Umalusi & SACE 2023/24 Annual Performance Plan
28 March 2023
Chairperson: Ms N Adoons (ANC) (Acting Chairperson)
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) met jointly on a virtual platform to receive a briefing on the Annual Performance Plans of the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) and the South African Council for Educators (SACE). This formed part of Parliament’s budgetary review process.
The presentation by Umalusi outlined the mandate, strategic focus, measuring performance, and budget for 2023/24-2025/26. It provided a briefing on the review of its quality assurance approach; and qualifications submitted for registration on the GFETQSF. Strategic priorities included input to the legislative framework. Research on educational developments linked to the sub-framework to innovate and to advise the appropriate ministers of education was intensified. Further, advocacy to communicate accurate and relevant messages to all stakeholders on issues relating to qualifications on our sub-framework was intensified.
SACE outlined the pre-determined objectives aligned to its mandate, the budget programme structure, and the budget review for 2023 to 2024. The Mid-term Assessment Report provided information about progress on implementing the institution's strategic plan after the first two and a half financial years, particularly regarding delivering outcomes concerning government priorities. SACE expanded on the Council and Executive Authority approved 2023/24 Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Budget.
The Committee noted concerns about the budget constraints, and the subsequent negative impact on resources and capacity. Furthermore, members expressed concern about challenges experienced by the DBE and Umalusi in terms of leaked question papers. Members highlighted Umalusi's country comparative research and the critical recommendations from the research. The need for nationwide advocacy and public education was noted as a key priority area.
Members encouraged SACE to promote ECD practitioners' development and professionalism to improve learners' cognitive development following the ECD migration to mainstream education. Members requested a status update on the backlog of educators lacking certification and how unregistered educators will be assisted. Members recommended the utilisation of teacher assessments to improve its training capacity development programmes for educators.
Members thanked Umalusi and SACE for promoting quality public education and supporting the DBE in delivering its mandate. They commended the organisation's valuable contribution to education and efforts to maintain high-quality education.
Members considered the draft second term programme framework for 18 April to 15 June. The Committee secretariat presented a proposed programme for the next term, which is expected to be discussed at the first meeting on 18 April. The first session will be allocated to discuss the letter from Ms Sukers, and the preparation for the BELA Bill public hearings going forward. According to the proposed programme, the Committee will hold public hearings in Gauteng from 28 April to 2 May, while the hearings in KZN and one district in Mpumalanga are provisionally scheduled for 11 to 15 May. The proposed dates for hearings in the Western Cape are 25 to 29 May, and it will be the Northern Cape's turn from 1 to 5 June and the Eastern Cape's from 8 to 12 June.
Members agreed to the programme's content and noted that dates would be amended as required in the next term.
Briefing on the Budget Review: Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi)
Dr Mafu Rakometsi, CEO, Umalusi and Ms Stella Mosimege, Senior Manager, Strategy and Governance,
Umalusi presented the briefing on the budget review.
The main objectives of the presentation were to provide the following:
- The mandate;
- Strategic focus;
- Measuring performance; and
- Budget 2023/24-2025/26.
Umalusi is the Quality Council responsible for qualifications registered on the General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub-Framework (GFETQSF) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
The Council ensures that education and training providers can deliver and assess qualifications and learning programmes and are doing so to the expected quality standards.
- The General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub-framework: 2014;
- Guidelines on Strategy and Priorities for the NQF 2011/2012: Minister of Higher Education and Training;
- National policies governing existing qualifications (including their assessment) that Umalusi currently certificates;
- Standard setting and quality assurance of the General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub-framework: Umalusi, 2014;
- Council policies and directives on the conduct, administration and management of the assessments for qualifications on the GFETQSF;
- The regulations about qualifications on the GFETQSF developed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and gazetted by the Minister on assessment and certification, including those promulgated by provincial legislatures and the policy framework that applies to all technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges declared or established by the Minister under the Continuing Education and Training Act, Act No. 16 of 2006;
- The Policy and Criteria for the development, registration and publication of qualifications on the GFETQSF;
- The Policy for the Re-Issue of National Certificates
- The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy;
- Policy documents and guidelines about the National Senior Certificate (NSC), Senior Certificate (amended) (SC(a)), General Education and Training Certificate (GETC), National Certificate (Vocational) (NC(V)), National Education Report 190/191 (NATED) and the national curriculum statements (NCS); and any other qualifications on the General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub-framework (GFETQSF), as applicable;
- Treasury Regulations;
- Any other appropriate legislation related to the various education and training sectors in which Umalusi is mandated to work.
