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08 January 2024 - NW2903

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Sukers, Ms ME to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether, noting that the Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy in Schools was published in the Government Gazette on 3 December 2021 and furthermore noting that the National Education Policy Act, Act 27 of 1996, requires that she shall within 21 days after determining policy in terms of section 3  table the policy instrument referred to in paragraph (a) in Parliament within 21 days after the notice has appeared in the Government Gazette (details furnished), the specified policy was tabled in terms of the specified Act; if not, why not; if so, on what date?

Reply:

 

The policy has been tabled with Parliament in December 2023. 

02 January 2024 - NW3621

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether her department will put in place safety measures at schools with open pit toilets; if not; what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) support has her department provided to the Nomagaga Primary School in the Harry Gwala District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal and (b) what are the relevant details; (2) whether temporary safety measures have been put in place to mitigate the risk of open pit toilets for the duration of the sanitation project at the specified school; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The question falls under the Executive Authority of the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Kwa Zulu Natal. The Member is kindly requested to refer the question to the MEC for Kwa Zulu Natal as per section 92(3)(b) of the Constitution and Rule 134 (5)(b) of the NA rules. 

02 January 2024 - NW3926

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Van Der Walt, Ms D to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       (a) What total number of pit latrines were replaced in each province (i) in the (aa) 2019-20, (bb) 2020-21, (cc) 2021-22 and (dd) 2022-23 financial years and (ii) since 1 April 2023 and (b) with what systems were the pit latrines replaced; (2) what (a) are the details of the funding programmes that were used in all cases, (b) was the total amount spent, (c) is the total number of projects currently underway to be finalised by the end of the 2023-24 financial year and (d) will be the total number of outstanding pit latrines be that still need to be eradicated?

Reply:

(1.a) The following number of sanitation facilities were provided in each province per financial year through SAFE Programme.

(ii.b) DBE provides wet or dry sanitation based on reliability of water supply by the water service authority where the school is located.

(2) (a) SAFE and ASIDI Programmes are funded through the School Infrastructure Backlog Grant (SIBG).

(b) SIBG Expenditure for 2019/2020 FY to date is as follows.

(c) All SAFE schools have been allocated to implementing Agents and their completion date has been affected by budget cuts.

(d) DBE planned to complete the SAFE programme by end of 2023/24 financial year subject to availability of funding.

02 January 2024 - NW3572

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Regarding the sanitation project at the Nomagaga Primary School in the Harry Gwala District in KwaZulu-Natal, what are the (a) names, (b) contact details and/or (c) all relevant details of the company of the contractors entrusted with the project; (2) whether any payments have been made to the contractors to date; if not, why not; if so, what (a) total amounts, (b) were the dates of payment and (c) criteria were employed to determine the specified payments?

Reply:

The question falls under the Executive Authority of the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Kwa Zulu Natal. The Hon Member is kindly requested to refer the question to the MEC for Kwa Zulu Natal as per section 92(3)(b) of the Constitution and Rule 134 (5)(b) of the NA rules. 

02 January 2024 - NW3563

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Basic Education

What is the total number of schools in each province where pit toilets were eradicated since she assumed office?

Reply:

2975 schools dependent on basic pit toilets have been provided with appropriate sanitation infrastructure through SAFE.

The table below provides a number of schools on SAFE provided with appropriate sanitation per province.

02 January 2024 - NW3456

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       With reference to the sanitation project at the Nomagaga Primary School in the Harry Gwala District in KwaZulu-Natal, (a) what are the specific project milestones set for the toilet construction at the specified school and (b) have the contractors (i) met or (ii) missed the specified milestones; (2) what safety measures has her department implemented to ensure the safety of staff and learners regarding the unsafe pit toilets at the school; (3) (a) on what date was the last performance assessments and/or evaluations of the contractors performed and (b) what were the outcomes; (4) whether any corrective action was taken; if not, why not; if so, what action?

Reply:

The question falls under the Executive Authority of the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Kwa Zulu Natal. The Member is kindly requested to refer the question to the MEC for Kwa Zulu Natal as per section 92(3)(b) of the Constitution and Rule 134 (5)(b) of the NA rules. 

02 January 2024 - NW3506

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

With reference to the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative by her department, what are the relevant details pertaining to the (a) budget allocated for, (b) actual expenditure and (c) construction and/or maintenance of (i) primary and (ii) high schools in each province in the past four financial years?

Reply:

In 2011, the Department of Basic Education launched the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI-2011). This programme focused on the following:

  • Appropriate building for schools made entirely of inappropriate materials.
  • Appropriate water supply to schools with no water.
  • Appropriate sanitation at schools with no toilets.
  • Appropriate electricity supply to schools with no electricity supply.

In 2018, the Department of Basic Education launched the Sanitation Appropriate For Education (SAFE-2018) initiative.  This programme focused on the following:

  • Providing appropriate sanitation at schools dependent on basic pit toilets.

Both the ASIDI & SAFE programmes are funded from the School Infrastructure Backlog Grant (SIBG).  The Department submit weekly progress reports on the ASIDI & SAFE programmes to the Minister (DBE-2023).

(1) SIBG budget allocation in the past four financial years are:

(2) Actual expenditure in the past four financial years is:

(3) Construction and/or maintenance

330 of the 338 schools made entirely of inappropriate materials, have been provided with appropriate structures through ASIDI. This is 97.6% progress.

1 298 of the 1 307 schools with no water supply, have been provided with water infrastructure through ASIDI. This is 99.3% progress.

1 087 of the 1 087 schools with no toilets, have been provided with sanitation infrastructure through ASIDI. This is 100% progress.

373 of the 378 schools with no electricity supply, have been provided with electricity through ASIDI. This is 100% progress.

2 975 of the 3 380 schools dependent on basic pit toilets, have been provided with appropriate sanitation infrastructure through SAFE. This is 88% progress.

A list of the constructed schools is attached hereto indicating which are (i) Primary and (ii) High Schools.

ASIDI and SAFE do not do maintenance of schools.

02 January 2024 - NW3455

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Regarding the sanitation project at the Nomagaga Primary School in the Harry Gwala District in KwaZulu-Natal, what is the latest specified update on the status of the specified project, including the (a)(i) total number and (ii) types of toilets that have been (aa) installed and/or (bb) completed and (b) timeline for the (i) completion and (ii) handover of the project?

Reply:

1. The question falls under the Executive Authority of the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Kwa Zulu Natal. The Member is kindly requested to refer the question to the MEC for Kwa Zulu Natal as per section 92(3)(b) of the Constitution and Rule 134 (5)(b) of the NA rules. 

02 January 2024 - NW2664

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       What total number of plain pit and bucket latrines are identified for demolition or improvement, (a) nationally and (b) in each province by the (i) Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative, (ii) Sanitation Appropriate for Education Programme, (iii) provincial departments of education and/or (iv) any other sanitation programmes; (2) (a) what total number have (i) originally been identified for each programme and (ii) been eradicated and (b) by what date is it envisaged that the remaining toilets will be eradicated?

Reply:

(1) (a) Nationally, there were 3 898 schools initially identified on the SAFE programme and additional 809 schools were later added. 867 schools did not proceed due to some schools closing, some schools not meeting SAFE criteria, some of the schools are on private land and some have sufficient number of toilets in line with the Norms and Standards. DBE proceeded to intervene at 3 380 schools. 

(b) The following tables provides a breakdown of schools per Province.

(i) Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) focused on providing appropriate sanitation to schools with no toilets. The following schools have been provided with sanitation:

(ii) Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative focused on providing appropriate sanitation at schools dependent on basic pit toilets. The following number of schools have been provided with sanitation. (iii) The table below includes sanitation provided by both provinvial education departments and Donors.

(2) (a) ASIDI sanitation projects have been completed. Number of SAFE schools completed are provided in (1.ii) above.

(b) The Completion date for the remaining SAFE schools has been affected by budget cuts. DBE had planned to complete the schools by end of 2023/24 financial year.

