ATC160526: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on its engagement with the Department of Basic Education in Cape Town, dated 24 May 2016
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on its engagement with the Department of Basic Education in Cape Town, dated 24 May 2016
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education having had a workshop with the Department of Basic Education, including Heads of Departments (HODs) of the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs), Chairpersons of the Standing Committees on Education in the Provincial Legislatures and Statutory Bodies, reports as follows:
1. Introduction and Background
- The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, aiming to strengthen its oversight role, held a three day workshop with the Department of Basic Education, Heads of Department (HODs) of the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) or their representatives, Chairpersons of the Standing Committees on Education in the Provincial Legislatures and Statutory Bodies on 22 – 24 March 2016, at the Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West, Cape Town. The workshop formed part of the Committee Programme for the 2015/16 financial year.
- The Committee had observed that although the national Department of Basic Education (DBE) had sound policies and initiatives to improve the basic education system, there was evidence from the reports of the Committee that implementation continued to pose a challenge in some areas of priority in certain provinces. These included human resource provisioning, infrastructure and the implementation of some Conditional Grants. These areas form part of the key priorities in the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2014-2019 and Government’s long term National Development Plan. Specific targets have been set in these plans regarding priorities. [In the context of a concurrent function, the fulfilment of these targets require the cooperation of both the national Department of Basic Education and PEDs.] The workshop was one of the mechanisms through which the Portfolio Committee sought to build a comprehensive understanding of the extent of the National Department’s influence over the Provincial Education Departments’ implementation of programmes and the challenges thereof. The Committee also sought to receive updates on the implementation of key programmes that were not sufficiently covered during the normal briefing sessions in Parliament. These included International Agreements of the Department of Basic Education; Curriculum implementation; and the delivery of school furniture.
1.4 The workshop was conducted by way of presentations by senior officials of the Department of Basic Education as well as the offices of the Heads of Provincial Education Departments. This was followed by an intense discussion by Members of the Portfolio Committee and Chairpersons of the Standing Committees on Education in the Provincial Legislatures, as well as other stakeholders represented, including representatives of the Statutory Bodies and Organised Labour. An independent speaker gave a keynote address on an overview of South Africa’s schooling system, to set the tone for the workshop.
1.5 This report provides a brief summary of the presentations made by the Department of Basic Education as well as the HODs of the various Provincial Education Departments and summarises key observations and recommendations of the Portfolio Committee.
2. Objectives of the Workshop
The objectives of the workshop were as follows:
- To ascertain the extent of the national Department’s influence over the Provincial Education Departments’ implementation of programmes and the challenges thereof.
- To examine the monitoring mechanisms in place in order to follow the activities of provincial departments.
- To explore the challenges and obstacles hindering the national Department to effectively enforce policies and pieces of legislation in some provinces.
- To explore the experiences and responses of provinces in the effectiveness of national Department policies and interventions to improve the basic education system.
- To consider plans and progress reports in respect of:
- Learner Attainment Improvement Strategies
- Ensuring that all schools meet the minimum infrastructure standards
- Human resource provisioning, including teacher supply, utilisation and development.
- To consider updates on the implementation of key programmes receiving insufficient attention during normal briefing sessions in Parliament.
- To document findings of the workshop and highlight policy implications on the monitoring of the implementation of initiatives by provinces.
3. Composition of the delegation
3.1 Portfolio Committee on Basic Education
The delegation from the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education comprised of Hon N Gina MP (Chairperson), Hon N Mokoto MP (ANC) (Whip), Hon J V Basson MP (ANC), Hon T Khoza MP (ANC), Hon H Khosa MP (ANC), Hon D Mnguni MP (ANC) and Hon C N Majeke MP (UDM). Members of staff included Mr D Bandi (Content Advisor), Mr M Kekana (Parliamentary Researcher), Dr H Baloyi (Senior Parliamentary Researcher), Mr L Mava (Parliamentary Communication), Mr L A Brown (Committee Secretary) and Mr M Erasmus) (Committee Assistant).
