the new fencing ‘bullet proof’ because it was clear view fencing. There were situations where community members stole fences. Fencing had been allocated to an additional 60 schools in an attempt to ensure their physical security. Schools in Khayelitsha had been provided with an extra R1.5m for gates, closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and fences. These security features had been placed at strategic points, such as gates and administration buildings. However, when the WCED had visited some schools, it had been found that gates were left open. This concern was being addressed via safety committees. The WCED was working on ensuring that alarms within schools were linked to city emergency response services for immediate reaction. He added that the WCED works closely with the Department of Community Safety.

Regarding thefts over school holidays, the WCED had launched an initiative which Mr Meyer described as a ‘game changer’. This initiative involved activities after school hours at schools, where neighbourhood watches were present.

He said that the Blomvlei Primary School was a problem was because the court opposite the school was known for gang activity. The WCED was working on moving the entrance of the school away from the court.

Mr Apollis said there could not be safe schools in unsafe environments. Given the amount of crime, the Committee should not be surprised at the increase of violence in schools. What happened in the communities often flowed into the schools. He explained a case in Outshoorn where parents had taken sides over problems, which had ended in learners stabbing each other. When looking at violence in schools, context was very important. In the case of Levana, parents taking ownership of issues had increased the school’s safety.

There was an operating plan regarding access control. The first step was to put up perimeter fencing. This had helped with incidents of trespassing in Manenberg. The school governing bodies (SGBs) of schools and school safety committees had to oversee the erection of fences and access control at schools. Signage had also been put up at schools to show what was allowed and what not, such as weapons and substances. All schools had to list stakeholders such as NGOs in their school safety plans. However, these plans needed to be audited.  There was a list of stakeholders involved at schools, along with their contact numbers.

On the question of turnaround times, funds could not be allocated immediately as there were processes involved when funds were requested after a call had been logged. The time for this decision to be made was about one week, during which time security measures were implemented until the problem had been addressed.

Mr Meyer said that a new school in Delft had been built and would open in January 2020. However, the community had threatened to burn the school down if local security firms were not used. This placed immense pressure on the WCED as budget was restrained and the cost of private security was high.

Mr Apollis referred to holiday security, and said that two weeks before the holidays started, principals had to complete a safety checklist. This included questions such as whether valuables had been removed from classrooms and locked in the safe. It was unfair of Mr Sayed to say that no action had been taken in the case of the school in Khayelitsha, as the WCED had arranged a summit to address the issues of the school, but only one-third of the interested parties had attended. The WCED could only work if the communities worked with them. 

Dr Sigamoney Naicker, Chief Director: Inclusive Education and Special Programmes, WCED, said the Depoartment had an abuse protocol in place, but not a specific sexual violence strategy. It also provided guidelines to teachers and had dedicated social workers and psychologists.

Regarding innovation, there had been a strategic review on safe schools some time ago. The WCED was trying to understand how society was changing, which created the conditions which caused problems in schools. Bonteheuwel was a case study where the WCED was trying to understand the community environment in order to adopt new strategies in the schools for better safety. There were a few schools in Khayelitsha that were linked to the Transportation Management Centre, which provides an immediate response to alarms. The WCED always had to have a dynamic approach.

Further discussion

The Chairperson asked how many safety fieldworkers the WCED employed.

Mr Lewis said that 25 safety workers were deployed in the province, of which 15 were based in the metro and 10 in the rural areas.

Mr Allen said that it was clear that the Committee and WCED all wanted safer schools. Regarding the emergency funding and procurement requests, he asked how many requests had been received over the past financial year, and what the shortfall was. He also wanted to know what happened to footage once it had been captured on CCTV at schools.

Mr Christians said that its unacceptable to tell a parent that schools were unsafe because the community was unsafe. Parents would then not send their children to school.

Mr Sayed said he wanted to make a statement about the specific school in Khayelitsha where the tablets had been stolen. He had not said that the WCED had not done anything, but that only after something had happened, had it done something about safety and security. He was asking what measures were in place to be proactive. The school had requested CCTV before the incident, but only after the incident had the WCED installed cameras.

He also asked if the WCED and neighbourhood watches were working with the Community Policing Forums in communities. On the Delft school security issue, he wanted to know what the criteria were for appointing security companies. He was not making excuses for the community, but consultation and employment from communities would increase ownership of safety in schools.