02 January 2024 - NW4135

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Komane, Ms RN to ask the Minister of Basic Education

In light of the recent incident in Ward 21 in the Shiyane Village in Umzinyathi, where a pit toilet collapsed and injured several learners, what urgent measures has she put in place to completely eradicate pit toilets at schools?

Reply:

The question falls under the Executive Authority of the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The Member is kindly requested to refer the question to the MEC for KZN as per section 92(3)(b) of the Constitution and Rule 134 (5)(b) of the NA rules. 

02 January 2024 - NW3622

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether her department is accountable for sanitation projects at schools; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) with regard to the sanitation project at the Nomagaga Primary School in the Harry Gwala District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, are there stipulations contained in the contractors’ agreement for legal ramifications in case of project delays and/or substandard work and (b) what are the relevant details of the consequences; (2) what other accountability mechanisms are in place in the agreement to hold both the contractor and her department accountable for project delays and related risks; (3) what specific measures have been undertaken to (a) expedite the completion of the pit toilet project and (b) ensure the safety of learners and staff; (4) whether she and/or her department intend to undertake a personal oversight visit at the specified primary school to gain firsthand understanding of the situation; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. The question falls under the Executive Authority of the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Kwa Zulu Natal. The Member is kindly requested to refer the question to the MEC for Kwa Zulu Natal as per section 92(3)(b) of the Constitution and Rule 134 (5)(b) of the NA rules. 

19 December 2023 - NW3656

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Van Der Walt, Ms D to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether her department has taken any steps to intervene regarding the allegations of poor management and financial irregularities at the Settlers Agricultural High School in Limpopo; if not, why not; if so, (a) on what date, (b) what are the relevant details of the specified intervention and (c) who has been appointed to perform the functions of the school governing body; (2) whether an audit investigation has been conducted into the utilisation of school funds; if not, why not; if so, what were the findings of the audit investigation; (3) whether she will furnish Mrs D van der Walt with a copy of the report of the findings of the audit investigation; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) what measures will be put in place to ensure that the (a) specified school returns to its status as one of the top agricultural schools in the Republic and (b) hostels of the school are run with adequate resources for all learners?

Reply:

Whether the Minister of Basic Education has taken any steps to intervene regarding the allegations of poor management and financial irregularities at the Settlers Agricultural High school in Limpopo. If not, why not? If so, (a) on what date, (b) what are the relevant details of the specified intervention and (c) who has been appointed to perform the functions of the school governing body?

Answer:

I must first point out that the answers to these questions are based from the information I received from the Limpopo Education Department (LED) and that I intend to visit Settlers Agricultural High School in January 2024 to ascertain the accuracy of the reports

The LED has reported that it intervened by appointing an investigation team comprising officials from Institutional Governance and Learner Affairs, Norms and Standards for School Funding, Risk Management and Labour Directorates.

  1. The Investigation Team was appointed on 24 April 2023.
  2. The investigation focused on school management, school governance, learner discipline, financial management and hostel management.
  3. On 25 August 2023 the Head of Department applied section 25 (1), (2) and (3) of South African Schools Act, 84 of 1996 as amended and appointed six (6) departmental officials as members of Settlers Agricultural High School sufficient persons to perform all functions of the school governing body.

 

2. Whether an audit investigation has been conducted into the utilisation of school funds. If no, why not; if so, what was the findings of the audit investigation?

Answer:  

Yes, an audit is being conducted into the utilisation of school funds. There are clear indicators that the school finances might have been mismanaged by the school governing body. For example, the R500 000, 00 Maths, Science and Technology (MST) grant that was deposited into the school bank account by the Limpopo Department of Education on 31 May 2023, with a condition that it be utilised for agricultural science resources or programmes in the school, was not used for that purposes. So far not enough evidence has been found to prove that the money was utilised for agricultural sciences resources or programmes. The Department is still investigating what the money was used for.

3. Whether the Minister will furnish Mrs. D van der Walt (DA) with a copy of the report of the findings of the audit investigation. If not, why not? If so, what are the relevant details?

Answer:

Yes, the Minister will furnish Mrs. D van der Walt with a copy of the audit investigation once the investigation is concluded. 

 

4. What measures will be put in place to ensure that the (a) specified school returns to its status as one of the top agricultural schools in the Republic and (b) hostels of the school are run with adequate resources for all learners?

Answer:

a) The Department has dissolved the school governing body and appointed sufficient persons to perform all the functions of the school governing body and they have expertise in the management and governance of schools. The profiles of the sufficient persons are as follows:

 

RECOMMENDED OFFICIAL

SPECIALITIES

Advocate Tshiwela Molepo

- Legal background,

- Specialist in Governance and School Leadership

Mr Mokobane Malose Simon

  • Specialist in Governance and School Leadership

Ms Mokgehle Mamotlhatlego Sherin

  • Specialist in Governance and School Leadership

Dr Madire Sakgea Elias

- PHD in Business administration and conducted research on small and medium enterprises

- Specialist in Governance and School Leadership

Mr Ntshumeni Thando

  • Finance expert with BCom in Accounting

Dr Mathobo David Nndineni

- Specialist in curriculum support

- PHD in agriculture and conducted research on sustainability of vegetable production system in Limpopo

 

b) The Department has placed the principal on precautionary transfer to the Circuit office and appointed an acting principal who has the vast knowledge of running a farm and a hostel. Sufficient Persons have already established the following committees in terms of section 29 of the South African Schools Act, 84 of 1996 as amended. The following committees were established to assist them to perform their functions so as to quickly turn the school around:

  1. Finance Committee
  2. Disciplinary and Hostel Committee
  3. Admission and Human Resources Committee
  4. Curriculum Committee
  5. Uniform, Tuckshop and Farm Committee
  6. School safety and infrastructure Committee

Sufficient Persons are in the process of reviewing school and hostel policies to enable them to govern the school and to administer the hostel.

Collection of fees

At the time of the appointment of sufficient persons the school was unable to collect fees from parents. Parents refused to pay both school and hostel fees because they said they had lost confidence in the SGB and did not have trust in its financial management. The Sufficient Persons are working on rebuilding trust between themselves and the parents of learners. As a result of the confidence and trust that are improving, sufficient persons were able to collect hostel fees as follows;

  1. August 2023 = R440,228
  2. September 2023 = R440,895
  3. October 2023 = R1,131,233

Unfortunately parents are still reluctant to make payments towards school fees and it remains difficult for the sufficient persons to run the school.

Debt recovery plan

The Sufficient Persons are working on identifying and appointing a Debt Collector. The Debt Collector will be appointed and will be instructed to collect fees with the required aggression. Debts from previous years will also be followed up. Sufficient Persons have resolved that parents owing funds for 2023 can make payment arrangements until the 29th October 2023. The due date for payment of 2023 fees has been extended to 30 November 2023 for those who signed Acknowledgement of Debt and made Payment Arrangements.

Maintenance of Hostel, School Buildings, and Grounds

Sufficient persons have started the process of repairing and maintaining the following:

  1. Hostel burglar proofs,
  2. Hostel ceilings
  3. School grounds and sewage systems.

Farm operations and revenue

The Sufficient Persons are working on a turn-around strategy to improve revenue, operation and accountability on the farm. The plan is that by January 2024, the farm must be able to pay salaries for its own employees. The year-to-year lease agreement for the lease of 128 hectares of arable land owned by the school that was signed between the Willand Boerdery and the School has lapsed on 31 October 2023. The proposed lease agreement is at an amount of R1200 per hectare. The Sufficient persons are still looking into a possibility of renewing the lease agreement for another year.

Please note that over and above the steps taken in response above, as a Minister, i will personally lead a team from DBE to interact with the province to make sure that the matter is being sufficiently dealt with, the visit to the province will probably take place early in 2024 due to current time constrains.

18 December 2023 - NW3904

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Van Zyl, Ms A M to ask the Minister of Basic Education

With reference to her reply to question 549 on 17 April 2023 that her department intends to deal with overcrowding in schools through the Special Intervention Programme on Overcrowding in Schools, (a) which schools have been identified, (b) what are the relevant details of (i) assistance envisioned for each identified school and (ii) timeframes for the programme to be concluded in each identified school?