- Reviewing the quality assurance approach;
- Reviewing, evaluating and appraising qualifications submitted for registration on the GFETQSF;
- Providing input to the legislative framework;
- Intensifying research on educational developments linked to the sub-framework to innovate and to advise the appropriate ministers of education;
- Intensifying advocacy to communicate accurate and relevant messages to all stakeholders on issues relating to qualifications on our sub-framework.
- Review of the Quality Assurance approach: The instrument for external moderation of the GETC question papers has been reviewed. The design appropriate for this qualification is at a conceptual stage;
- Demand for credible qualifications: Umalusi benchmarked the NSC against five other school leaving qualifications (the AS and A levels of the Cambridge International Examination (CIE: AS and A levels), the International Baccalaureate (IB: Diploma), Kenya (Senior Secondary), the New South Wales (Senior Secondary) and Zimbabwe (Senior Secondary). The NSC is comparable to these qualifications;
- Demand for Umalusi qualifications outside South Africa;
- Use of communication platforms by stakeholders;
- Qualifications, Certification, and Verification: Certification numbers dropped in 2019 and 2020 but increased again in 2021. Verification numbers dropped in 2020/21 due to the impact of COVID-19 but went back to normal in 2021/22;
- Quality Assurance of Assessment: Trends in QAA activities, i.e., the moderation of question papers, monitoring of the writing of examinations, monitoring of marking centres, and verification of marking for various subjects reflect an increase in the services provided;
- Evaluation and Accreditation: Institutions granted "a window period to improve" have reduced from 190 in 2019/20 to 10 in 2022/23 due to a drop in initial site visits;
- Evaluation and appraisal of new qualifications;
- Empowerment of women, youth and people with disabilities;
- Organisational structure and Human resource capacity: The organogram has increased from 138 to 150 posts. Though the vacancy rate has been maintained under 10%, there were up to 23 resignations by the end of quarter 3;
- Facilities: The construction of the Thuto-Mfundo building has been completed. The building plans for the renovation of Umalusi House have been approved to address OHS deficiencies, e.g., accessibility to people with disabilities;
- Financial Resources: A third clean audit for 2021/22. The increase in fuel prices and the high inflation rate exert financial pressure on the organisation's budget (the cost drivers for the moderation of question papers, site visits and verification of marking are flights, car rental, and accommodation);
- Information and Communication Technology;
- Communication Management.
Programme 1: Administration
Programme Purpose - To provide the organisation with strategic leadership, management and administrative services.
- Strategy and Governance (S&G)
- Public Relations and Communications (PR & Comms)
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
- Human Capital Management (HCM)
- Finance and Supply Chain Management (F&SCM)
Programme 2: Qualifications and research
Programme Purpose: The programme aims to develop and manage an efficient and effective GFETQSF within the NQF and undertake strategic research supporting that goal.
Sub-Programme 2.1: Qualifications, Curriculum and Certification (QCC). The purpose of the QCC sub-programme is to manage the GFETQSF qualifications.
Sub-Programme 2.2.: Statistical Information and Research (SIR). The purpose of the SIR sub-programme is to provide a platform for research, statistical support and the standardisation of learner results to inform Council's professional work and organisational strategy.
Programme 3: Quality Assurance and Monitoring (QAM)
Programme Purpose: To ensure that the education and training providers can deliver and assess qualifications registered on the GFETQSF and are doing so to the expected standards and quality.
Sub-Programme 3.1: Quality Assurance of Assessment: School Qualifications. This sub-programme aims to ensure the credibility of assessment and examination results of school qualifications registered on the GFETQSF.
Sub-Programme 3.2: Quality Assurance of Assessment: Post-School Qualifications. Purpose: To ensure the credibility of assessment and examination results of post-school qualifications registered on the GFETQSF.
Sub-Programme 3.3: Evaluation and Accreditation. Purpose: To quality assure the delivery of qualifications registered on the GFETQSF at private education institutions and the capacity of private assessment bodies to assess those qualifications.