3.2 Chairpersons of the Standing Committees on Education in the Provincial Legislatures:
- Free State : Hon L M Mapena MPL
- Gauteng : Hon J Mpisi MPL
- Limpopo : Hon S Fenyane MPL
- Northern Cape : Hon M Lekwene MPL
Mr D S Senokoane: Committee Coordinator (Free State Legislature), Mr J Makhura: Researcher (Gauteng Legislature), Mr T Kekana: Administrator (Gauteng Legislature, Mr C K Matshidisho: Committee Coordinator (Northern Cape Legislature), Mr L M Matlhako: Researcher (Northern Cape Legislature), Mrs N Dano: Deputy Manager (North West Legislature), Mrs I Maaga: Committee Coordinator (Limpopo Legislature), Dr H M Nyathela: Researcher (Limpopo Legislature)
3.3 Department of Basic Education (DBE)
The delegation from the Department of Basic Education comprised Mrs A Motshekga: Minister of Basic Education, Mr H M Mweli: Director-General, Mr S G Padayachee: Deputy Director-General, Mrs P Tyobeka: Deputy Director-General, Mr T Kojana: Deputy Director-General, Mr K E Ngaso: Chief Director, Ms V Carelse: Deputy Director-General, Mr A Schoeman: Deputy Director-General, Mr N Maluleka: Director, Mrs S Mosimege: Director, Mr T Martens: Spokesperson (Ministry), Mr M Matthews: Director, Dr M Mabula: Director, Mrs N Rakwena: Director, Mr R Mafoko: Director, Mrs M Mokganyetsi: Director, Mr R Van Den Heever: Parliamentary Liaison Officer (Office of the Minister) and Mr L Mahada: Parliamentary Liaison Officer (Office of the Director-General).
3.4 Provincial Education Departments (PEDs)
- Mpumalanga - Dr H Van Zyl: Acting Deputy Director-General, Ms E De Bruin: Director
- North West - Mr J Myburgh: Chief Director, Dr M M Keetile: Chief Director, Mr L C Tire: Chief Director
- Eastern Cape - Dr Nuku: Chief Director, Mr Mabona: Chief Director and Mr Mnqanqeni: Chief Director, Mr T Pefole: Director, Mr K Mgaso: Chief Director
- Free State - Mr R S Malope: Head of Department
- Gauteng - Mr V Mpofu: Deputy Director-General
- Northern Cape- Mr L Monyera: Senior Manager
- Limpopo - Ms B Mutheiwana: Acting Head of Department
- KwaZulu-Natal- Dr N S P Sishi: Head of Department, Dr E V Nzama: Deputy Director-General
- Western Cape - Ms P A Vinjevold: Head of Department
3.5 Statutory Bodies
3.5.1 Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) - Dr M Rakometsi – Chief Executive Officer
3.5.2 The South African Council for Educators (SACE) – Ms E Mokgalane: Senior Manager
3.6 Organised Labour
3.6.1 South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) – Mrs V J A Hofmeester
3.6.2 National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) – Mr N Ntantala
3.7.1 Professor L L Lalendle - Vice Rector, North West University
3.7.2 Ms A Cele - Parliamentary Liaison Officer: Equal Education
4. Welcome and Introductory remarks by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee
In her opening remarks, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Hon H Gina, welcomed all present at the workshop, particularly the Minister of Basic Education, Hon A Motshekga; the Director-General (DG), Mr H M Mweli, Heads of Departments (HODs) of Provincial Education Departments or their representatives and Chairpersons of Education Committees in the Legislature. The Chairperson stressed that the workshop was a platform for all to share experiences and support one another with the view to improving basic education. It was important that, where Provincial Education Departments were performing well, they should offer assistance to others who were experiencing challenges. The Chairperson further noted the importance of working closely with Provincial legislatures, given that the implementation of basic education policies was the domain of provinces. She also alluded to the education system in Zimbabwe where the sector was performing very well and assisting in uplifting the economy of the country. She noted that the Portfolio Committee often conducted oversight to individual provinces but it was rare that all Provincial Education Departments came under one roof with a common purpose to share and discuss matters of mutual interest and concern regarding the improvement of basic education.
5. An Overview of South Africa’s Schooling System – Prof L L Lalendle
The focus of Prof Lalendle’s address was on policy, practice, research and public opinion on the matter of basic education in South Africa. Furthermore, the focus was on the legislative environment which set out the educational mandate as provided for in the Bill of Rights.
