A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
EDUCATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
15 February 2000
COMMITTEE PROGRAMME; COMMITTEE REPORT ON VISIT TO EASTERN CAPE AND KWAZULU NATAL
Final Committee programme for 2000
Final Report of Committee on visits to Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
The HIV/AIDS: Department of Education Guidelines for Educators
The Committee adopted its February to June 2000 Programme and the report on visits to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Adoption of programme
Mr I Vadi, convenor of the Sub-Committee on Programming, stated that the Sub-Committee had met on 14 February 2000 and formulated a draft programme.
The ANC stated that the visit to Northern Province should take place during this financial year since the funds of the 1999/2000 budget could still be used. The members agreed to it taking place on 22 - 25 March. There will be a group of eight committee members on the tour and it will be left to the parties to decide who represents each party.
Mr L Green (ACDP) wanted to know if it is possible for input on legislation to be made available earlier. The Chairperson responded that he is expecting to get input on the bills from the Department today.
Adoption of report on visits to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
Mr A Mpontshane (IFP) said the two paragraphs detailing the visit to Kwazulu-Natal Province seemed to be contradictory.
An amendment of the second paragraph was discussed and agreed to.
Mr Green pointed out that since the report makes mention of specific schools that had been visited, it was important to highlight that the problems that were experienced at these venues were part of a broader context of problems to be found all over the country.
It was agreed that this point would be added under Recommendations.
The Committee agreed that the report would be sent to the MECs, the governing bodies of the schools and the National Assembly.
The meeting was adjourned.
PROGRAMME FOR THE YEAR 2000 (FEB - JUNE 2000)
PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY)
22 FEBRUARY 2000
Briefing by the Minister of Education, Prof K Asmal on:
Priorities/Programme of the Department of Education for the year 2000
29 FEBRUARY 2000
Briefing by the Department of Education on:
07 MARCH 2000
14 MARCH 2000
Budget Vote: Education
22 - 25 MARCH 2000
Provincial visit to Northern Province
27 - 31 MARCH 2000: CONSTITUENCY WEEK
04 APRIL 2000
Briefing by the Council for Higher Education and the Department of Education on:
Higher Education Systems, Transformation and Trends
11 APRIL 2000
Briefing on Higher Education
18 APRIL 2000
Briefing by the Department of Education on Teacher Policy:
(a) Human Resource Development Strategy in Education Sector
(b) Right sizing
(c) Re-employment of Maths and Science Teachers
(d) Teacher Appraisal System
(e) Teacher Deployment
02 - 06 MAY 2000: CONSTITUENCY WEEK
09 MAY 2000
Briefing by the Department of Education and National Literacy Agency on:
National Literacy Campaign
16 MAY 2000
Briefing on Literacy Agency/ABET
23 MAY 2000
Briefing by the Department of Education and Curriculum Review Committee on:
(a) Curriculum 2005
(b) Outcomes Based Education
30 MAY 2000
Outcomes Based Education
06 JUNE 2000
Legislation (to be determined by the Department of Education)
13 JUNE 2000
Legislation (to be determined by the Department of Education)
20 JUNE 2000
Legislation (to be determined by the Department of Education)
24 JUNE - 01 JULY 2000
REPORT ONE VISITS TO EASTERN CAPE AND KWAZULU NATAL
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Education (National Assembly) on visits to Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal dated 2,3,4 November 1999, as follows:
Two delegations from the Portfolio Committee of Education (National Assembly) and Select Committee on Education & Recreation (National Council of Provinces) conducted visits to Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal schools on 2,3,4 November 1999 with the following mandates:
In a Committee meeting which was held on 13 October 1999, the Committee unanimously agreed and envisaged that two delegations from the Committee visit the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces simultaneously during the constituency week primarily in the most disadvantaged rural communities, with the following objectives:
(i) to co-operatively examine along with the provincial Education Standing Committees, the capacity of the provinces in dealing with the demands set by national Acts, regulations and policies, and other challenges as spelt out in the first priority of Minister Asmal's Call to Action document which intends to make our provincial systems work by making co-operative government work;
(ii) to examine conditions of physical degradation in schools in areas listed by, and according to the objectives of the President's rural strategy programme;
(iii) to investigate the implementation of the funding norms and standards emanating from the South African Schools Act;
(iv) to examine ways and means of effecting greater synergy between education at provincial and national level in the respective provinces;
(v) to construct a co-operative relationship between the national Parliamentary Education Portfolio Committee and Standing Committees on Education and Culture in the provincial legislatures, in order to deal co-operatively with challenges constraining the effective development of our education system;
(vi) to develop a rural development strategy with regard to building and renovations of schools, and the provision of resources like textbooks and teaching aids in rural schools in both provinces; and
(vii) to address the challenges of the allocations and management of the provincial budget as it relates to education in both provinces. In view of the fact that the Committees play a vital role in promoting co-operative governance between the provinces and central government and in improving the quality of life of every citizen on the ground, the delegations focused on all affected educational infrastructure which were damaged and destroyed by the tornadoes and also assessing a need for repairs and renovations in all of those schools visited.