Financial Year 2022/2023
The original approved budget amounted to R187,7 million. This budget consists of a DBE R162 million (86%) grant and R25 million (14%) own revenue. As of 28 February 2023, the DBE grant was received in total, and R30 million of own income. Umalusi will therefore exceed its annual revenue budget.
The infrastructure project commenced during the previous financial year, 2021/22, with most of the work performed during the 2022/23 financial year. The total expenditure on this project amounts to R39,5 million, representing 89% of the total contract value, and the final account is still outstanding. The practical completion certificate has been received, and the facility is being used.
The internal financial year-end (2022/23) process has started to ensure the financial year can be closed successfully and reporting requirements can be achieved.
The following are the primary revenue contributors:
Verification: Does Umalusi follow the process to establish the authenticity of qualifications or certificates? Over the past six years, 250,593 verifications were done annually on average.
Accreditation: Umalusi accredits private education institutions to ensure compliance with Section 29(3)(c) of the South African Constitution to ensure that independent educational institutions maintain standards. (Independent schools, private FET colleges and private AET colleges).
Certification: Does Umalusi follow the process to issue certificates to candidates who have successfully complied with the requirements for a qualification? Over the past six years, 1,124,767 certificates were issued annually on average.
Quality Assurance of Assessment: Charges from the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) and the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI).
Interest received: Investment of available funds.
Comments on the 2023/24 Budget
Compensation of Employees (CoE) aligns with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA).
The Umalusi Council has approved twelve additional posts for filling during the 2023/24 year to relieve some of the work pressure. 59% of the total expenditure is allocated to the national operations (programmes 2 and 3) of Umalusi, whereas the administration takes 41% of the total budget.
Programme 1 = 41% - R80,050 million (CoE) = R44,4 million, Other = R35,6 million).
Programme 2 = 17% - R32,853 million (CoE) = R21,7 million, Other = R11,1 million).
Programme 3 = 43% - R84,525 million (CoE) = R33,1 million, Other = R51,4 million).
Goods and services are expected to remain mainly the same because some processes will continue to be performed online as a cost-saving and efficiency measure.
National operations utilise 64% of the budget.
Much of this funding relates to contract and seasonal workers' remuneration.
Administration utilises the remaining 36 % of the budget for activities such as:
- External Audit
- Outsourced Internal Audit
- Building maintenance
- Operational expenditures such as diesel for generators, municipal accounts, copiers etc.
Briefing on the Budget Review 2023/24: South African Council for Educators (SACE)
Ms Ella Mokgalane, CEO of SACE, presented the SACE's budget review for 2023 to 2024. She outlined the presentation as follows:
- To table the Council and Executive Authority approved 2023/24 Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Budget;
- 2020-2025 Strategic Plan Mid-Term Review Report and;
- To outline the pre-determined objectives aligned to the SACE mandate and the budget programme structure.
The objects of the SACE Act are: (a) to provide for the registration of educators; (b) to promote the professional development of educators; and (c) to set, maintain and protect ethical and professional standards for educators using the functioning of the Council.
Regulatory Policy Instruments flowing from the SACE Act to protect and uphold the Ethical and Professional Teaching Standards and lifelong learning through quality and fit-for-purpose Continuing Professional Development.
Supporting legislative and policy environment
- National Development Plan: Vision 2030 (2012);
- NQF Act (2008), as amended;
- Employment of Educators Act;
- National Policy Framework of Teacher Education and Development in South Africa – More teachers, Quality Teacher (2007);
- Integrated Strategic Planning Framework on Teacher Education and Development in South Africa (2011);
- Professional Development Framework on Digital Learning (Undated);
- Policy on Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (2016);
- Policy on Minimum Requirements for Programmes Leading to Qualifications in Higher Education for Early Childhood Development Educators (2017);
- Council-Approved Teacher Professionalisation Path (2018);
- SACE Draft Code of Professional Ethics for Student Teachers (2022).
- Sustainable Development Goal No. 4;
- Africa Agenda 2063 and CESA;
- Continental Framework of Standards and Competences for the Teaching Profession;
- Continental Teacher Qualification Framework;
- Teacher Support and Motivation Framework for Africa;
- Global/Continental Annual Teacher Prize;
- Continental Teacher Mobility Protocol;
- ILO/UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers, 5 October 1966;
- EI/UNESCO Global Framework of Professional Teaching Standards;
- 2021 Rewired Global Declaration on Connectivity in Education;
- 21st Century Skills / Competencies of the Future;
- The 2022 United Nations Transforming Education Summit Actions Tracks.