Prof Lalendle in his opening remarks reflected on his journey and opinions on education in South Africa. [He mentioned that those who took pride in the South African education system agreed on the plethora of criticism of the system. He further paid homage to South African politics in the advancement of democracy.] The country now enjoyed a vibrant schooling system with areas that required focussed attention. Education needed to provide a better life to all, irrespective of race or class. The country had made great strides in respect of transforming the schooling system. However, it still needed to be made clear whether enough had been done to contribute to the ideals of the National Development Plan (NDP). Prof Lalendle congratulated the Minister and her team for the strides to improve the Grade 12 attainments and quality of passes in Mathematics and Science. The Department had provided a pro-poor funding model, relevant Curriculum for all, better trained teachers and good labour relations.
Prof Lalendle reminded the meeting of our human rights which, amongst others, included the right to education. He further alluded to the issues around language imposition and queried how we assured that learners had a right to receive education in the official language or languages of their choice. The experience was that the use of mother-tongue within the schooling system continued to be a challenge in our schooling system, especially learners of African descent. Their languages were being marginalised by the schooling system. There was a need for Higher Education Institutions to prepare teachers to offer mother tongue instruction in lower grades as the language of teaching and learning. In his view, the HEIs were ready for this task.
Pro Lalendle mentioned that the Portfolio Committee played a pivotal role in monitoring and evaluation of the work of Basic Education. To mitigate the obstacles that hindered implementation, there was a need to cultivate buy-in from provinces by involving them earlier in planning and strategies. Provinces remained the engine that needed to drive the policy directives and ensure full implementation and success of the schooling system. The National Department provided a national framework for school policy, but administrative responsibility lay with provinces. Power was further devolved to communities via the elected
School Governing Bodies (SGBs) who has a say in the running of schools.
On Curriculum, Prof Lalendle mentioned that the new Curriculum was relevant and focussed on literacy and numeracy. The Curriculum provided guidelines and directives on what was taught in schools with the aim of closing the divide between well-resourced and poor schools. The Department provided support to the Curriculum implementation through the national education portal, Thutong.
Regarding access to education, Prof Lalendle indicated that education of the poorest of the poor remained a priority – which included two notable programmes i.e. No-Fee Schools and the National School Nutrition Programme.
Prof Lalendle highlighted some of the main challenges being faced as follows:
· Planning and Administration – There was a need for better integrated planning and implementation of government policies. There was a need for skilled leaders and look to the Free State for examples of how to implement norms and standards in respect of infrastructure.
· Leadership and Management – Decisive leadership was required at a national level to correct the erosion of confidence in our schooling system. The Department needed to be firm in the implementation of policy and strive to consistency in upholding standards.
· Distribution of Resources – Education received a huge slice of the fiscus and received the largest share of government spending. Rural schools did not have the necessary amenities such as libraries, laboratories and electricity to support various projects.
· [Safety and Security – Most schools were not safe and some lives had been lost in school grounds. School safety did not compromise the learning experience of many learners. Health and safety matters were at the bottom of the priority lists. Many buildings were not fit to be called schools and it was important that safety and security be prioritised.]
· Assessments – The country relied on the Matric pass rate as a significant marker of the progress of the schooling system. The Matric pass rate had improved considerably since 1990.
· Labour Relations – The time had come to hold Unions accountable for the failures of the schooling system. Unions were behaving more like the official opposition to the Department. When the system continued to underperform, all leaders needed to take responsibility for this. There was a responsibility need for all to take collective responsibility for the education of our children.
6. Address by the Minister
The Minister thanked the Portfolio Committee for arranging the workshop and bringing together all relevant stakeholders under one roof. The Minister indicated that she believed that the success of our Constitutional democracy hinged on the interrelatedness of all spheres of government - the overriding principle was that of co-operative governance. The Constitution stated that all spheres of the State were distinctive, interdependent and interrelated.
The Minister mentioned that she could happily report that the basic education sector is in good shape but not blind to the challenges facing the sector. The Minister went on to give the meeting a synopsis of the sector, especially around the core business of basic education as follows:
6.1 Curriculum Stability – The Minister reported that there was stability in the curriculum sphere since completion of the roll-out of the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). The Department developed the National Catalogue of CAPS-aligned textbooks for all subjects in all grades and successfully implemented the roll-out of the Incremental Introduction of African Languages in all affected schools. The Department was also implementing the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) in all languages in Grades 1-3.