Reply:

A total of 70 043 additional classes were identified from 8 133 over crowded school across all provinces. The special programme was put on hold when Treasury implemented cost containment measures. 

The building of additional classes will follow the normal infrastructure programmes until we are advised differently by Treasury.

The number of identified schools and classes per province are attached.

18 December 2023 - NW3025

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Van Zyl, Ms A M to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether, with reference to displaced educators in the Republic, particularly at the Lulamelani Secondary School in the Ehlanzeni District, Mpumalanga, (details furnished), her department has a standardised process of removing displaced educators from schools in place; if not, (a) why not and (b) when will she determine a process to deal with the issue of displaced educators as this happens throughout all provinces?

Reply:

The question is based on a direct context of  Lulamelani Secondary School in the Ehlanzeni District, Mpumalanga. The question can therefore best responded by the the Executive Authority of the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Mpumalanga . The Member is kindly requested to refer the question to the MEC for Free State as per section 92(3)(b) of the Constitution and Rule 134 (5)(b) of the NA rules. 

18 December 2023 - NW4167

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department has any functional interdepartmental agreements in place with other departments to (a) tackle bullying in public schools and (b) address substance abuse amongst adolescents; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Yes, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) does have functional agreements in addressing bullying and substance abuse amongst adolescents in schools. These agreements are as follows:
1. Inter-Departmental Campaign on the Prevention of Violence, Bullying, Corporal Punishment, Gender-Based Violence, Teenage Pregnancy, Drugs and Substance Abuse.

The Department and its partner Departments: Social Development, Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services, Health, Communications and Digital Technologies, Home Affairs, the Presidency and the South African Police Service have embarked on an Inter-Departmental Campaign on Violence Prevention.

This Campaign raises awareness on issues such as the prevention of bullying, corporal punishment, gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy, drugs and substance abuse in schools. The Campaign has been championed by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education and supported by other Deputy Ministers from the above-mentioned partner departments, and Executive Mayors. Additionally, it has also targeted districts with high levels of crime and violence known as hot spots throughout various provinces. The Campaign is also rolled out through a jamboree of career choices provided by various higher learning institutions (e.g Universities, T-VET Colleges and SETAs) and build up events that take groups of learners through priority content areas related to violence prevention; including bullying and substance abuse.

To date, the Campaign has been rolled out in six provinces such as Gauteng (Gauteng West District), Limpopo (Sekhukhune East District), Mpumalanga (Nkangala District) and the North-West (Dr Kenneth Kaunda District), as well as Eastern Cape (Nelson Mandela District) and KwaZulu-Natal (Pinetown District). In the new financial year of 2024, the Department plans to roll out the Campaign in the outstanding provinces, Free State, Northern Cape and Western Cape.

2. Partnership Protocol between the Department of Basic Education and the South African Police Service (SAPS)

The Department has an established Protocol with SAPS to address crime and violence in schools, including drugs and substance abuse. The Protocol has enabled all schools to be linked to their local police stations. SAPS conduct searches and seizures in schools and also coordinate crime awareness campaigns in schools. Regularly, searches and seizures of illegal drugs and dangerous weapons are done in schools, as well as crime awareness campaigns discouraging gangsterism, bullying and theft amongst the adolescent.

3. Cyberbullying and Online Safety awareness campaigns in schools

The Department has an established relationship with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies and the Films and Publication Board in conducting awareness campaigns on cyberbullying and online safety in schools including alerting the learners about online child sexual grooming, human trafficking, classification of content, exposure to adult online content and digital footprint through social media, as well as encouraging them to be good digital citizens. The FPB has used its Online Safety Youth Council Members, made up of 11 young people from the ages of 13 to 21 years old in conducting peer to peer awareness dialogues in schools. The awareness campaigns have reached various schools nationwide in 2023 and will continue to be implemented in 2024.

4. Central Drug Authority in addressing substance abuse.

The DBE serves on the board of the Central Drug Authority (CDA), which is a coordinating structure set up by the Department of Social Development to coordinate the implementation of the National Drug Master Plan 2019-2024, on addressing substance abuse in the country, by various departments.  The CDA comprises of officials from civil society organisations and departments such as Health, Higher Education, Justice and Constitutional Development, Correctional Services, as well as National Treasury. Through the CDA, the Department continues to implement its National Strategy for the Prevention and Management of Alcohol and Drug Use Amongst Learners in Schools. Its approach is not a punitive one, instead it is restorative.  Schools are required to do the following to curb alcohol and drug use of learners:

  • Establish school-based support teams;
  • Establish or strengthen referral systems (e.g rehabilitation centres, social workers);
  • Implement drug testing in schools;
  • Implement Curriculum on drugs and substance abuse through the Life Orientation subject.

In terms of training on the National Strategy; provinces and districts continue to re-train schools.  This training is predominately intergraded with the training on the National School Safety Framework. Drug testing is at the centre of the training on the National Strategy for the Prevention and Management of Alcohol and Drug Use Amongst Learners in Schools.

 

  1. National Technical Intersectoral Committee on Child Justice

The DBE serves on the National Technical Intersectoral Committee on Child Justice (ISCCJ), which is mandated to implement the Child Justice Act of 2008 nationwide, and manage children in conflict with the law.  The ISCCJ is championed by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and supported by other departments and entities such as Social Development, Health, National Prosecuting Authority and SAPS. The DBE facilitates the provision of teaching and learning services in 34 Child and Youth Care Centres nationwide, as means to ensure the learners acquire skills, while DSD provides substance abuse and psychosocial support programmes in these centres, as means to rehabilitate the learners.

18 December 2023 - NW4118

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Boshoff, Dr WJ to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether, with reference to the committee meeting on 31 May 2023, she will furnish Dr W J Boshoff with a list of all the documents drafted by the Unit of Social Mobilisation and Support Services as indicated by the Deputy Director-General of the specified unit, Dr Granville Whittle; if not, why not; if so, (a) by what date will she furnish Dr W J Boshoff with the specified documents, (b) what is the status of the documents, (c) who were on the stakeholder lists of the unit and (d) who advised the unit on the drawing up of the documents; (2) whether the documents will be released for public comments; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has drafted two documents awaiting approval by the Council of Education Ministers (CEM). These documents are:

  1. Protocol for the Elimination of Unfair Discrimination in Schools
  2. Guidelines for the Socio-educational Inclusion of Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression and Sex Characteristics- (SOGIESC) in Schools

The DBE is currently doing further developmental work on the two documents, following comments gathered at the Heads of Education Committee (HEDCOM) and will be made available to the Honourable Member in 2024, when the log of comments has been considered. 

The following engagement platforms of stakeholders were consulted:

  1. Education Labour Relations Council Bargaining Meeting
  2. National Consultative Forum
  3. South African Principals’ Association (including KZN-specific)
  4. District Directors’ Meeting with Minister
  5. South African Council for Educators
  6. National Alliance of Independent Schools Associations
  7. HEDCOM Subcommittee of Legal and Legislative Services
  8. Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign Interprovincial Forum
  9. Education Management and Governance Interprovincial Forum
  10. Safety in Education Interprovincial Forum
  11. Social Cohesion, Values and Nation Building Interprovincial Forum
  12. Care and Support in Schools Interprovincial Forum
  13. Inclusive Education Interprovincial Forum
  14. Provincial Education Departments and stakeholders
  15. Education Districts and stakeholders

The following partners have provided advice and technical support to the DBE in the formulation of the two draft documents:

  1. South African Human Rights Commission
  2. Commission on Gender Equality
  3. Equal Education Law Centre
  4. Centre for Child Rights
  5. Universities (Educational Psychology Departments)
  6. Catholic Institute of Education
  7. FOR SA
  8. The Children’s Institute
  9. UNESCO
  10. UNICEF

The documents will not be published for public comment because they are not policies. They are guidelines and protocols to guide institutional governance and management practice.

11 December 2023 - NW4100

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether she has been informed that in Khehlekile Primary School a young queer boy was allegedly bullied by his school teacher which resulted in the boy committing suicide; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what disciplinary steps have been taken against the specified teacher?