Achievements – towards 2020 to 2025, strategic outcomes
A Mid-term Assessment Report provides information about progress on implementing the institution's Strategic plan after the first two and a half financial years, particularly regarding delivering outcomes concerning government priorities.
SACE has five (5) outcomes that must be reported against the strategic plan. The Council projects a decline in revenue from the current year in line with guaranteed income.
Subscription fees are unstable and, therefore, conservatively projected—reduction of CPTD government subsidy. The revenue is projected to be constant over the MTEF.
The Council is encountering budget pressure against economic difficulties. An increase in fixed costs affects the reduction of the mandatory function budget.
Council has a standing decision to review its funding on an annual basis. The process is underway to review funding to improve service delivery.
The delay was caused by, amongst other factors, the public sector bargaining. Stringent Cost-cutting measures are being implemented.
There is a projected decrease in operation except due to a pressurised budget.
Council will be operating the Western Cape provincial office in the first quarter, while the feasibility study and operation of the Northern Cape office will be concluded with improved funding under consideration.
Council will conclude job evaluation in the first quarter of 2023/24. This, together with the funding review, will improve service delivery.
The reviewed funding will influence the MTEF budget.
Programme 1: Administration
Purpose of the Programme: This programme aims to implement and manage the policy directives and priorities of the Council to ensure the functional proficiency of SACE through appropriate support services.
Outcome: Efficient and effective governance.
Sub-Programmes: Executive and Governance; Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation and Reporting; Corporate Services; Communication and Stakeholder Relations; Financial Management; Information and Communication Technology.
Programme 2: professional registration
Purpose of the programme: The purpose of this programme is to register qualified educators and create sub-registers for particular categories, maintain and update the educator database, and enhance the quality of the registration of teachers by introducing standards.
Outcome: Fit-to-Practice Registered Educators.
An Educator / Student Teacher who applied for professional registration MUST have:
- A satisfactory police clearance against the criminal record check with the SAPS.
- SAPS clearance certificate provided by the Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management of the South African Police Service and should state whether any criminal offences have been recorded against the applicant in the Republic of South Africa.
- In the case of an applicant with a criminal record, this is analysed in terms of the Fit-to-Teach Processes and, where necessary, must appear before the Fit-to-Teach Committee.
- Been screened and cleared against the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development's National Register of Sexual Offenders.
- Been screened and cleared against the Department of Social Development's National Child Protection Register (Only employers have access).
- Had foreign qualifications screened in an evaluation process that is genuine and not fraudulent.
- Had qualifications screened and verified by SAQA against the National Learner Record Database (Currently not happening due to financial constraints).
Programme 3: ethical standards
Purpose of the programme: This programme aims to promote and maintain ethical standards in the profession.
Outcome: Maintained Ethical Standards.
Operational budget of R2m for 2023/24 for over 900 cases.
Inadequate funds v/s increasing caseload and inevitable case backlogs.
Reduced targets amidst the increasing caseload.
Prioritisation of corporal punishment and sexual misconduct cases in 2023/24.
Possible institutional arrangements and networks to explore strategic and lawful ways of sharing evidence and resources without compromising independence/separation of powers – DBE, 9 Provincial Education Departments, Education Labour Relations Council, School Governing Bodies Associations, and Independent schooling employers.
Programme 4: professional development
Programme Purpose: To ensure educators engage in life-long learning to improve their professional competence.
Outcome: Improved teacher competence.
Quality management role
It plays a quality management role in the provisioning of fit-for-purpose and relevant continuing professional development, in line with the NDP (2012), National Policy Framework on Teacher Education and Development (2007) and Integrated Strategic Planning Framework on Teacher Education (2011) through:
- Approval of relevant, genuine and quality professional development providers across the sector (DBE and other Government Departments, 9 Provincial Education Departments, Higher Education Institutions, Teacher Unions, Private Providers, NGOs/FBOs and others).
- Endorsement of Professional Development Programmes and Activities (against quality, fit-for-purpose, and fitness-of-purpose criteria). These endorsed programmes and activities can only be provided to teachers by SACE-approved providers.