The Education Portfolio Committee delegations based its study tours to Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces on the "Call to Action" (Tirisano') of the Minister of Education, Prof K Asmal. The document outlining the objectives of the "Call to Action" was distributed by the national education department to members of the provincial legislatures, Education Directors, school principals and the media.
The delegations emphasised that since the 'Tirisano' document was based on an extensive consultation of the Minister with a large variety of stakeholders, that there was no need to re-invent the wheel by searching for other criteria on which to base the visit of the delegations to the provinces.
In particular, the first priority identified in the 'Tirisano' "Call to Action" - 'to make our provincial system work by making co-operative government work' - was clearly in line with the purpose of the visits of the delegations to the provinces. The Minister, Prof K Asmal pointed out in 'Tirisano' that the three largest provinces, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Northern Province were the poorest provinces with the largest backlogs of school buildings and services. It was for this reason that the delegations have identified these three provinces for a study tour.
Other issues identified by Tirisano were:
a) the inability of many provincial education departments to manage education efficiently;
b) the empowerment of provincial departments to fulfil its statutory responsibilities; and
c) dealing effectively with challenges in respect of the allocation and management of provincial budgets.
A rural development strategy
The delegations also emphasised the importance of establishing rural development strategy for vastly rural provinces such as Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The resourcing of schools in the rural areas with regard to establishing classrooms conducive to learning, the adequate provision of textbooks, teaching aids and other learning materials must become a priority.
In their visit to deep rural schools in the provinces, the delegations identified vandalised school buildings, destruction of school property and absence of textbooks, toilets, proper sanitation and libraries as the main problems relating to rural education. However, it appeared as if effective management or lack of effective management by principals has a major impact on the success or lack of success of rural schools in cultivating an atmosphere conducive to learning and teaching.
Culture of teaching and learning
There were some poverty-stricken rural schools visited by the delegations which had good discipline, where teachers were actively teaching and students actively learning. There were no virtually broken windows and vandalised furniture. Although the schools did not have enough textbooks, school governing bodies were encouraged to fund-raise for learner teaching materials. Many of these poor rural schools maintained a matric pass rate in excess of 60% through the positive attitude of the principals and teachers and generally have neat and clean premises.
There were also rural schools where principals had many complaints while doing very little themselves to improve the situation. Such schools were generally vandalised, desks were either broken or stolen, textbooks in class were virtually non-existent and there was poor attendance of teachers and learners. At such schools there were also no good relationship between the principal, teachers, parents and students. These schools maintained a matric pass of less than 10%.
The management capacity of principals has to be urgently investigated at rural schools, while those many principals who are
doing a good job under trying conditions, have to be strongly supported.
The Eastern Cape delegation under the leadership of Prof S M Mayatula included, Mrs M A A Njobe; Ms P K Mothoagae;
Prof L M Mbadi; Mr L Suka (NCOP member); Mr P G Qokweni (NCOP member) Mrs J Witbooi (NCOP member); Ms N C Manjezi (Committee Secretary) and Ms L Carelse (Committee Assistant).
The KwaZulu-Natal delegation under the leadership of Mr R P Z Van den Heever included, Mr L M Kgwele; Ms P N Mnandi; Mr R Ntuli; Mr A M Mpontshane; Adv A H Gaum; Mr A Myeni (Committee Secretary) and Mr J Rossouw (Committee Assistant). Adv A H Gaum left the delegation after the first day due to pressing engagement in Parliament and in his constituency.
Due to prior commitments and apologies, Mr N M Raju (NCOP member) and Mr T D Lee were unable to join the delegations.
The delegation in the Eastern Cape province was accompanied by delegates from the Provincial Standing Committee on Education which included the Chairperson, Mr S Mancotywa and Ms N Mahlawe.
The delegation in KwaZulu-Natal province was accompanied by delegates from the Provincial Standing Committee on Education & Culture which included, the Chairperson, Mr S Ngidi, Mr Z Nzuza (Committee Secretary), Mr L N Mjadu (Personal Secretary: MEC for Education) and Regional Directors of Education.
An attempt was made to obtain a balanced view with input from both the departmental official sources, and from school principals. Main problems were highlighted and where possible, solutions were recommended.
B. VISIT TO EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE
1. Visit to the Department of Education - Bisho
Official view: Department of Education Management
The Eastern Cape province is one of the three provinces identified by President Thabo Mbeki as the poorest and needed extra financial assistance. On the first day the delegation was warmly welcomed by the MEC for Education Mr Stone Sizani, and had open and constructive discussion with the top management led by the Superintendent General Mr J. Gordon. The following are some of the areas covered.
