30 June 2021 - NW1468
Mabika, Mr M to ask the Minister of Basic Education
(1) Whether her department has concluded any work exchange and/or employment agreements with any entity of the Republic of Cuba from the 2010-11 financial year up to the 2020-21 financial year; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) total number of Cuban nationals (i) have been employed in each of the specified financial years and/or (ii) are due to be employed in the 2021-23 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period, (b) are the details of the work that each of the specified Cuban nationals was and/or will be employed to perform, (c) are the details of the specific skills sets that each of the specified Cuban nationals possessed and/or will possess that South African nationals did or will not possess and (d) are the details of the total cost of employing each of the specified Cuban nationals in each case; (2) whether her department took any steps to ensure that the specific skills set of the specified Cuban nationals were and/or will not be available in the Republic amongst South African citizens; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what are the relevant details of the (a) steps taken and (b) outcomes of the steps taken in this regard?
- The Agreement on Collaboration Between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Cuba on Professional Services in the Field of Basic Education was concluded in November 2016, valid for five years from 2017-2022. The Agreement is for the DBE to employ 20 Cuban Subject Specialists in Maths and Science. The break-down has been as follows:
- 2017-2018 (10) Cuban nationals based at DBE, (4) based at Eastern Cape
- 2018-2019 (10) Cuban nationals based at DBE, (4) based at Eastern Cape
- 2019-2020 (4) Cuban nationals based at DBE, (6) based at Eastern Cape (6) based at Free State (2) Gauteng (2) Limpopo
- 2020-2021 (4) Cuban nationals based at DBE, (5) based at Eastern Cape (6) based at Free State (2) Gauteng (2) Limpopo
- 2021-2022 (4) Cuban nationals based at DBE, (5) based at Eastern Cape (6) based at Free State (2) Gauteng (2) Limpopo
(b) are the details of the work that each of the specified Cuban nationals was and/or will be employed to perform, Their responsibilities include:
- Improving teacher capacity, development and support;
- Strengthening MST Curriculum to respond to Curriculum Implementation;
- MST Educator Subject Content Training;
- Producing and Compiling Teacher and Learner Support Material;
- Analysing MST results;
- Screening books, videos, manuals and question papers to look for gaps in the proposed approaches
(c) The Cuban nationals are specialists in Maths and Science; these subjects are listed as scarce skills where there is a struggle to find properly qualified teachers. The specialists have long standing practice in how they teach particular methodologies in Maths and Science that help teachers to master teaching difficult concepts and areas of work. All Cuban Specialists have Masters Degrees. They have also developed materials that are provided to the department to help convey understanding in these methodologies in the identified scarce skills subjects. Since their arrival, they were able to assist the department in identifying some of the problems that the department has experienced in how to teach and what better pedagogical approaches can be explored to overcome these challenges. They
(d) R733 257.00 p.a. The DBE currently has four specialists.
(2) The Cuban subject specialists have been employed to train teachers and strengthen the sector capacity, and not to teach the children. They have conducted meaningful workshops for teachers and Subject Advisors that help them to better understand the concepts and are able to go back into the classroom to teach the learners based on this assistance.