- Allocation of Professional Development Points to the endorsed professional programmes and activities against the set quality and duration criteria.
Context – Professional Regulation of the Maintenance of Professional Membership and Status
As part of its professional regulation, SACE must ensure that teachers, as professionally registered professionals, maintain their professional membership and status through:
Professional support, education and persuasion to participate in the CPTD system and various relevant endorsed professional development programmes and activities.
Participation in the promoted and advocated SACE-endorsed professional development programmes and activities offered by the SACE-approved providers to the teachers.
They earned at least 150 points over three years from participating in the SACE-endorsed professional development programmes and activities.
Reporting their professional development uptake and earned points to SACE periodically over the three-year CPTD cycle – as part of lifelong learning, earned points expire after every three-year cycle.
Context – Quality and Fit-for-Purpose Professional Development Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting
SACE monitors, researches, evaluates and reports on the following Outputs and Outcomes:
Actual provisioning of fit-for-purpose and relevant continuing professional development by the approved providers on the ground.
Professional development uptake of the SACE-endorsed professional development activities and programmes by teachers, as provided by the approved providers; Reporting of teachers' professional development uptake, to SACE, by Approved providers.
Teachers' completion of the three-year CPTD cycle, from their participation in the SACE-endorsed professional development programmes and activities, and implications for their professional status.
Effect and impact of professional development uptake on teachers' enhanced professional competence, along with improved learning outcomes and school performance.
Programme 5: professional teaching standards
To Improve and maintain the status and image of the teaching profession and ensure the quality of initial teacher education and ongoing professional development through quality assurance mechanisms and standards.
Outcome: Improved teacher professionalism.
Programme 6: research
Programme Purpose: To enhance research coordination within SACE to strengthen its advisory role and service informed by policy, research, and consultative processes. This programme also promotes research on professional and other educational matters relevant to SACE and the educational landscape.
Outcome: Improved advisory role.
The formulation of the SACE Act makes it mandatory rather than optional for SACE to advise the Minister.
Thus, Council must participate in research that informs policies so that it is better positioned to advise the Minister when needed and, most importantly, research that will enhance and regulate the status of the teaching profession.
The 2023/24 programme will promote research on professional matters and other relevant educational matters to SACE and the educational landscape.
It will also provide statistical reports to inform planning and decision-making and share statistics with the sector.
2023/24 SACE Research Agenda includes profiling sexual misconduct perpetrators: cases from 2019-2022.
Teacher supply and demand: focusing on areas of specialisation.
Corporal punishment cases: trends and analysis.
[ See presentations for further details]
The Chairperson thanked the presenters for the briefing.
Mr P Moroatshehla (ANC) thanked Umalusi and SACE for promoting quality public education and supporting the DBE in delivering its mandate. He commended the organisation's valuable contribution to education.
He highlighted the longstanding challenges experienced by the DBE and Umalusi in terms of the leaked question papers. He asked the Department and Umalusi to outline the contributing factors and the measures to address the challenges.
On Umalusi's country comparative research presented to the Committee in 2022, he asked what was included in the APP to respond to critical recommendations from the research in question.
On SACE's indicators, he recommended that the current indicators reflect actual performance.
He asked SACE to explain how it will aid ECD practitioners' development and professionalism to improve learners' cognitive development following the ECD migration to mainstream education as of 1 April 2022.
On the ongoing allegations of mismanagement, he recommended that SACE expand its capacity and resources to manage cases. He also asked SACE to update the Committee on the progress made.
Mr E Siwela (ANC) commended Umalusi and SACE for their efforts to maintain high-quality education.
He stated that the DBE implemented a new qualification for general education and training certificates. This provides an opportunity to Umalusi to quality assure it. What measures and capacity provisions are in place?
On the ECD shift to DBE, what quality assurances are in place to ensure longstanding ECD practitioners and caregivers are provided with training and certification? Further, how is RPL applied in their case?
He also asked SACE to explain its utilisation of teacher assessments to improve its training capacity development programmes for educators.
Ms S Mokgotho (EFF) asked SACE to explain the omitted update of trends on corporal punishment in the presentation. What measures are implemented to reduce the number of disciplinary hearings of educators due to corporal punishment? Are there monitoring measures in place? How effective are SACE's investigative procedures and protection of witnesses?