The Eastern Cape Department of Education has inherited six different education departments with two of them located within two former homelands, namely, Ciskei and Transkei. The department serves 6 447 schools of which almost 60% are rural and farm schools. According to the records of the department, on the survey of the needs done in 1996, has revealed that it has the worst off when it comes to physical
infrastructure as the majority of the rural schools are mud structures with no toilets or sanitation, fencing, water and electricity. The survey revealed the following statistics for the province:
1 487 (25%) schools have no toilets; 2 931 (49%) schools have no sports field; 5 528 (93%) schools have no libraries; 5 578 (94%) schools have no laboratories; 622 (10%) schools are in need of major repairs and 206 (3%) schools are totally unfit for education and learning.
The province is often hit by tornadoes which have caused extensive damage to hundreds of schools particularly in the rural areas. This has increased the backlog from 15 000 to about 23 000 classrooms and the provincial department needs R92 million to rebuild and renovate schools damaged by natural disasters. According to Mr Hecther, physical infrastructure in the province is the worst in all provinces and an emergency fund will be necessary to address disasters and other critical matters.
The Department of Education's capital works programme commenced late in 1995 with an allocation of R355 million (RDP funded) on the 1995/1996 departmental budget. This was subsequently extended with the capital works allocation of R365 million (RDP funded) from the 1996/97 budget. The 1997/98 budget provided R108 million for capital works, but this was cut back to R53, 9 million when the financial position of the Department became evident. In 1998/99 and 1999/2000 budgets, no funding has been set aside for any capital programmes.
To address the classrooms backlog in the province, the department will need approximately R600 million per annum over a period of five years or approximately R450 million per annum over a period of ten years. These substantial allocations can enable the Department to embark on an ambitious multi-dimensional programme to address the
shortage of classrooms in the province.
(i) School building programme
The schools in the Eastern Cape province are reaching shocking levels
of degradation. In certain instances the building authorities maintain that a number of classrooms in several schools should in fact be condemned. All these schools are government assets and it is clear that, the lack of funding for emergency renovations has reached unacceptable proportions.
On the extreme cases, there exists the danger of a total mess of these assets. These assets have deteriorated to such an extent that in many cases, they have become a health hazard.
Although the construction of new schools is of prior importance, major capital injection is urgently required in order to restore the existing buildings to safer working environments. Funds are desperately needed for three primary aims, namely:
- day-to-day maintenance to cut down expenditure on major repairs and renovations and to maintain reasonable standards in all schools;
- to repair the existing major damage to the loss of valuable assets; and
- to allow for emergency repairs and renovations on a ten-year basis.
These funds will alleviate the deterioration of the schools and it is obvious that once a regular flow of funding is made available for regular maintenance, future excessive capital outlay will then be minimised. But it is vital that the current state of general degradation is addressed as soon as possible.
Although the Department has identified the causes of damage in most instances and will address the necessary methods of prevention in the near future, the following current conditions should be noted to necessitate appeal for funds.
(ii) General interiors and exteriors
The walls are worn out resulting to further damage to the structures. These walls urgently require major repairs and re-surfacing as they are in danger of collapse as structural damage shows which need immediate attention.
A problem that is rife in all schools is that of damaged windows, windowpanes and frames. An attempt to prevent the theft of windowpanes by individuals has failed. To date, the only relatively successful method of protecting windows against theft and vandalism, is the installation of galvanised frames.
Another hazard facing pupils in most schools is unsafe electrical fittings. Inadequate electrical supply in most schools which caters for domestic science has rendered these services unusable due.
The structural problems within the schools continue and a number of classrooms suffer from damaged ceilings due to leaking roofs.
Many schools have no toilets, sanitation and ablution facilities. The students must have access to these facilities. The systems have long been broken, yet the students must continue to use the facility creating more sanitary health risk. The children who are subjected to these shocking conditions are pupils in all Grades as well as teachers.
The dilemma of vandalism grows daily. It is understood that most schools in general make every effort to prevent damage to the buildings. Funds are therefore required to institute increased security measures in order to protect the government assets. Many schools in general have no furniture, libraries, equipment, school halls and sporting facilities.
(iii) Background on budgets
The province needs R900 million per annum for non-personnel expenditure and for the department to function normally, i.e. for normal repairs to be carried out. In 1998, the department was allocated R500 million and in 1999 it was cut to R200 million. In 1999, the department requested R20 million, but for the first time in three years, the department only managed to receive R5 million for 6 400 schools for maintenance and for emergency repairs. More funding is needed repair and renovate all the damaged schools in the province.
(iv) Facilities and personnel in farm schools
There are various types of farm schools that are operating within the property of the farmers. The department provides personnel and material resources. Farmers have given the land to the department and it is for the department to provide material and human resources to the schools.
In the majority of cases the department is still experiencing problems with regard to scholar transport due to budget cuts. There is provision for hostel facilities and the department provides subsidies for children residing in those hostels.