Reply:

1) The  Department is aware about the sad incident involving a Grade 6  boy from Khehlekile Primary School in Thokoza (Ekurhuleni).

2) The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) instituted an investigation which was conducted by an independent law firm. A report with recommendations was compiled and shared with the family and the school. The GDE has started a disciplinary process against all implicated officials at the school, including a learner. The final outcome of the disciplinary process is awaited.

11 December 2023 - NW4032

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department has records of the number of (a) public and (b) private (i) primary and (ii) high schools in each province that have been closed or shut down in the (aa) 2018, (bb) 2019, (cc) 2020, (dd) 2021, (ee) 2022 and (ff) 2023 school years; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(a) and (b) The number of schools closed as per the School Rationalisation and Realignment Process (SRRP) since 2012 is 2 547. See attached Annexure for detailed breakdown per province. 

11 December 2023 - NW4166

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department has any functional interdepartmental agreements in place with the Department of Health and the Department of Social Development to assist each other in decreasing the number of teenage pregnancies and/or HIV/AIDs infections in (a) public and (b) private schools in each province; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Yes. The Department of Basic Education has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Departments of Health (DOH) and Social Development (DSD) to implement the Integrated School Health Programme (ISHP) in order to provide health and social services to learners including Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) information and services. The three departments have also developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the provision of SRH services in Secondary Schools.

01 December 2023 - NW3741

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Basic Education

What (a) is the state of readiness of her department for new learners who will be starting Grade (i) 1 and (ii) 8 in 2024 and (b) measures have been put in place to ensure that all learners are placed in schools and that no learners are left behind in each province?

Reply:

a) All primary schools and secondary schools started preparing for admissions of grade 1 and 8 respectively, as early as the beginning of term two in 2023. By October 2023, reports on placements from Provinces indicated that almost 65% of learners in the two grades have been placed.

b) The Department is receiving accumulative statistics on placements from provinces on a monthly basis as from October 2023. Different forms of advocacy have been employed by provinces to let parents apply for placements. There are dedicated officials per province assigned to handle learner admissions. Schools have been directed via Circulars on managing learner placements. The DBE holds meetings with provinces to deliberate on matters pertaining to learner admissions.

01 December 2023 - NW4024

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department has records of educators in (a) primary and (b) high schools who have committed statutory rape under the provisions of section 15(1) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 5 of 2015 in each province; if not, why not; if so, what (i) number of educators have been (aa) tried, (bb) convicted, (cc) suspended and (dd) dismissed since 1 January 2015 and (ii) are the further relevant details?

Reply:

No, the Department of Basic Education has no records of educators either in (a) primary or (b) high schools, who have committed statutory rape under the provisions of section 15(1) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 5 of 2015 in each province;

(i)(aa); (bb); (cc); and (dd) -  The question is relevant to the provincial administrations, since it is the responsibility of each employer, who, in terms of Section 3(1)(b) of the Employment of Educators Act, 76 of 1998, is the Head of the Provincial Education Department, to implement policies with regard to the Code of Conduct; and also to enforce disciplinary codes and procedures against all employees, including educators employed at the provincial level. 

(ii) Once the case is reported by the learner or any other person, who is aware of the committed offence, the employer investigates the matter, and when the employer is satisfied that misconduct was committed, the employer refers the matter to the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) for adjudication in terms of Collective Agreement 3 of 2018 that provides for compulsory inquiries by arbitrators in cases of disciplinary action against educators charged with sexual misconduct in respect of learners. The award in this regard is regarded final and can only be challenged through the Labour Court.

01 December 2023 - NW3983

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Van Der Walt, Ms D to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether credit cards issued to (a) her, (b) the Deputy Minister and (c) any specified officials have been over their credit limit; if so, (i) whose credit cards have been over their limit and (ii) what is the reason for the credit cards exceeding the limit; (2) whether any action has been taken against any of the specified persons for exceeding the credit card limit; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1)      No credit cards were issued to the (a) Minister, (b) Deputy Minister or (c) any other official, therefore there was no credit card that was over the limit;  (i) N/A and (ii) N/A;

(2)      N/A 

30 November 2023 - NW3933

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Bagraim, Mr M to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether (a) she, (b) the Deputy Minister and (c) any other official in her department attended the Rugby World Cup final in France in October 2023; if not; what is the position in this regard; if so, what (i) are the relevant details of each person in her department who attended the Rugby World Cup, (ii) is the total number of such persons and (iii) were the total costs of (aa) travel, (bb) accommodation and (cc) any other related costs that were incurred by her department as a result of the trip(s)?

Reply:

Neither the Hon Minister and the Hon Deputy Minister, nor any other official in the Department of Basic Education, attended the Rugby World Cup final in France in October 2023.

28 November 2023 - NW3695

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Moroatshehla, Mr PR to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Considering that the release of the matric results for the 2022 academic year was delayed, thereby impacting higher education admissions and readiness for the 2023 academic year, what is the level of readiness for the finalisation of the marking process on time in 2023 to avoid the challenges of the 2022 academic year?

Reply:

The 2023 NSC examination results are scheduled to be released on 18 January 2024 by the Minister of Basic Education followed by the Provincial MECs and the release by schools to candidates on 19 January 2024.

The writing of the 2023 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations commenced on 30th October 2023 and will conclude on 6th December 2023 and marking will take place from 7 December 2023 to 20 December 2023.

It needs to be noted that the release date for the 2022 NSC examination results was not delayed but this was the planned date for the release of the 2022 NSC examination results. The DBE had a meeting with Universities South Africa (USAf) regarding the release date and there was agreement on the later release date. The later release date is directly linked to the late commencement of the writing of the examination. The late commencement of the examination was prompted by the need to extend the time available for teaching and learning so that there could be full coverage of the curriculum, given the disadvantage that this class has endured given the disruptions due to COVID-19.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the nine Provincial Education Department have prepared adequately for the marking process and the final preparatory steps are currently being concluded. Markers have been appointed based on a strict adherence to the criteria articulated in the Personnel Administrative Measures (PAM) and ensuring the necessary verifications at the school, district and provincial level. The 190 marking centres across the nine PEDs have been audited and the DBE can confirm that all the marking centres are ready for the marking process. The marking will commence as per schedule across the nine PEDs and will conclude on the scheduled date. While the marking process is in progress, the capture of marks will commence and will conclude on 23rd December 2023. All processes are in place for the standardisation of the results by Umalusi that will take place on 5th January 2024 so that the Umalusi Approval meeting can take place on 12th January 2024 and the final release of the results on 19th January 2024.

It needs to be reiterated that the 2022 NSC examination processes, in no way contributed to the challenges experienced by Higher Education Institutions in terms of admission of students to the various academic institutions. It is also important to note that the results data base is made available to Higher Education institutions prior to the official release of the results to learners, so that Higher Education Institutions can proceed with its selection processes.

The DBE as done in previous years will ensure strict adherence to its scheduled time frames and there will be no delays that will contribute to the challenges of Higher Education Institutions.

28 November 2023 - NW3928

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Van Der Walt, Ms D to ask the Minister of Basic Education

What is the current total number of (a) classrooms for and (b) learners in (i) Grade R and (ii) Grades 1 to 12 in each province as at the latest specified date for which information is available?

Reply:

(a)  The question by the Honourable Member falls under purview of the MECs, not the Department of Basic Education. 

Response to question b (i)(ii) is below:

 

Table 1: Number of learners in ordinary schools, by grade and province, in 2023

Table 2: Number of learners in special schools by grade and province, in 2023

28 November 2023 - NW3667

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Van Der Walt, Ms D to ask the Minister of Basic Education

What (a) total number of public agricultural schools are still in operation across the Republic and (b) are the relevant details of the steps her department has taken to ensure that the specified schools operate effectively to ensure that Grade 12 learners pass the National Senior Certificate examinations?