On fitness to practice, she asked SACE to brief her on the screening process for foreign qualifications. Are there fraud cases unresolved due to a lack of evidence in this regard?
She asked SACE to provide a status update on the backlog of educators lacking certifications and how unregistered educators will be assisted.
She asked Umalusi about staff vacancies and requested an update on recruitment and appointments.
Mr T Letsie (ANC) asked Umalusi to explain the significant challenges regarding the ECD qualification and whether the policy will be processed in the current financial year. What are the current financial year's findings, recommendations, and actions on the quality assurance and assessment report?
He also asked what measures Umalusi would implement to address the budget cuts and how will functioning of the organisation be impacted.
In terms of indicators, he noted that the projections and targets are set. He asked for clarification on this matter.
Regarding SACE's 70% implementation achievement, he asked for an overview of accountability measures and an audit action plan. Further, he asked SACE to provide an overview of actions not implemented, the reasons and the countermeasures in the next audit plan.
Furthermore, he asked how educators and lecturers are fit for a purpose beyond police clearance, particularly in assessing a person's work history. What are the key objectives of the professional process, and how is it linked to the professionalism framework of public service and administration?
On innovation, he asked SACE to brief the Committee on expediting case management processes. What is the substance of the IT enhancement, and what areas are enhanced in the current financial year?
Mr B Yabo (ANC) asked SACE to explain why the DBE did not increase their funding to ensure sufficient capacity to implement the programmes. What are the main limitations to managing cases?
He asked Umalusi to clarify baseline payments for service providers. Why did it change its indicators on service providers within 30 days, as other providers are paid beyond 30 days? Furthermore, why were the indicators of the errors on printing certificates amended?
He also requested an explanation of Umalusi's main areas of advocacy work and measures to address the lack of quality matriculation results.
He referred to the public's dissatisfaction with education quality and matric results. How does Umalusi address such concerns?
Mr B Nodada (DA) posed a series of questions to Umalusi, starting with a request for clarity on why the NSC is no longer provided abroad.
On the assessment measures at exit points and benchmark tests, he asked whether country-comparative research studies were conducted in collaboration with the DBE.
He asked about the anticipated timeline for resubmitting the qualifications policy for quality assurance processes regarding general education certificates. Does it form part of set targets?
On the certification of schools of skills, where is it located in the general education certificate statement and is it quality assured? Does it form part of set targets?
Regarding online and blended learning schools, he requested information on the quality assurance of these types of schooling. He noted that the Department does not regulate it.
Due to budget constraints, he noted the challenges for the organisation in managing these constraints, especially as a leading organisation in education. He asked whether the constraints overload staff and what measures are implemented.
Mr Nodada posed a series of questions to SACE: whether the professional development of teachers strategy is linked with the higher education institutions and the Department.
Regarding the 70% of professional development achieved, he asked how success is measured as part of the APP. He recommended the utilisation of methods in provincial independent monitoring school evaluation.
In terms of the external challenges of unqualified teachers, was a research assessment study conducted? Does this form part of the strategy to capacitate and qualify unqualified teachers?
On the disciplinary cases, the closed cases were not categorised according to conduct breached. Why does SACE omit to categorise the cases accordingly? Will this be considered for inclusion in the strategic planning and targets for 2023? How is professional adherence to the code of conduct measured? How does SACE account for registered individuals?
He said that the fit for purpose is intended to be more than national screening, as it should also include the professional development of educators. Does the achievement of 78.3% only reflect registration, or does it also reflect professional development?
He also requested an update on the monitoring tool and policies for improved professionalism.
Ms D van Der Walt (DA) repeated the question on categorising cases to ensure effective oversight of the processes. When cases are categorised, the number of sexual misconduct cases reported to SACE has increased.
She referred to a previous request for crime statistics, including murder and rape occurring on the premises of educational facilities. Does SACE incorporate the statistics? How many cases are reported per province and circuit? Do the cases occur in specific types of schools? Will SACE and the DBE implement preventative measures such as working with unemployed therapists in schools?
The Chairperson asked Umalusi to clarify the approved budget discrepancy amounts presented.
Regarding advocacy, is public education conducted nationwide or only for a specific audience?