Since 1996, many farm schools were amalgamated because of the current staff provisioning norms which stipulate that there must be a minimum number of learners in the school has been efficient in terms of human resources, curriculum engagements and provisioning various services in those schools.
In the past, farm schools were marginalized. Presently the department is doing something in terms of meeting the needs of those farm schools; viz. many programmes that are specifically servicing those farm schools, many donors and non-governmental organisations in conjunction with the department have programmes targeting those farm schools as well as good work that is in progress in the majority of those schools.
The department has received positive response from donors like Vusisizwe Trust and Micro Projects which have donated most of the schools that have been built in the farming areas. The help from all these donors is assisting the department to make meaningful investments into the upliftment of the impoverished communities of the Eastern Cape province and the donations are regarded as a truly humane effort in improving the impoverished communities.
(v) Intergovernmental approach on infrastructure
On the Department's inter-governmental approach on infrastructure, there is good relationship with government departments, such as department of public works as well as non-governmental organisations.
The Department of Education meets with local TLCs (Transitional Local Councils) on regional basis to look at the integrated an, linking up water, electricity, building and the roads to a particular programme and such programmes are presented in their meetings with the local TLCs.
(vi) Learners support materials
Learners support materials include textbooks, stationery, science materials, equipment as well as consumables. Due to financial constraints of the Eastern Cape province, this has led the department to concentrate on textbooks and stationery only as learners' support
materials. The department is now in the process of issuing stationery to Grade 1-9, but for textbooks, the department will prioritise those Grades that are in curriculum 2005 (Grade 1,2 and 3) and later to Grade 7 that will start the curriculum next year as well. The supply for Grade 12 will only be concentrated to those schools that have had a new Grade 12 class since 1997, 1998 and 1999 because those schools were not issued any textbooks and stationery.
In Grade 7, the department has indicated that it will need about R42 million, but the department is not so sure whether they will receive the full R42 million as requested. During the capturing of the requisition from the regions, it became clear that R42 million will not be adequate to cover all the learning areas in Grade 7.
With regard to scientific equipment, the department needs to get assistance in terms of funding in order to make sure that the department deliver the necessary requirements with the requested budget.
The crisis the department is facing at present, is that there is a backlog of non-payment of both suppliers and employees. The department is still experiencing problems with old debts from all sorts of suppliers who have not been paid. Again, the department is still having outstanding benefits for teachers. This creates a lot of problems with regard to finance staff in attending volumes of queries from unions, courts and lawyers etc.
(vii) Consumables and provisioning
To date, the department was unable to make any deliveries. Presently, the department is in a process of finalising the orders with the publishers.
There were few schools which received donations to enable them to perform their daily schoolwork, but there was very little funding.
(viii) Financial management
The department needs other initiatives to assist with the improvement of the financial management, e.g. closing of books done by Deloitte & Touche, provisioning and payment projects where training is continuing again also the stock taking the department is preparing.
There are a number of projects that have already been started which are actually assisting with the financial management. At present, there is too much that is demanding of the financial staff, and it is envisaged that if the staff can get through that, the department will
definitely see its way to implement the existing projects to assist the finance section with the workload.
2. Visit to Eastern Cape Legislature, Bisho
The delegation was welcomed by the Provincial Standing Committee on Education chaired by Mr S Mancotywa. The leader of the delegation, Prof S M Mayatula gave a brief overview and objectives of the visits to the province.
3. Visit to King William's Town Examination Centre
(i) 1999 examinations
When the delegation visited the examination centre, the province was already halfway through the examinations for 1999. No problems, no leaking of papers have been experienced except the shortage of exam papers. Everything within the province is scheduled as annexed and work is running smoothly and up to standard. The examination result will be released by 30 December 1999 for Y2K effect. All the necessary tests on the Y2K problem have been running up until September 1999 to make sure that their system is Y2K compliant. Reports have been made and everything has been cleared.
The standard of matric result is seen to be the same as there was no significant change from 45% to 47% in the previous year.
(ii) Supplementary examinations
All the supplementary examinations have been arranged; work has been done twelve months in advance.
(iii) Readiness of markers
4 600 markers including the senior markers have been appointed on the basis of experience and qualification. Through the entire province there will be five marking centres. All markers will be paid their salaries before the end of February 2000.
(iv) Outstanding payments
There is still a backlog of 800 people that have not been paid by the department. The department is still struggling with the non-payment of people which included markers, examiners, moderators and examination assistants. All the claims were verified and submitted to the department on 26 January 1999.
4. Visit to Phakamani Senior Secondary School: Butterworth
Phakamani Senior Secondary School has an enrolment figure of 1 005 learners and 27 educators. The school occupies disused factory with a corrugated iron structure. The entire structure is dilapidated and does not need any extensive repairs but to be closed down. The school should be declared a very dangerous health risk. The school has a site at Ibika which is few kilometres away and has been there for more than five years awaiting a new building to be erected.