Reply:

(a) The number of Agricultural schools per province is as follows:

PROVINCE

NUMBER OF AGRICULTURAL SCHOOLS

EC

17

FS

17

GP

7

KZN

4

LP

8

MP

8

NW

4

NC

2

WC

10

TOTAL

77

 

(b) The Provincial Education Departments have put support programmes in place to ensure that Grade 12s receive the required support to pass the NSC. These include monitoring of curriculum coverage, provision of learning materials, through the Mathematics, Science and Technology Conditional Grant (MSTCG) refurbishment and securing of resources and equipment for practical work to be conducted in the Agricultural subjects. The Grant has also been utilised to establish production enterprises at the respective schools. This has impacted positively on learner performance in the Agricultural subjects.

28 November 2023 - NW3703

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Moroane, Ms M L to ask the Minister of Basic Education

What measures will her department implement to address challenges identified by the Auditor-General’s Audit Report for 2022/23 that highlighted challenges in procurement processes and the quality of school infrastructure development in the provinces? ]

Reply:

The Department of Basic Education has developed a 10 Point Plan that aims to address the challenges identified in several reports, including the audit report. The 10 point plan consists of the following components:

  • Updated data management on current infrastructure;
  • Updated and simplified Asset management Plans;
  • Updated and simplified Infrastructure Programme Management Plans;
  • Standardised concept designs, specification, processes and contracts,
  • Procurement of framework contracts, management contractors to address procurement challenges;
  • Local subcontracting;
  • Use of appropriate and relevant contracts;
  • Gateway reviews for appropriate monitoring;
  • Project lifecycle monitoring;
  • Restricting defaulting service providers.

28 November 2023 - NW3727

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Mhlongo, Ms N to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether her department is responsible for vacant posts in schools; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what total number of teaching vacancies exist in Mpumalanga as at 31 October 2023; (2) what total number of posts of the specified number of vacancies have been advertised; (3) whether she has found that the policy to only employ graduates funded from the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme will still apply with regard to the advertised posts in Mpumalanga; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details

Reply:

1. Section 5 of the Employment of Educators Act (EEA), 1998, gives the powers to create posts for public schools to the Member of Executive Council (MEC) responsible for education in that province and further gives the powers to distribute such posts to schools to the Head of Department. This is on the condition that both the creation and the distribution of the posts are effected in terms of the national norms. Section 6 of the EEA further gives the powers to appoint educators at school to the Head of Department. The Honourable Member is kindly requested to direct the question to the Mpumalanga Department of Education.

2. The Honourable Member is requested to direct the question to the Mpumalanga Department of Education.

3. Paragraph 1 of Annexure A of Collective Agreement 4 of 2018 concluded at the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) provides for an order of priority in terms of the appointment into vacant post-level 1 posts. It provides that the appointments in vacant posts at school level must follow the order that prioritises first-time appointments that have a contractual obligation with the employer, and this covers both the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme recipients and recipients of any other state bursary scheme; followed by any other first-time applicant; and lastly qualified unemployed educators. It is therefore expected that the Mpumalanga Department of Education will comply with the said collective agreement.

28 November 2023 - NW3755

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Mkhonto, Ms C N to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether her department arranges matric camps at schools; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) is the total number of schools that have matric camps and (b) measures have been put in place to ensure safety of learners and educators especially in rural areas; (2) which level of her department approves the matric camps; (3) what systems have been put in place by her department to ensure the monitoring of the camps?

Reply:

(1)   All Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) independently arrange matric camps to assist and support learners in various subjects. This is done in the quest to improve learner performance and results (Learning Outcomes),

(a)The number of schools or camps varies from province to province depending on the number of learners targeted for assistance. There were 2346 centres in all, in 2023.

(b) Provinces encourage schools to work with the School Governing Bodies (SGBs) when organising Matric camps. SGBs assist with the monitoring and supporting the centres, and also lend a hand by cooking for learners in the camps. The schools (including SGBs) work with the nearby SAPS to assist with monitoring and to discourage the use of drugs and carrying of illegal weapons. Furthermore, schools work with the nearby clinics to assist learners who are sick. Other stakeholders are brought on board such as NGOs to assist with psychosocial support and motivation of learners.

(2)   Matric camps are organised and approved at a Provincial level with the approved budget and needed human and capital resources. PEDs then draw schedules of the matric camps/centres which they then share with the DBE. The DBE Further Education and Training (FET) Directorate, which leads the monitoring of centres, then drafts a monitoring schedule for the Subject Specialists and other officials from the department, e.g., the Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) Directorates. The Director General (DG) also monitors and supports the said centres.

(3)   The FET Curriculum, the Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) Directorates, the Senior Managers and the DG, monitor and support the camps. PEDs also monitor the Matric camps. In the  current year, the DBE Subject Specialists and the DG monitored 211 Spring centres across the 9 provinces. The monitoring of camps include assessing the quality of teaching taking place at the centre as well as any challenges that might be experienced at the centre related to the availability of resources including the safety and wellbeing of learners and teachers. All the measures outlined above apply to all the centres in the rural as well as the urban areas.                 

28 November 2023 - NW3811

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

What is the (a) total budget allocated and (b) actual expenditure on the employment of education assistants and general school assistants in the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative for each year since its launch in 2020 up to the latest specified date for which information is available?

Reply:

What is the (a) total budget allocated and (b) actual expenditure on the employment of education assistants and general school assistants in the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative for each year since its launch in 2020 up to the latest specified date for which information is available?

(Source: Provincial reports Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI)

Phase I - 2020/21 had ** SAVING OF POSTS which had a budget of R2.43 billion from the R6.998 billion allocated with spending of R1.153 billion, the unspent funds R1.254 billion.  The R1.254 billion was used to extend the job opportunities with additional one month (April 2021) in all nine provinces. The allocation for saving of posts in Phase I of 2020/21 saved 33 542 posts in schools.  

Unspent Funds of Phase III 2022/23 were utilised to commence Phase IV in February 2023.  Meaning that February and March 2023 jobs were paid using funds remaining from Phase III

Phase IV – Gauteng extended the programme to end of December using unspent funds as well as provincial funds.

28 November 2023 - NW3882

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Siwisa, Ms AM to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department maintains a record of temporary educators on its system; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what total number of temporary educators are on department’s system, excluding educators who are in relief posts and who fill in for an educator who is on maternity leave and/or on leave for medical reasons?

Reply:

The Department monitors the appointment of educators through the PERSAL records received on a monthly basis as part of monitoring the trends in the nature of appointment of educators. The latest information is as at the end of October 2023. The table below shows the number of educators appointed who were appointed in temporary capacities as at the end of October 2023. The number excludes those that are in substitute posts.

  

Province

Number of Educators 

EASTERN CAPE                               

493

FREE STATE                                     

1 155

GAUTENG                                    

5 520

KWAZULU/NATAL                         

1 698

LIMPOPO PROVINCE                                  

313

MPUMALANGA                                        

1 178

NORTH WEST                                        

2 807

NORTHERN CAPE                                     

1 883

WESTERN CAPE                                      

8 244

Grand Total

23 291

28 November 2023 - NW3927

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Van Der Walt, Ms D to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether (a) she, (b) the Deputy Minister and (c) any specified officials have been issued with a government or official credit cards since 1 April 2019; if so, what are the relevant details in respect of (i) the name of the cardholder, (ii) job title, (iii) credit limit, (iv) outstanding amount as at the latest specified date for which information is available, (v) monthly expenses incurred for each year since 2019, (vi) reason for such persons being issued with a credit card and (vii) uses that such a credit card is intended for?

Reply:

The Department has not issued a government or official credit card to the (a) Minister, (b) Deputy Minister or (c) any other official since 1 April 2019. Therefore the resultant responses are as follows:

(i) N/A

(ii) N/A

(iii) N/A

(iv) N/A

(v) N/A

(vi) N/A

(vii) N/A

27 November 2023 - NW3818

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department will extend the contracts of teaching assistants through the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative which has been running since 1 January 2020; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in each (a) province and (b) district?