6.2 National Senior Certificate (NSC) - Despite the low base, the Minister reported that the number of learners passing Mathematics at Matric level had increased from 120 523 in 2014 to 129 481 in 2015. At the same time learners passing Physical Science had increased from 103 348 in 2014 to 113 121 in 2015. A total of 166 263 learners qualified for Bachelor Studies (25.8%); and 183 720 learners qualified for Diploma studies (28.5 percent).
6.3 Three-Stream Curriculum Model – The Minister indicated that the Department had launched a Three Stream Curriculum Model. The aim of the Model was to fortify curriculum differentiation and diversity through the introduction of the Technology and Technical Subjects. The Department had strengthened Curriculum Assessment and Policy Statements of the Technology subjects through the introduction of specialisation.
6.4 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) – The Minister noted that the Council of Education Ministers’ (CEM) in 2014 resolved that all schools should be ICT enabled and compliant by 2019. To accelerate progress in this regard, in September (2015), the President of the Republic, President Jacob Zuma, launched the Operation Phakisa ICT in Education Lab. There were ten 10 Operation Phakisa specific initiatives that were in progress to deliver on the NDP vision for ICT in education. The Minister listed some of the achievements in the area of ICT to date.
6.5 Teacher Supply, Utilisation and Development - In 2014/15, 10 788 young people qualified as educators, and entered the system. This was 2 788 above the annual target of 8 000 as stated in the Department’s Action Plan to 2014. At the end of December 2015, 93 percent of Funza Lushaka bursary graduates that were eligible for placement in 2015 were placed in posts in schools. A total of 13 980 student teachers received the Funza Lushaka bursary during 2015 and 5 066 Funza Lushaka bursary holders were expected to graduate at the end of 2015.
6.6 Challenges – The Minister spoke on challenges endemic in provincial education departments and schools. She had directed the Director-General to lead intervention teams to deal decisively with these challenges. The Minister broadly alluded to some of the provincial-specific challenges being addressed.
In conclusion, the Minister appealed for collective wisdom to help achieve the goal of improving the basic education outcomes. The Department was acutely aware that for the basic education sector to be a high performance organisation, there had to be no room for mediocrity, ineptitude, corruption and mismanagement of human or financial resources. For every action or inaction, there had to be consequences. Throughout the system the relevant line functions had to ensure that this happened from national up to the classroom level. Meetings of all School Governing Bodies (SGBs) had to focus on holding the School Management Teams (SMTs) accountable on improving learning outcomes.
7. Overview of the Basic Education Sector – Mr H M Mweli
The Director-General (DG), Mr Mweli, in his introductory remarks, touched on the Department’s strategic direction which is guided by the National Development Plan (NDP) and the sector plan, the Action Plan to 2019. He further gave a detailed overview of the size and shape of the Sector with education statistics at a glance for 2015. In terms of the Department of Basic Education’s influence over Provincial Education Departments, the DG alluded to the legislative and policy mandate for monitoring and support. The Constitution provided that norms and standards be used to create uniformity, establish minimum standards for rendering a service, maintain essential national standards and decide on a section 100 Constitutional intervention. The National Education Policy Act (NEPA) directed that the Minister shall direct that the standards of education provision, delivery and performance be monitored and evaluated by the Department annually or at other specified intervals, with the object of assessing progress. The DG alluded to the types of norms and standards; and, Quality and process efficiency standards.
The DG noted that the DBE had established a system of implementation monitoring, which provided early warning of potential challenges and created a lever used to promote improvement. The DG, in addressing business processes, used the Annual National Assessment (ANA) as an example by giving a detailed breakdown as follows:
· Areas of responsibility and key deliverables;
· Major responsibilities;
· Process and sub-processes
· Support; and accountability.
In order to comply with the accountability and reporting provisions, different layers of the system, up to the school level, reported on a quarterly basis according to line function.
The DG also alluded to the Basic Education sector delivery chain and the service delivery system. He further reflected on the accountability of districts, provincial and national in respect of school management. He also spoke of the alignment of the NDP, MSTF and non- negotiables as well as the Department priorities.