The classrooms still have huge factory ventilation which make the students always suffer from respiratory diseases, asthma, bronchitis etc. On top of this, there is poor electrical lighting which damages the eyes of the students. Chemicals that were used in the factory were never thoroughly cleaned.
Toilets create another dangerous hazard as they are terribly filthy, very dirty and uncleaned, yet they are still in use. For more than 1 000 students as well as teachers to utilise such toilets is a serious health risk. In 1999 alone, there were four reported deaths of students from the school while others were suffering from rheumatism.
The school as the former factory is situated far from the township and nearer a growing slum area. This exposes the pupils to rapes and attacks. Crime in the school is very high.
None of the school toilets flash. The students and teachers must have access and continue to use these facilities which are subjected to shocking levels of terrible smells which are creating more sanitary health risk. The systems have long been broken and due to the leakage of drainage pipes. This has caused further damage to the books stored in an unusable and damaged library.
There is also a problem of overcrowding in the school. It has been noted that one of the Grade 10 classes in the school has an enrolment figure of 123 students. Although the Phakamani community realises that there are serious financial constraints with the
provincial department of education, the school has certainly made great stride in establishing the culture of learning. In the view of this fact, the community deserve a new brick structure and a decent school.
5. Visit to Esingeni Junior Secondary School: Idutywa
The school has an enrolment figure of 308 learners and 9 educators. The entire school consisted of 10 classrooms of a pre-fabricated structure. Approximately 98% of the entire structure was extensively damaged and flattened by the tornado on 16 December 1997. Up to now, no intervention by the provincial legislature, the department and Idutywa district to help the community to alleviate the situation except for provision of 5 tents used as classrooms. Even these are not of good standard for teaching and learning.
At present, there are no toilets/sanitation, no electricity and no fencing. During the rainy days and bad weather the school does not operate at all. As it is located not far from the river bank where other pupils from another side of the location have to cross the river on their way to school, when the river is full they do not attend the school at all. The school is controlled by weather and not by the principal.
As the clearing of site was not done by the people in the community, during the sunny days pupils and teachers are commonly exposed into poisonous snakes which are seen to be dangerous which may result in death to pupils and teachers. Most children have left this school due to these appalling conditions.
There is an urgent need for financial assistance to build a proper shelter or a new school in the area by the year 2000.
6. Visit to St John's College: Umtata
The school has an enrolment figure of 1 400 learners, 42 educators and 18 general assistants. The entire school building consist of a brick structure and partly pre-fabricated. Approximately 40% of the entire structure has been extensively damaged by the tornado. The school has louvre windows in some classrooms and most of the windows are
broken and need urgent repairs. Due to unavailability of laboratories in the school, other classrooms are converted to laboratories, this has led to additional shortage of classrooms. During the rainy days, learners are cramped together in classrooms which were not affected and this again results in overcrowding.
Although the school building is very old and strong (121 years old), it needs major maintenance, constant repairs and renovations. Drainage problem, filthy toilets and bathrooms, leaking taps and pipes are a health hazard to pupil and teachers. To repair the entire damages, R3 million is needed to overhaul the conditions.
Vandalism in the school is rife and is caused by students themselves. In the boys hostel, the empty dormitories which were damaged have been converted by student themselves to consume alcohol and to smoke dagga. No furniture in the dining halls.
7. Visit to James Kobi Junior Secondary School: Umtata
The school has an enrolment figure of 520 learners and 18 educators. The entire school building consists of a brick structure. Only one classroom was damaged by fire and destroyed by the tornado. As there is no fence around the school premises there is stealing and vandalism of the school property i.e. copper wires, pipe fittings, furniture and doors. The school managed to hire security which are unarmed to secure the entire school buildings and to safeguard the government property.
The school was built in 1985. There is no electricity and the school maintenance has been non-existent. They have themselves managed to raise R20 000 through donors and sponsors to repair the damaged toilets and to improve standard for conducive learning.
8. Visit to E W Pearce Junior Secondary School: Umtata
The school has an enrolment of 900 learners and 23 educators in which 2 educators are awaiting re-deployment. The school consist of a pre-fabricated structure which has been extensively damaged by the storm.
Approximately 60% of the entire structure including roofs and floors has been extensively damaged. Most of the windows are broken and some of the classroom floors are in a state of collapse which may result to injury to pupils and teachers. Urgent repairs and renovations are needed at the school.
9. Visit to Nyangilizwe Senior Secondary School: Libode
The school has an enrolment figure of 544 learners and 15 educators. The school consists of a brick structure which was damaged by the storm. Only 4 classrooms and the school fence were damaged by the tornado which took ace on 15 December 1998.
As there were no repairs and renovations yet done in the school, the children in Grade 8 (280) are cramped together in the hall which results in difficulty for the educator to attend to each individual student due to overcrowding. Urgent repairs and renovations are needed at the school.