Mr Christians said that the Committee had gone to Mondale School, and he had been amazed at the success of the school. He could see that access control and fences had made a huge difference. The school also had a 100% pass rate. He asked where best practice could be linked to experience, as the unsafe environment argument did not hold in this instance.

The Chairperson asked about school safety committees. If she walking into a school at any given point, would she find a safety committee? Who in the WCED took the responsibility of taking parents on the school safety journey? Were holiday security initiatives were found in all district schools? What had been the cost of vandalism for the 2018/2019 financial year?

WCED’s response

Mr Lewis said that procurement was a complex issue. There would always be a lag time as processes had to be followed, but the WCED would try to speed up the process.

Regarding Mr Allen’s question on the shortfall at schools, he was not sure if an assessment had been done on this. Even if there was a shortfall, the Department would not be able to cover it as it was already struggling to employ enough teachers. Due to financial constraints, there was a shortage of 2 500 teachers in the school system. If Parliament could increase the budget, there would be more teachers in schools, which could help with safety and security.

He said that CCTV footage was given to the police if there was a crime, and this was used as evidence. However, the footage and CCTVT cameras belonged to the City of Cape Town and not to the WCED. The WCED was in talks with the City of Cape Town about providing a monetary contribution for more cameras to be installed at schools.

He agreed that the WCED could not tell parents that schools were unsafe. This would crush hope in disadvantaged communities, and the Department always needed to give hope to parents and learners. Taking parents on the school safety journey was one of the most difficult tasks for the WCED. Parents sometimes just dumped children at schools. This was where moral decay in society was seen. This needed to be addressed, but it would take time.

He said holiday security programmes were implemented only at high risk schools.

The Chairperson asked how many high-risk schools there were in the province.

Mr Apollis said that there were 255 schools that received holiday security. Some schools got 12-hour security, and others 24 hours. These decisions were made in cluster groups. As part of the WCED safety strategy, these schools received an additional basket of goods such as alarms and patrols, but it was risk specific. 

The Chairperson asked if risk was dependent on the crime climate. Were the schools in Hanover Park and Manenberg high risk?

Mr Apollis said that safety in schools was not dependent on the crime climate. High risk schools were identified according to the resilience score card. Not all schools in Manenberg and Hanover Park were high risk, and schools were provided with risk mechanisms. School safety committees were sub-committee of the school governing bodies. If there was a functioning SGB, then there was a functioning safety committee. An audit at the end of March had found that between 70% and 80% of schools had a functioning SGB. An SGB consisted of more members than just the principal and teachers. There was a chairperson, and meetings were minuted. Safety committees consisted of parents who worked, so their meetings and functions took place after school hours.

Mr Meyer said that community policing forums (CPFs) were involved in facilitating neighbourhood watches, but there were challenges with CPFs that had been infiltrated. Regarding the local community issue in Delft, when a school was built, community liaison took place and the liaison ensured that local labour was recruited. When appointing security, there were various aspects which influenced these decisions, such as a Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) rating. Smaller security firms often did not have all the ratings required by the WCED. Local advertisements, however, were places for local communities.

He thanked Mr Christians for his praise of Mondale High School. In both cases, Mondale and Levana, years of good leadership and staff had made a difference. This was why the appointment of strong principals was necessary throughout the province. A programme regarding value education was currently being run across the province. This programme focused on providing values to learners. Each month, the school adopts a new value, and students and staff deal with various aspects of it. He hoped that this programme would filter through to communities. Support from the Social Development Committee would be wonderful, to help with this programme.

Mr Lewis said the WCED were working with different stakeholders, and the Standing Committee on Education was the most valuable of them all. The committee had the power to increase the budget allocation, which would in turn help the constituents of the Committee Members. He reiterated that the objective of the WCED was quality education. He admitted that there was a lot of work to be done and this was why the WCED had described all the problems it faced so the Committee could fully understand the various aspects.

Ms Conrad said the WCED had employed a holistic approach. Safety did not rely only on fences or gates. The WCED looked at the whole child and focused on skills so that children could produce their own means of income. It worked very hard to address growth and changing the mindsets of learners. Strong leadership was needed in schools, which meant that teachers also needed to be reminded why they became teachers in the first place.