On SACE, she asked the organisation to outline the eight focus areas.
She asked SACE for an update on the progress of building offices in the Northern Cape, which was scheduled for the 2021/2022 financial year.
On the legislative and policy environment, she asked why the SA Schools Act was omitted. How is SACE assisting teachers in understanding the legislative and policy environment? Why is SACE incorporating outdated legislation and policies such as the NQF of 2008 (as opposed to the latest of 2019) and the outdated professionalising of educators' development?
Regarding foreign qualifications, is it SACE's or SAQA's mandate?
She asked SACE to clarify its core functions considering the high budget allocated for administration.
Umalusi and SACE's responses
Dr Mafu Rakometsi, CEO of Umalusi, responded that the Members' inputs are well noted for improvements.
He noted the challenges of educators requesting qualifications without studying for them. This negatively impacts competency and performance.
In 2022, there were no leakages of exam papers and no systemic challenges in this regard. The benchmark report submitted to the members in 2022 supports the current status of the matric results. The report also inspires public confidence. Comparing the NSC indicates certain areas where the qualification is more robust.
The benchmark report recommendations will be analysed according to SACE's context, and feedback will be presented to the DBE in the financial year. On the schools of skill, the DBE is piloting an assessment model for the GEC.
Regarding the quality assurance of the GEC, the mandate is expanding. The capacity to conduct the work will be realised according to the budget. Umalusi has no budget to conduct RPL for ECD teachers as it is overstretched.
He said the vacancies are a moving target, as vacancies occur regularly. In the current month, there were two resignations. When vacancies arise, official recruitment processes are implemented. Umalusi prioritises recruitment for the financial year to ensure the process is completed before due dates.
On the reduced budget, he noted concerns for the subsequently reduced mandate of the organisation due to financial constraints. Umalusi had to reduce the sample sizes it used in making pronouncements on quality assurance. This meant it made huge pronouncements on the basis of small sample sizes. Staff were working under enormous pressure. Umalusi needs to motivate the staff to maintain positive morale.
On quality assurance of qualifications, he responded that there is misinformation and a general false understanding that international is always better than local. He emphasised the local rigorous quality assurance processes and continuous benchmarking with SADC.
Advocacy is conducted regularly by the executive, senior managers, and staff. The entire South African population is too large to reach everyone. Media advertising is too costly. Universities are often utilised as a platform, especially the faculties of education. This creates a space for ambassadors. Webinars are effective advocacy platforms and are preferred by the organisation.
Regarding home-schooling, there are some challenges due to the lack of consistent standards in some cases. Most home-schoolers are writing exams through the SA Comprehensive Assessment Institute, which follows the same processes as the IED and the DBE.
On applying the NSC outside South African borders, he stated that this speaks to the constitution and sovereignty of the country. The law does not allow this due to restrictions on jurisdiction, and students abroad can compete for limited university and job spaces in South Africa.
Associations with SADC, Africa, and internationally strengthen benchmarking exercises and assessment approaches of other jurisdictions. The NSC assessment methods have similarities with deployed approaches and other comparative programmes. In some areas, it follows 75/25 (like South Africa) or 60/40 or 50/50, or 100 written components.
Regarding the budget, slide 13 of the presentation relates to the financial year 2022-23. The figure of R197 million is for the next financial year, 2023/34.
Ms Eva Sujee, Senior Manager for South African Qualifications Authority, addressed the question about changing targets for the verifications. She responded that the previous indicators for verifications and certifications are part of the reports.
The updated report is comprehensive and contains far more than the initial indicators. Umalusi must submit the learner records to the NLRD, and this aspect was included in the report.
Umalusi also reports on misrepresented qualifications. The President has not yet proclaimed the NQF Act of 2019, yet Umalusi is submitting the misrepresented qualification data to SAQA.
Ms Stella Mosimege, Senior Manager, Strategy and Governance, Umalusi, stated that the indicators on the payment of service providers are guided by the rationale to improve systems. Evidence is available to support this significant improvement. In the first quarter, the turnaround time was ten days, and all invoices were paid before 30 days.
Mr Hendrik van der Walt, CFO, Umalusi, added that the organisation recognised tha legislation and clean audits require payments of creditors within 30 days. Internal and external auditors scrutinise compliance.