10. Visit to Tsolo Residency Junior Secondary School: Tsolo
The school has an enrolment figure of 1 134 learners and 18 educators. The school consists of a pre-fabricated structure with only 10 classrooms. Some classes are taking ace outside the school premises due to the problem of overcrowding. This overcrowding has been to cause a disastrous and low grasping of learners that may lead towards havoc because of improper involvement of individual's attendance from the teacher to the learner.
As the school is known of its excellent continuous result and is located in the centre of town, overcrowding may be one of the factors that affect enrolment increment.
The school urgently need 6 more classrooms to be put in ace to ensure proper education is continuing in the school.
11. Visit to Jongilizwe Senior Secondary School: Tsolo
The school has an enrolment figure of 390 learners and 21 educators.
The school consists of brick structure which is extremely dilapidated.
The school was established in 1967 as a public school and was and still attended by the sons of the Chiefs only in the former Transkei regime and even before its independence.
Vandalism in the school building and to its property is rife. There is a high rate of crime still taking ace in school grounds as a result of which deaths have been reported. None of the people in the neighbouring communities want to take ownership of the school because of its history of being attended by the sons of the Chiefs.
The school used to be a boarding school but due to constant violence, theft of laboratory equipment, vandalism and uncleanness, the hostels were closed down. The school is seen to be dangerous day and night. Urgent repairs and renovations need to be effected in the school.
There is no electricity, no fencing, no proper sanitation and the toilets have long been unused and causing health hazards. Almost all broken windows have been damaged by the student themselves.
Although the school principal, Mr S Mnyekentu need the education in
this school to continue regardless of the appalling circumstances, he therefore need trained armed security guards and proper fencing to curb the vandals from entering the premises.
According to the principal, the quantity surveyors have visited the school 4 months ago to assess the material needed to repair and renovate the school.
12. Visit to Petros Jozana Junior Primary School: Umzimkulu
This school has an enrolment figure of 320 learners and 9 educators. The school building consist of 5 classrooms constructed of a brick structure and partly three semi-dilapidated classrooms that are not in use. It becomes difficult for the school to function during the rainy days and bad weather due to its openness in the roofs and walls. Almost all windows are broken. The school received R19 000 from the provincial department of education and this fund helped the community to build 2 more classrooms of a brick structure.
As this school is a community built school, the community has certainly made great strides in donating R50, 00 per household with intention to build 4 more classrooms. It has also been envisaged by the people in the community that it will take other 5 years to build other 4 classrooms due to insufficient funding. This school is experiencing problems of overcrowding.
There is no electricity, no sanitation, no fencing, no furniture and learning materials e.g. writing boards in the school. Funds are urgently needed to improve the quality of the infrastructure which is presently not conducive to teaching and learning.
13. Visit to Vumazonke Junior Secondary School: Umzimkulu
The school has an enrolment figure of 215 learners and 4 educators. The entire school building consist of a mud structure which is extensively damaged. The leaking roofs and all broken windows need urgent repairs and renovations. The roof is likely to collapse any time and may cause injuries to learners and teachers.
There are no desks and other educational facilities in the school. Learner support material for Grade 2 were received but none of the Grade 1 were distributed to the school. There is an intention to open Grade 5 next year but there are no facilities and classrooms to effect that.
The initiative to open the school in 1996 was envisaged by the people in the community seeing the danger of the nearby national road that is few kilometres away from the area. As there was no school in the area prior 1996, the children had to cross through the national road which is very dangerous to attend school in other neighbouring villages. The community noted with concern on the number of road accidents in the nearby national road which have killed many children from the community.
Again, the new settlement of Sisulu area also gave birth to this Community built school.
There is no electricity, no toilets and sanitation, and no fencing. The people in the Community need intervention of the government to support the school in terms of furniture, learner support material educational facilities and proper decent school.
14. Visit to Kheswa Junior Secondary School: Umzimkulu
The school has an enrolment figure of 500 learners and 9 educators. The school building partly consists of a mud structure. There has been damage to the structure's walls, doors, windows, and roofs.
Approximately 80% of the entire structure has been extensively damaged dilapidated and flattened by the tornado both in 1997 and 1998.
The efforts to build the school were made by the community itself. The community received R20 000 from the provincial department of education (MECs R18 000 million project) to build more classrooms. As the building is likely to collapse any time, funds are needed to re-build a proper school with brick structure.
15. Visit to Govalele Junior Senior Secondary School: Umzimkulu
The school has an enrolment figure of 414 learners and 11 educators. The school building consists of brick structure and partly of a mud structure. This school is also one of the schools which benefited from the MECs R18 million projects. The school received R19 000 which was used to build three classrooms of a brick structure. The other part of the school which is of the mud structure which is not up to proper standards is also used to accommodate Grade 1 and 2 as there is still shortage of classrooms.
16. Visit to Zwelitsha Senior Secondary School: Mount Ayliff
The school has an enrolment figure of 169 learners and 7 educators (Grade 10 - 12). The school was established in 1999 and building consists of a wooden structure which was donated by Sawmill.