Reply:

Allocation and spending (Source: Provincial reports Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI):

Phase I - 2020/21: The unspent funds of R1,42 billion were from funds allocated to Saving of Posts, and it was utilised by Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) to extend the job opportunities by one (1) month.  All provinces extended the job opportunities for April.  Phase I of 2020/21 also had Saving of Posts where more than 33 000 posts were saved in schools.

Phase IV – Gauteng extended the programme to the end of December using unspent funds as well as provincial funds.

Saving of Posts which had a budget of R2.43 billion from the R7 billion allocated in 2020/21 with spending of R1.153 billion, the unspent funds of R1.254 billion were used to extend the job opportunities with an additional one (1) month.

27 November 2023 - NW3739

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether she has been informed that more than 27 schools, including (a)(i) Thabakhubedu and (ii) Mothibedi Primary Schools and (b) Fawcett Mathebe Secondary School in the Sekhukhune region in Limpopo, are affected by the non-delivery of food for the school nutrition programme; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) what intervention measures have been taken to ensure that food is delivered on time in the specified areas?

Reply:

Response (1) No. The matter was not brought to the attention of the National Department, save for this enquiry in which the Limpopo Department of Education reveals the following:

  • During the first week of October 2023, the circuit reported non-delivery of foodstuff to the district office. The service provider was immediately contacted about the situation, which led to non-feeding. The service provider informed the district about the circumstance which led to non-delivery, amongst others were the allegations that his delivery trucks were hijacked on the way to schools full of foodstuff.

Response (2)

  • The breach of the service level agreement was addressed with the Director of the company; and in the second week after five days of non-delivery, food-stuff was delivered to schools.
  • Currently, there is a provision of foodstuff. The DBE has confirmed with School Principals.  At Fawcett Mathebe Secondary, there has reportedly never been non-feeding since April 2023; Thabakhubedu experienced non-feeding for two weeks; however, feeding has resumed since Monday, 06 November; at Mothibedi, non-feeding for 2 weeks has been resolved, as feeding resumed on 06 November. 

27 November 2023 - NW3880

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Thembekwayo, Dr S to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether she has been informed that schools in KwaZulu-Natal sent out letters to parents informing them that the examinations would be halted until her department paid the outstanding money to schools for the norms and standards; if not, why not; if so, what urgent steps have been taken in this regard?

Reply:

The Department is aware of this matter.  But it needs to be clarified that the schools which sent out a notice to parents that the internal examination will be halted, was based on a notice of a protest action that was planned by a Teacher Union. The schools did not send a notice to parents, stating that the examinations would be halted until the KZN Department of Education paid the outstanding money to schools in terms of the norms and standards.

The schools were responding on the possible non-availability of teachers, owing to the announced protest action; hence the notice by schools that the internal examinations might not be administered

However, the impasse with the Teacher Union has been resolved; and the schools were able to administer the internal examinations as scheduled. There has been no disruption to the internal examinations at these schools.   

27 November 2023 - NW3665

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether, with reference to the more than 1 500 unqualified and under-qualified educators who taught in public schools in 2022, and the low levels of reading and abstract problem-solving skills of many of the under-qualified educators who were tested at a Grade 6 level, her department has held any engagements with the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation to improve the quality of training programmes for educators; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has various forums through which they can engage with institutions of Higher Learning to discuss various issues pertaining to teacher quality, support and development.

Firstly, the DBE attends meetings of the Education Deans Forum regularly, where various issues are discussed. Secondly, the DBE in collaboration with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) convenes Provincial Teacher Education and Development Committees (PTEDC) every quarter in each province. These meetings provide opportunities for Provinces to engage with Institutions in that province and discuss matters that relate to the province. Thirdly, there are also ad-hoc meetings held with Public and Private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the Civil Society Supporting Teacher Preparation, South Africa Council of Teachers, the purpose being to communicate the challenges affecting learning outcomes, the strategies that DBE intends to improve the Learning outcomes and how the stakeholders and partners could support the DBE in improving the learning outcomes.

2. DBE also meets quarterly through the HEDCOM sub-committee on Human Resource Planning, where institutions of higher education might be invited to discuss or share information or research about issues of supply and demand of teachers.

27 November 2023 - NW3668

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Van Der Walt, Ms D to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1) What are the relevant details of the current national priorities stipulated in the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme of her department; (2) whether she will review the specified current national priorities; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1)      What are the relevant details of the current national priorities stipulated in the Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme of her department;

The National Priorities are drafted from subject priorities submitted by provinces and approved by Heads of Provincial Education Departments;  the new subjects that the department is introducing in the sector respond to the sector priorities and respond to challenges that are being addressed by the education sector, - eg. Foundation Phase: Grade 4 learners not reading for meaning, 

Foundation Phase

Intermediate Phase

Senior  Phase

FET  Phase

Foundation Phase (with preference for speakers of African Languages).

•Braille

•South African Sign Language (SASL)

•Neurodevelopmental Needs

Preference will be given for a teaching major in two of the following:

·Languages

·Mathematics

·Natural Sciences & Technology

·Braille

·SASL

·Neurodevelopmental Needs

 

Preference will be given for a teaching major in two of the following:

·Languages

·Mathematics

·Natural Sciences

·Technology

·Braille

·SASL

·Neurodevelopmental Needs

 

Agricultural Sciences

Agricultural Technology

Civil Technology

Computer Applications Technology

Electrical Technology

Engineering Graphics and Design

Information Technology

Languages

Life Sciences

Mathematics

Mechanical Technology

Physical Sciences

Technical Mathematics

Technical Science

Braille

SASL

Neurodevelopmental Needs

(2) whether she will review the specified current national priorities; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

The National Priorities subjects are determined annually, this is based on attrition (retirement, resignations, relocations, promotions) statistics per subject offered by those leaving the department, emergent subjects introduced in the sector, and issues that the department wants to address, e.g., currently, DBE wants to address challenges in the foundation phase. This gives the Funza Lushaka Programme  influence in the supply of teachers in Foundation phase, to ensure that these are relevant.          

27 November 2023 - NW3671

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Van Zyl, Ms A M to ask the Minister of Basic Education

What steps has her department taken in collaboration with the SA Council for Educators to improve accountability in schools by enhancing the (a) quality of the education being delivered by educators and (b) continuous professional development of educators?

Reply:

a) The DBE is represented in SACE structures and is part of policy formulation and implementation within SACE. Various interventions have been undertaken in collaboration with SACE to improve the quality of education. These are the following:

  1. SACE registers teachers based on meeting minimum qualification requirements. This means that a teacher can only be employed when they meet requirements and will be allowed to practise as a teacher.
  2. SACE also works with DBE to ensure that teachers being employed are properly vetted.
  3. SACE is managing a code of professional ethics that promotes good professional conduct. Teachers who contravene the code of professional ethics will be held accountable under the code, and their right to practice may be forfeited.
  4. DBE and SACE have developed Professional Practice Standards that will inform programmes for initial teacher training as well as Continuing Professional Development.

b) In relation to Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD), the DBE is providing funding to SACE to manage a system of Continuing Professional Teacher Development in line with the policy framework of the Integrated Strategic Policy Framework for Teacher Education and Development (ISPFTED). This policy framework allows SACE to approve training providers and endorse training programmes. Endorsed training programmes are allocated professional development points. Teachers who acquire training through an endorsed programme will be credited with professional development points. Teachers are also required to accumulate 150 points over a three-year period.

DBE also convenes quarterly meetings with SACE where discussions around Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) assist teachers with the latest and most recent teaching methods and subject knowledge. 

SACE also participates in various sub-committees of the DBE where issues of teacher support and development are discussed.

27 November 2023 - NW3672

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Van Zyl, Ms A M to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1) Whether her department has undertaken an assessment to determine the total number of learners who require to make use of the learner transport services offered by her department across the Republic; if not, why not; if so, (2) whether her department has put any measures in place to ensure that all learners are accommodated from the start of the 2024 academic year; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details

Reply:

1. Learner Transport Programme is a shared responsibility between the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Transport. The provisioning and prioritisation of learner transport programme is, however, a provincial competency and the National Departments of Basic Education and Transport monitor the provisioning of learner transport programme in provinces. Reports received from Provincial Departments of Education indicate that there is a total of 900 946 learners in 5 635 schools in need of learner’s transport

2. Learner transport programme is funded through the equitable share allocations to Provinces. As at the end of the second quarter of 2023/24 financial year, 707 069 learners in 4 196 schools were transported. This is as a result of budgetary constraints experienced by provinces. We must also note that learner transport programme at inception was an interim solution to provide access to education where there is a shortage of schools and such, provinces have been requested to collaborate with infrastructure units to build schools where there is a higher demand for learner transport programme and relief pressure on the transportation of learners.