To strengthen its financial controls, the indicators were changed. Valid and correct invoices are utilised on the date of receipt.
Short turnaround time ensures that the best value for money is achieved as part of the strategy to build conducive relationships with service providers.
Mr Biki Lepota, Researcher, Umalusi, added that the organisation reaches stakeholders and their networks by hosting webinars periodically.
Ms Mosimege responded on the issue of legislation. She noted it might be an oversight and referred to the amended version of 2008. Going forward, the presentations will refer directly to the 2019 version.
Similarly, on the issue of SASSA, the focus is more on organisations and issues which SACE directly engages with.
Regarding ECD issues, the ECD shift came through the DBE. SACE collaborated with the DBE Chief Directorate on ECD matters and participated in the steering committee.
Ms Tuzana Sophethe, Manager: Planning, Monitoring Evaluation, Reporting and Research, SACE, commented on the finalisation of the report in September 2022.
The audit was being wrapped up during this time. Ms Sophethe provided a breakdown of the internal (6) and external (3) audits. Thus, the outcome indicators of the report reflect this period.
SACE held monthly meetings following the audits to ensure recommendations were properly implemented.
Mr Morris Mapindani, CFO, SACE, responded on the issue of the standing administration which is more than 50 percent.
SACE is a unique organisation which depends on the levies from educators. For the Council to increase the levies, it must consult with stakeholders. It is a long process. It may require negotiation for increased levies.
The administration of expenses becomes higher than the operating. High administration expenses require SACE to reduce the mandatory budget.
The Council conducted a feasibility study on the establishment of a Northern Cape office. The study will be concluded after the levies increase.
Ms Mosimege responded on the issue of corporal punishment on behalf of the DBE. She emphasised the challenges in dealing with learners. It is not always possible to have DSD assist in cases. Often the principal, teachers, and parents have to fulfil the role that a social worker normally would.
Cases reported at schools are also reported to the DBE, ELC, and the criminal justice system. It is challenging for SACE to have a plan, as it has limited resources and capacity.
Review and analysis process is required to manage corporal punishment and sexual misconduct cases.
The broader GBV challenges in the country also contribute to GBV in schools.
The Chairperson thanked SACE and Umalusi for the presentations.
The Committee considered the draft minutes of 14 March 2023 and 22 March 2023. The minutes were unanimously approved and adopted.
Members unanimously approved and adopted the Draft DBE Report on the 2nd and 3rd Quarterly Report 2022/23.
Members discussed the draft second term programme framework for 18 April to 15 June. The secretariat presented a proposed programme for the next term, which is expected to be discussed at the first meeting on 18 April. The Chairperson asked Members to provide input.
The secretariat said that the first session would be allocated to discuss the following:
- The letter from Ms Sukers, and the preparation for the BELA Bill public hearings going forward.
- The report on the budget vote. Members will also follow up with the DBE on pending matters in the context of the budget vote.
According to the proposed programme, the Committee will hold public hearings in Gauteng from 28 April to 2 May, while the hearings in KZN are provisionally scheduled for 11 to 15 May. The proposed dates for hearings in the Western Cape are 25 to 29 May, and it will be the Northern Cape's turn from 1 to 5 June and the Eastern Cape's from 8 to 12 June.
Mr Letsie asked if discussion on the budgetary review would be included in the draft programme.
He suggested that the Mpumalanga hearing should be conducted after the Kwa-Zulu Natal hearing.
Further, the initial programme proposed that the international study tour would be conducted in June 2023. He asked for the dates for the study tour.
Mr Moroatshehla added that he is concerned the lack of a fixed date for the study tour will hamper proper planning and implementation.
He noted the time constraints of the meeting, and asked that the Members adopt the programme in principle.
The secretariat responded that the budget review and annual reports are addressed in the third term and early in the fourth term. He noted the other suggestions that will be incorporated into the draft programme.
Members agreed to the programme's content and noted that dates would be amended as required in the next term.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their attendance.
The meeting was adjourned.
Adoons, Ms NG
Boshoff, Dr WJ
Letsie, Mr WT
Mashabela, Ms N
Mokgotho, Ms SM
Moroatshehla, Mr PR
Nodada, Mr BB
Siwela, Mr EK
Van Der Walt, Ms D
Van Zyl, Ms A M
Yabo, Mr BS
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