Due to unavailability of classrooms in this school, junior secondary school is accommodated in another nearby school. As this was a community-driven project, the SGBs contributed in assisting the school in building the structure. No financial assistance from the government in building the school and its maintenance. There is no fencing, no electricity, no security, no toilets, no water in the school. Vandalism
and theft in the area is rife.
17. Visit to Sigagane Junior Secondary School: Mount Ayliff
The school has an enrolment figure of 366 learners and 8 educators. The school building consists of a newly built brick structure and extensively damaged mud structure.
Part of the newly brick structure was built from the local funds (R36 000) donated by Gold Mines. Presently, there is no water and electricity, no sanitation/toilets, no fencing and no furniture. As part of the school is of a mud structure, there are no doors, no windows and proper walls, and it is in a state of collapse.
Many attempts have been made to the circuit office to build new and additional classrooms but nothing has been done to that effect. No financial assistance has been received as promised from the provincial government to build a new school. Children are exposed to cold and flues, some have no accommodation due to these appalling conditions of the school. Urgent attention is needed to repairs and renovation of the school.
18. Visit to Mhluzini Junior Secondary School: Mount Ayliff
The school has an enrolment of 270 learners and 4 educators in which 2 educators are awaiting re-deployment. The school consists of only 2 classrooms made up of a mud structure. Accommodation in this school is regarded as major problem because other 2 classes are accommodated in another school in the nearby area.
Previously the children were accommodated in the tents but due to their attempts made by the community, a structure was built (not yet completed) with their own assistance and efforts.
The school has no furniture, no windows, no ceiling, no toilets, no water and electricity and no fencing. As there is no water available, the learners themselves do daily routine of bringing water for cleaning (using cow dung) and maintenance of the school floors and walls.
As this is a well managed and controlled school, funding is needed to effect some of the community-driven initiatives which are based at maintaining the school into proper environment conducive for learning and teaching.
19. Visit to Ntshamanzi Senior Primary School: Ntabankulu
The school has an enrolment figure of 114 learners and 5 educators in which one educator is awaiting re-deployment. The school consists of partly a brick and the mud structure. Approximately 50% of the school was damaged by the tornado on the 18 January 1999. Roof and broken windows were blown by the wind during the storm.
There are no toilets, no water and electricity and no fencing. None of the classrooms have ceilings.
The community out of their funds and efforts have already started to repair and re-build the damaged classrooms which are of a brick structure. Funding is needed to complete the initiative made by the community to their school. There is a need for 3 more classrooms as there is a backlog of shortage of classrooms.
The delegation could not visit the Mount Frere schools, Bethlehem S.P. School, Nganu J.S School and Mpungutyana J.P School because of time constraints. The Committee apologised to these communities.
C. VISIT TO KWAZULU-NATAL PROVINCE
The delegation's visit to KwaZulu-Natal coincided with a period of simmering political tension in the province caused by the assassination that had taken ace. This event therefore delayed the starting date of the delegation visit from 02 November 1999 to the next day 03 November 1999.
The two committees met the following day, 3 November 1999, and a very cordial meeting was held which was characterised by general goodwill and co-operation. The meeting held with the MEC for Education & Culture, Ms EEN kaNkosi Shandu, in Ulundi similarly took ace in a very cordial atmosphere.
1. Establishing a co-operative relationship
The success of the study tour despite the prevailing tensions was largely due to the mature and conciliatory manner of the chairperson of the provincial committee on education & culture, Mr S Ngidi who accompanied the tour throughout the province. In addition to this, the parliamentary delegation assured their hosts that they did not come to
the province on a fault-finding mission, but that they were eager to establish a co-operative relationship with the provincial standing committee on education to address the many challenges that constrained education in the province. This message was well accepted by the provincial committee, who agreed to pursuing such a co-operative relationship with the delegation from the Portfolio Committee.
Two members of the Education Portfolio Committee, Ms P N Mnandi and Mr A M Mpontshane were identified as the KwaZulu-Natal based MPs who would serve as a link between the KZN provincial committee on Education & Culture and the parliamentary education portfolio committee.
Implementation of the national legislation adherence to e.g. South African School Act in terms of abolishing corporal punishment is problematic. It came to the observation of the delegation that corporal punishment is rife in many schools in the province.
2. Visit to Maritzburg College
In this school, a meeting was held with the principal, Mr K Elliot. This school is a former model C school. It was mentioned that the process of transformation and integration of pupils were moving at a slow pace, e.g. enrolment of pupils from other racial groups was minimal, composition of staff predominantly by one racial group. The infrastructure and recreational facilities are in good condition.
3. Visit to Sobantu High School
This is a disadvantaged inner city public school. In this school there is a large staff turnover, teacher's re-deployment has affected the teacher's performance. The school lacks recreational facilities and has limited facilities e.g. library with very few books.