On the question of safe schools, she said that most schools were safe. It was only isolated incidents that got a lot of media attention. To combat this, the WCED had been pushing the good stories. The Department tried to address the whole system and not just school safety, as it focused on providing the means for students to grow. The safety issue was not just about safe access, as there was no funding for metal detectors. There needed to be behavioural change as well. Regardless of how many safety mechanisms existed in a school, if someone wanted to commit a crime or an act of violence, they would.

The Chairperson asked how many SGB members were also school safety committee members.  Were there disciplinary cases for teachers who had committed transgressions? She also asked about pilot intervention centres, and whether or not they had produced positive results.

Mr Lewis said that disciplinary matters fell under human resources (HR), so he could not answer the question. However, the delegation could ask HR to send information to the Committee, or it could wait for two months, as it would be in the Annual Report.

Dr Naicker asked the Chairperson to explain her question regarding pilot centres.

The Chairperson said that learners who posed a risk were taken out of schools and placed in intervention centres. She asked if there had been results surrounding behavioral change?

Dr Naicker said that the issue of putting children into intervention centers was a challenge. There were qualified social workers, psychologists and therapists at these centres. While some children posed problems, there had been positive results. The centres used a holistic approach and had made significant advances.

The Chairperson asked how many pupils were currently in these centres, and the range of grades from which they came. Were they reintegrated back into the mainstream of the education system?

Dr Naicker said he could send the Committee all of the information in a written format. From what he had heard, the programme was going well.

Mr Bosman said that the outline of an SGB was available on the WCED’s website. What guidelines were in place to make sure that these outlines were adhered to? Were competent people appointed in these roles? At affluent schools, parents had extra time and resources which they could allocate to the schools, but what were the circumstances at schools in communities with socio-economic challenges, where parents did not have these resources? What was the capacity of the WCED to provide leadership development for SGB members? Was an SGB kit given to members? He said that relationships in schools were hierarchical. Many principals had been at schools for years, which could limit innovation. How was this being monitored? There was an idea that principals needed to be old, but this notion was changing.

Mr Lewis said that every three years, an SGB was elected and mandated. Upon this appointment, they received mandatory training. This training was an outsourced job, where expertise was provided. Circuit managers were responsible for identifying the shortcomings of SGB committees. The principal would notify the circuit manager.

He added that the dawn of democracy had bought many challenges. Parents were now able to send children to any school. This meant that wealthy people sent children to wealthy schools. In doing this, money moved away from the poorer schools. These wealthy parents were presumed to also have intellectual capacity, which meant that this intellectual capacity also moved out the community. Poorer parents in communities had no choice but to send children to local schools.

Ms Conrad said that schools advertised portfolios, and parents could apply for the positions.

The Chairperson thanked the WCED for their comprehensive presentation. In future, an invitation would be sent to the Department of Community Safety and SAPS in order to have more comprehensive engagements on the topic.

Mr Lewis said that he hoped a good relationship could be built with the Committee to improve education across the province. The WCED delegation left the meeting

Committee matters

The Chairperson asked Members for recommendations stemming from the presentation.

Mr Bosman asked that an invitation be sent to the provincial SAPS to talk specifically about resource allocation. He wanted SAPS to share their insights on how to reduce school violence.

The Chairperson asked if the WCED should be added to this presentation?  The Members agreed that they should be added.

Mr Sayed asked that another session be held, with the Departments of Social Development and Arts, Culture and Sports being invited. He wanted one meeting with all parties present so they could speak to each other. The provincial SAPS needed to attend as well.

The procedural officer advised the Chairperson that she would schedule this meeting with all the parties concerned.

The Chairperson said an invitation also needed to be extended to SGBs. There was an umbrella body which represented SGBs, and they should be present as well.

The procedural officer said that she would follow up with the WCED regarding the statistics of children in the intervention programme.

Mr Allen asked for the minutes of the inter-ministerial report. These minutes were closed, but he asked if they could be shared only with the Committee.

The Chairperson said that access could be arranged.

Mr Bosman asked if presentations would be made available to the public?

The procedural officer confirmed that all copies were made available to those attending the meeting. 

The Committee minutes of 6 August were adopted.

The Committee settled the details regarding their scheduled visit to Laingsburg from 26 to 28 August.

It was confirmed that the Committee would meet on 20 August for a briefing by rural districts. 

The meeting was adjourned.
 

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