Regarding International Agreements, the DG supplied details on the countries, areas of cooperation, date and progress to date. He further mentioned some of the agreements which the Department of Basic Education (DBE) facilitated specifically. He mentioned that he convened the Global Development Partners’ Forum, attended by Embassies, Global Governance Institutions, Development Agencies and International Companies. In respect of multilateral bodies, South Africa was a member of several multilateral bodies in which the DBE actively participated. The DG also gave an update on UNESCO activities and international forums.
On coordination and secretariat support, the DG gave a detailed overview of the following areas:
· Coordination imperatives and key mandates;
· Sector coordinating mechanisms;
· Thematic sector planning; and
The DBE rendered coordination, administrative, and secretariat support services to various sector coordinating and inter/intra governmental fora. This included Outcome 1 Delivery Agreement and coordination through the implementation fora in the form of HEDCOM and CEM; Institutional coordination of basic education provision at national level by way of internal DBE coordinating mechanisms such as BM, SM and MM; and, the coordination of basic education provision at provincial level through HEDCOM, HEDCOM Subcommittees and Interprovincial Fora.
In terms of the sector coordinating mechanisms, the DBE had established and managed various sector coordinating mechanisms (CEM, HEDCOM, MM, SM and BM, among others). In addition, the DBE provided the coordination of the work of HEDCOM Subcommittees and Interprovincial Fora. These served as an interface between the DBE and PEDs at a technical level. The DBE streamlined Subcommittees’ agendas reflecting on the key priorities of the Sector and regular reporting by Subcommittees at HEDCOM meetings.
The need to focus the work of the sector on specific deliverables at particular periods and to ensure system predictability necessitated that all sector coordinating mechanisms observe a thematic approach in their planning and drafting of agendas.
The Department also formed part of an interdepartmental forum and Mr Mweli alluded to the many interdepartmental collaborations.
The Portfolio Committee was also given a detailed overview and summary of the 2014/15 sector audit outcomes for national and provincial departments of education which covered the following areas:
· Financial statements;
· Performance reporting; and
· Compliance with legislation
As the Portfolio Committee noted at the end of the 2014/15 Annual Report briefings, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo required special attention for persistently receiving a qualified audit opinion and a disclaimer respectively, with adverse findings across the areas of financial statements, performance reporting and compliance with legislation.
Mr Mweli gave the Portfolio Committee a detailed overview of the budget monitoring and support as follows:
· DBE 2015/16 expenditure
· DBE 2016 MTEF allocation;
· PEDs 2015/16 expenditure;
· PEDs 2016 MTEF allocation
By the end of February 2016, provinces had spent 88.8 per cent of their R200.6 billion adjusted budget. Spending ranged from 84.4 per cent (Eastern Cape), 87/7 per cent (North West) to 92.2 per cent (Free State) and 90.7 per cent (Mpumalanga).
FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF CONDITIONAL GRANTS AS AT 29 FEBRUARY 2016
Education Infrastructure Grant
HIV and AIDS
Maths, Science & Technology
National School Nutrition
Occupation Specific Dispensation
9 695 824
5 710 273
8 335 875
5 269 919
The table above indicates that by the end of February 2016, the Maths, Science and Technology (MST) conditional grant showed the lowest rate of spending at 75.9 per cent. Spending on the other conditional grants ranged from 82.5 per cent (Occupation Specific Dispensation) to 92.3 per cent (National School Nutrition).
Provinces who showed low rates of spending in the MST grant as at the end of February included:
- Free State (22.8 per cent)
- Eastern Cape (58.1 per cent)
- North West (61 per cent).
Mpumalanga had overspent its allocated budget at 118.8 per cent.
In terms of the Education Infrastructure Grant, which normally poses a challenge in some provinces, provinces who showed a low rate of spending were:
- Eastern Cape (40 per cent)
- Free State (74.3 per cent)
- Northern Cape (78.8 per cent).
Eastern Cape had reportedly returned R530 million underspent budget to the National Treasury for reallocation to other provinces.
KwaZulu-Natal had overspent its allocated budget at 107 per cent, whilst North West had already spent 100 per cent of its budget and was projected to overspend by the end of the 2015/16 financial year.