Most of the windows are broken and some or part of the building has been extensively vandalised and poor sanitation.
4. Visit to Charles Sabelo High School: Umbumbulu, Natal Midlands
This is a disadvantaged rural school. In this school the physical structure is decaying. The school principal had made a request to the provincial department of education to renovate the school.
Vandalism to school property is rife in the area. The school needs to be fenced so as to prevent vandals from entering the school premises. The school worked together with the community police forum in trying to curb vandalism in the school.
There is a shortage of books and furniture in the school.
5. Visit to Amanzimtoti Primary School: Amanzimtoti
This is a former Model C school. In this school, there is good physical structure with good facilities which include library and computer laboratory. There is good working relationship with the School Governing Body. The programme of fundraising is in ace and has a great impact on the school. The integration of pupils is moving very slowly. It was noted that the entire staff is predominantly one race and one gender.
6. Visit to Keats Drift Primary School: Greyton
This school is a disadvantaged rural school. The school has water and a telephone line. The SGBs in this school still need to be trained on certain issues pertaining to the management of the school and its activities. Awareness on the need for fund raising is necessary.
7. Visit to Cabangokuhle High School: Umsinga
This school is a disadvantaged deep rural school. The school lacks various facilities, namely, library, books, science laboratory and furniture. There is a serious furniture shortage which need urgent attention.
8. Visit to Bathembu Secondary School: Umsinga
This school is a disadvantaged rural school located at Umsinga. It was noted that the conditions of the school were very poor, extensive repairs and renovations are needed to bring the school into proper standard. Vandalism is high on the property of the school, e.g. on furniture and windows.
9. Visit to Ekudubekeni High School: Mahlabathini
This is a disadvantaged deep rural school located at Mahlabathini. The school received funding from the Indian Religious group based in Durban to build the school. The school offers streams of teaching subjects namely, science, trade, commerce and performing art.
Although the school is situated in rural community, for the past five years, it has an excellent continuous pass rate of 90%.
10. Visit to KwaZulu-Natal Legislature: Ulundi
Official view: MEC for Education & Culture, Ms EEN kaNkosi Shandu
The rural schools need extra educational facilities. Discipline is maximal in most of the schools. The relationship between the teachers' union and the MECs has improved. The schools in the rural communities lack capacity in terms of finance. Netherlands is assisting the province in science and English subjects.
Areas that need urgent attention:
a) major repairs and renovations are required in most schools;
b) need to improve and upgrade all the existing libraries and development of mobile libraries;
c) need to implement effective school management in most schools;
d) capacity building of SGBs in financial management and school governance in most schools;
e) need for electricity, sanitation and clean running water;
f) co-operative relationship with provincial standing committee;
g) provincial departments of education should monitor adherence to national legislation, e.g. abolishing of corporal punishment;
h) need to inculcate a sense of ownership of schools by communities;
i) need to encourage co-operation between previously advantaged and disadvantaged schools;
j) Need to develop a rural strategy educational plan based on these visits and in accordance with the President's integrated rural strategy programme;
k) special budgetary provisions which have to be made in order to attend both to backlogs and current need and inadequacies. Furthermore, provision has to be made to meet needs caused by natural disasters; and
l) the study tour report should be assessed within the broader context of the national schools surveys of needs.
The Portfolio Committee on Education is satisfied that it attained most of the objectives identified for the study tours to Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.
The delegations managed to lay the basis for a very constructive co-operative relationship with provincial governance structures. In both the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, open and constructive discussions took ace between the respective MECs, the top management of the Department and the delegations from Parliament.
The visits also succeeded in highlighting the principles of Tirisano, the Minister's Call to Action to provincial structures. Tirisano booklets were distributed as far as the delegation toured, and the vision of the Minister in assisting "provincial education departments to manage education efficiently" was emphasised.
The delegations examined conditions of physical degradation in the poorest rural areas according to the objectives of the tour. It found conditions of immense poverty, dilapidated schools and a lack of basic facilities at educational institutions. However, even under the poorest conditions in schools, the delegations found that the dedication , discipline and hard work of teachers in class had a greater influence on good examination results, than what the physical conditions in schools could bring about.
The information gained by the delegations during the study tours have created a firm basis on which an integrated rural strategy could be based.
The Portfolio Committee is therefore satisfied that a solid start has been made in the creation of co-operative relationship between national and provincial governments through the visits undertaken to Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal on 2,3,4 November 1999.
E. LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
1. MECs for Education & Culture: Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
2. Provincial Department of Education: Eastern Cape and KwaZulu -Natal
3. Provincial Standing Committees on Education & Culture: Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
4. Chairpersons of Standing Committees on Education: Eastern Cape (Mr S Mancotywa) and KwaZulu-Natal (Mr S Ngidi)
5. All principals and management of all schools visited
6. Various communities including the School Governing Bodies
7. Regional, district and circuit managers
8. All communities visited
Report to be considered.
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