27 November 2023 - NW3673

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Bagraim, Mr M to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether, in light of South African graduates’ lack of relevant skills for a modern world, and in view of the Republic ranking as the country with the second lowest productivity level in the world, her department has conducted any research into revisiting its curriculum; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

In the case of Basic Education, curriculum review is cyclical in nature, and the Department has a long history of regularly reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it is relevant to the socio economic goal of the country. Currently the DBE is in the process of reviewing our curriculum with the aim of strengthening the competencies and equipping our learners with skills for the future to ensure our learners can transition effectively from school to higher education, the world of work or entrepreneurial opportunities.

In recent years , the Department has also introduced new subjects such as vocationally and occupationally orientated subjects including marine sciences, and new curricula has been developed for aviation studies, coding and robotics etc. to diversify the curriculum offerings.

These efforts are in response to the changing world, and to ensure our learners are equipped for the future.

27 November 2023 - NW3702

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Yabo, Mr BS to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Recognising that the infrastructure backlog is a moving target, as experienced by her department, what are the implications of the Census 2022 report on the planning and budgeting for (a) Early Childhood Development and (b) infrastructure development for the basic education system?

Reply:

(a) (b) The results of Census 22 were released in October 2023 and the DBE is in the process of analysing the report and its implications for both ECD and school Infrastructure. 

21 November 2023 - NW3020

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether the National Treasury has approved funding for the Special Intervention Programme on Overcrowding in Schools (SIPOS) programme; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) what is the projected cost of the SIPOS programme?

Reply:

1. Treasury has not yet provided funding for the programme and there hasn't been progress thus far.

2. The submitted cost then was based on 13 465 required additional classes at the cost of R4 914,725.000.00

21 November 2023 - NW3701

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Moroatshehla, Mr PR to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Noting that inclusive learning, training and availability of sufficient teachers with specialised capabilities for inclusive education are critical to support learners with various conditions, (a) how are the Funza Lushaka recipients encouraged to take subjects on inclusive education in their initial training and (b) what total number of teachers are produced for inclusive education through the Funza Lushaka bursary support?

Reply:

Noting that inclusive learning, training, and the availability of sufficient teachers with specialised capabilities for inclusive education are critical to supporting learners with various conditions, (a) how are the Funza Lushaka recipients encouraged to take subjects on inclusive education in their initial training, and (b) what total number of teachers are produced for inclusive education through the Funza Lushaka bursary support? 

RESPONSE: 

Teachers with specialised capabilities for inclusive education are teachers who possess the skills, knowledge, and mindset to effectively address the diverse needs of all students in their classrooms. Inclusive education aims to embrace and accommodate learners with varying abilities, backgrounds, and learning styles.

Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree programmes can vary among different Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), however, all institutions know the importance of preparing future teachers to work in diverse classrooms and therefore include elements of inclusive education and training in the programme content.  Covering topics such as understanding diverse learning needs, creating inclusive classrooms, and implementing strategies to support students with varying abilities.   Modules or courses relating to special education introduce future teachers to the basics of working with students who have disabilities.

  • The Funza Lushaka bursary recipients are encouraged to take inclusive education subjects through the prioritisation of subjects such as Braille, SASL and other Neurodevelopmental Needs such as Autistic Disorder, Severe and mild intellectual disorders, etc.
  • To continue to encourage the students, through the Funza Lushaka Bursary, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has reserved an amount of R100 000 per student to encourage students with disabilities to acquire assistive devices in accordance with their disabilities.
  • On the other hand, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is working with HEIs to encourage them to introduce inclusive education subjects, as most HEIs do not have them in their curricula, so when DBE encourages the intake of those subjects, student teachers should find them in those institutions.

(b) Through Funza Lushaka, we offer three inclusive education specialisations 1. SASL, 2. Braille, 3. Neurodevelopmental Needs. But only 16 students registered for SASL.  The other subjects had zero enrolments.

21 November 2023 - NW3700

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Mbinqo-Gigaba, Ms BP to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(a) How did her department solicit inputs from the ordinary members of the public regarding the Early Childhood Development delivery model and (b) on what date does her department envisage the implementation of the model?

Reply:

1. The Department has done quite substantive consultations on the new Service Delivery Model both through internal and external structures. The Inter-Sectoral Forum, which is co-chaired by the Department as well as by civil society is the formal structure through which the Department engages with civil society on matters related to ECD. The Inter-Sectoral Forum is also replicated at a provincial level, which allows provinces to further engage with stakeholders at a local level. The ECD Service Delivery Model was thoroughly engaged through these structures. Similarly, the Service Delivery model was also consulted through the National Inter-Departmental Committee. The Department has now developed its 2030 Strategy, and various communication activities are being planned to enable rigorous engagement in the Strategy. This will entail holding an online dialogue in collaboration with the National Education Collaboration Trust, as well as partnering with the National ECD Alliance, SA Congress and Resource and Training Organisations to support an initiative called “The Big Conversation”. This will entail all our implementing partners having conversations on the ECD strategy with ECD practitioners and ECD programmes to solicit their input on the Strategy.

17 November 2023 - NW3371

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether any short-term plans have been implemented to prepare for the 2023 National Senior Certificate exams; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Preparation for the 2023 National Senior Certificate examinations commenced almost 18 months ago so as to ensure that all processes are in place to administer the first examination question on 30th October 2023. The plans that were put in place over this period to prepare for this all important examination involved the following:

(a) Setting, internal moderation, editing, translation and  final approval of the 162 question papers required for this examination.

(b) Registration of the candidates that will be writing this examination on the Examination Computer system. Finally, 717 377 full-time candidates and 181 143 part-time candidates were registered on the examination system.  

(c) Printing, packing, storage and distribution of the question papers to the 6 889 examination centres.

(d) Ensuring that the 6 889 centres where the examination was to be written was ready for this examination.

(e) Appointment and training of markers who were selected to mark the examination candidates scripts.

(f)  Establishment of 190 marking centres where the marking will be conducted.

(g) Management of the 147 Marking Guideline Discussions where the marking guidelines are finalised and markers are trained to accurately to apply this marking guideline.

(h) Preparation for the capture of 9.7 million marks of the candidates   

(i) Readiness of the Examination computer system for the processing and resulting of the marks

(j) Release of the results on the 19 January 2024.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is confident that all these preparatory plans have been efficiently executed and the 2023 NSC examination will be successfully administered.  

17 November 2023 - NW2665

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether there are any schools that use and/or have plain pit and bucket latrines that have not been identified for demolition or improvement in any sanitation programme; if not, why not; if so, (a) what is the name of each of the schools and (b) provinces they are in; (2) as of 6 June 2023, what total number of schools, nationally and in each province, do not otherwise have sanitation facilities as required by Regulation 12 of the Minimum Uniform Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure published under GN R920 in GG 37081 of 29 November 2013?

Reply:

(1) all schools that require sanitation intervention are addressed under SAFE, ASIDI and also through the Education Infrastructure Grant (EIG)

(2)

Province

No. of Schools

EC

506

FS

0

GT

0

KZN

148

LP

74

MP

0

NW

0

NC

0

WC

0

National

728

All these schools are currently being addressed under the Sanitation Appropriate for Schools (SAFE) Programme.

17 November 2023 - NW3828

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether her department is responsible for monitoring schools; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (2) whether she has been informed of the appalling conditions at the Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School in the Eastern Cape and the mistreatment of learners; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what plans has she put in place to remedy the situation; (3) (a) how often do officials of her department visit special schools to ensure that basic norms and standards are maintained and (b) what are the full relevant details of the visits to the (i) specified school and (ii) other special schools; (4) what (a) actions had her department taken in 2018 when the school was in the news for the inhumane treatment of learners, (b) total number of teachers were disciplined and (c) are the relevant details of the disciplinary processes that were activated?

Reply:

1) No, the Department of Basic Education monitors and evaluates education in terms of Section 8 of the National Education Policy Act 27 of 1996. The direct monitoring of schools is the responsibility of provincial education departments (PEDs). 

2) The Minister has been informed of the situation at Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School in the Eastern Cape.  

3) The Department of Basic Education, through the Directorate: Inclusive Education, undertakes two rounds of provincial oversight visits annually to monitor and support the implementation of inclusive education. A sample of special care centres, special schools, ordinary schools, and full-service schools are included in the monitoring and support visits in four PEDs per year.

4) a) The Eastern Cape Department of Education intervened to address the issues raised in 2018; b) one educator was charged in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, but c) was acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

17 November 2023 - NW3749

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Thembekwayo, Dr S to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department has a framework and/or programme in place to monitor the state of special needs schools in the Republic; if not, why not; if so, what (a) urgent monitoring measures has her department put in place at Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, which has no access to running water, broken toilets and adequate school infrastructure and (b) time frames have been set to effect the improvements to the infrastructure of the specified school?

Reply:

Yes, the Department of Basic Education has mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating education in terms of Section 8 of the National Education Policy Act 27 of 1996; 

a) In response to the situation at Ikhwezi Lokusa Special School, the Director-General has established a Task Team to conduct an investigation and provide recommendations in terms of remedial actions; and 

b) the work on the infrastructure at the school is underway, although this must be understood in terms of the fact that the school is governed in terms of Section 14 of the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996. 

17 November 2023 - NW3685

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Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department has put measures in place to assist the Grade 12 learners who may not perform well in the 2023 National Senior Certificate examinations; if not, why not; if so, what are the details of the measures?

Reply:

Introduction

The Department of Basic Education initiated the Second Chance Matric Programme (SCMP) in January 2016 to support learners who could not achieve subject passes in Matric. The Department will use the SCMP to support the Grade 12 learners who are currently writing matric exams in case they desire to rewrite the exams again in 2024.

The objective of the SCMP is to provide support to learners, who are upgrading their matric qualification or did not meet the requirements of the National Senior Certificate (NSC), by providing access to quality resources and lessons with the intention to improve their life chances. The programme will provide support to learners on part-time basis.

The programme offers support to prepare learners to write one or both national examinations opportunities in May/June and October/ November, respectively.

Learners who are writing the 2023 matric exams and would like to rewrite supplementary examinations, can register at their own schools or at a District office or online. Information online registration and the link to register are available on this website:

https://www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/SeniorCertificate/SCRegistration.aspx

Matric learners are only required to use an ID Copy and Statement of Results or Matric Certificate to register.

2. Forms of support that will be made available to learners.

Once learners are registered, they will be provided with support in the following four platforms:

      2.1 Platform number 1: Printed Learner Teacher Support Materials (LTSM) and other enriching resources

      The Department annually reprint the state-owned LTSM that are provided to registered learners. The printed materials include Mind the Gap self-study guides,              revision materials, previous question papers and memoranda and other self-help materials. The printed LTSM will be delivered to learners through the Provinces          and District offices, and where necessary, materials are couriered directly to schools.

 

         2.2 Platform number 2: Distribution of digital content through the Internet

The Programme distributes the digital study materials through the online and offline solutions. The digital study materials include the educational videos and audios that have been produced in the past. The online solution refers to the situation where learners who have access to the Internet and have devices are able to download digital study materials.

The Department has placed on the website: LTSM, multimedia and examination resources to be accessed by learners and teachers who have access to the Internet. Learners and teachers will be able to access these available resources before and during the exams. All these materials are available on this website:

https://www.education.gov.za/Programmes/SecondChanceProgramme.aspx

 

         2.3 Platform number 3: Face-to-face classes

Working in collaboration with the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs), the Department will facilitate the establishments of the face-to-face classes at selected schools throughout the country. At these centres, top-performing teachers will be selected to teach classes after hours and over weekends. Learners will be provided with the LTSM and other additional supporting materials. It is planned that 100 centres (centres refers to schools where learners attend classes) in Provinces will be established to support learners who will be writing the May/June 2024 examinations. The Department plans to support more than 50 000 learners through classes at the centres. The Department is working with the PEDs to gather learner data that will be finalise after registration.

                           

        2.4 Platform number 4: Broadcasting solution

The Department has forged partnerships with the public and private broadcasters to use both radio and television. The educational programmes are broadcast through major SABC regional radio stations and community radio stations. There are 12 SABC Regional radio stations and 10 local radio stations used to broadcast educational programmes to support the learners.

 

The educational programmes will also be broadcast through television stations that include SABC 1, DSTV Mindset (channel 319) and Open View HD (channel 201). The schedule of the programmes will be made available to learners so that they are aware about these programmes.

       

        2.5 Additional Support to learners

  • Learners will be also offered opportunities to access the educational programmes through the provincial initiatives and private sector support. The telecommunication companies, Vodacom and MTN, have initiated e-school programmes that are made available to learners at no cost. The MTN eSchool is available on this link: https://www.mtnonlineschool.co.za/logint. And Vodacom eSchool is available on this link: https://www.vodacom.co.za/vodacom/shopping/v/vodacom-e-school
  • Learners who have the mobile numbers of these companies, will access educational programs at no cost. More importantly, learners will access these programmes and do not need to have data.
  • The NW Education Department has created the Toll-free number (0800 383 383) that will be given to learners who may call at no cost to access subject experts to assist them with subject contents.
  • The Department has established a partnership with public libraries. The list of public libraries is shared through website and teacher WhatsApp Groups for learners to know where to access these libraries.
  • Teacher/ Learner WhatsApp Groups – The teachers teaching at the centres are encouraged to form WhatsApp Group where learners will be able to engage with them. The Group will also be used to share study materials such as Study Guides, previous question papers and video materials.

 

3. Inclusive Education: The Department has expanded the SCMP to cater for learners with disabilities starting with the blind, deaf and partially sighted in these Provinces: Limpopo, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng. The programme will be expanded in the other five Provinces in 2024.

 

4. Registration to rewrite. Learner who would like to rewrite matric subjects, may register at their school or at the district offices close to where they live or via online. Those who would like to register online, may access registration on this link:

https://www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/SeniorCertificate/SCRegistration.aspx

13 November 2023 - NW3457

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(a) What are the processes and protocols of her department for monitoring infrastructure projects at schools and (b) how often are projects monitored and/or evaluated?

Reply:

(a) Monitoring addresses planning, project implementation and project management, including time, quality and budget/expenditure in a project. These are interrogated and a sample of projects are visited. Based on the findings from these visits, remedial actions are devised with the province and monitored by the DBE.

•Monitoring deals with both programme and project matters;

  • Programme matters include;

-The pattern of overall expenditure being achieved;

-Comparisons of expenditure to projected cash flows;

-Progress being made with key groups of projects [e.g. Water, sanitation, maintenance, new schools, additional classrooms etc.]

-Management of the portfolio of projects [i.e. evidence that the programme of projects is being managed effectively through the project cycle]

  • •At the Project level the focus is on ensuring ;

-that PSP appointments are being made;

- that planning and design processes are progressing;

-that the appointment of contractors is progressing, that construction is progressing satisfactorily, [i.e. on programme, on budget, at acceptable quality…];

and that projects are being handed over and closed out and that final accounts are being wrapped up.

(b) Monitoring can be conducted through various means as follows:

-Ministry and DG Infrastructure meetings; Meetings with individual implementing agents; DG meetings with CEO's of implementing agents and operational meetings with implementing agents

-Site visits by the Director General; Site visits by the Infrastructure unit, Site visits by the programme Support Unit. 

- Provincial officials attend monthly site meetings with Professional Service Providers and contractors ; and 

- as well as ad hoc / unannounced visits to projects.