Notably, Limpopo Province, who normally underspent its HIV and AIDS grant, had already spent 104 per cent of its budget as at the end of February 2016. KwaZulu-Natal was reported as the lowest spending province in this grant at 81 per cent. Spending per province in the National School Nutrition Programme grant was satisfactory, ranging from 80.4 per cent (Limpopo) to 100 per cent (Northern Cape).
On programmes and plans of the Department in respect of Curriculum Implementation, monitoring and Support, the DG discussed the following:
- Early Childhood Development;
- 1 + 4 Intervention Model;
- Maths, Science and Technology;
- PIRLS 2011 overall results;
- Reading and library information services;
- Workbooks in Braille;
- Inclusive Education
- Summary of main achievements;
- Plans for 2016/17;
- Scale of operation;
- Universal coverage;
- Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) and
- Provincial NSC performance.
Mr Mweli further spoke on the blended support package (improving learner outcomes), social cohesion (school nutrition and school gardens) and national school safety programme.
On teacher development and human resource provisioning, Mr Mweli covered the following areas in detail:
- Percentage of qualified teachers (1990 – 2015);
- Programme logic;
- Teacher centres;
- Post provisioning norms; and
- Filling of vacant posts.
In respect of District Coordination, Mr Mweli gave details on the priorities of the Department and the progress with the implementation of policy (including the provincial alignment with policy). He also spoke of the summary of achievement and plans for 2016/17 for school admissions, the filling of prioritised district vacancies as well as district and school improvement plans.
Regarding infrastructure, Mr Mweli gave an overview of inappropriate schools in provinces, progress on ASIDI, provision of water, sanitation and electricity. He also spoke of the summary of achievements and plans in respect of school furniture, water and sanitation and storm-damaged schools buildings
On national examinations and assessments, Mr Mweli detailed ANA learner improvement for all Grades. He also gave details in respect of the following:
- Achievement levels of Grade 3 learners in Mathematics;
- Percentage of Grade 6 learners in achievement levels for Mathematics;
- Percentage of Grade 9 learners in achievement levels for Mathematics;
- Annual National Assessments; and
- National Senior Certificate (NSC) performance from 2008 to 2015.
8.1 The Portfolio Committee expressed deep concern that the Eastern Cape Provincial Education Department had underspent R530 million of its Education Infrastructure Grant (EIG) in the 2015/16 financial year, which resulted in the National Treasury reallocating the money to other Provinces. Members also raised a concern that learners with disabilities in rural areas in the Eastern Cape Provincial Education Department were not being accommodated as they should be. A further concern raised was over a trend of ill-discipline of learners, early pregnancies and staff shortages in the Province.
8.2 The Portfolio Committee queried how IQMS could be used to boost teacher competence and responding to challenges raised - and brought to the attention of provincial education departments.
8.3 The Portfolio Committee queried the systems in place to ensure accountability of PEDs on a regular basis – and the forums they accounted to at various levels.
8.4 It was important that those PEDs doing well offered assistance and advice to those struggling PEDs. Provincial Education Departments need to acknowledge that there were leadership challenges that affected the performance of schools. Members were curious to understand the plans of DBE in addressing this specific challenge.
8.5 Members queried the relationship between the DBE and the Department of Higher Education and Training to improve the quality of our education.
8.6 Although the challenges in the sector were receiving attention from the Department, Members requested that the joint action by DBE and PEDs in respect of concurrent functions needed to be further explained. With implementation, there was no adequate clarity as to the roles and responsibilities of the various spheres. Some provinces had re-prioritised some of their grants based on the needs of the province.
8.7 Members queried the funds available for school maintenance.
8.8 Members were of the view that uniformity needed to be created in respect of services from PEDs which required specific norms and standards.
8.9 The South African Council for Educators (SACE) was of the view that it was necessary to have training practice standards which would also include mentorship.
8.10 The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) was of the view that there was a need to look at comparisons between provinces and the number of learners able to be retained in the system. Learners were being prepared for occupations that did not exist currently. The Union also indicated that the issue of Languages was an important one.
8.11 The Chairperson of the Education Committee in the Free State Provincial Legislature alluded to the challenges with Mathematics – and the concern that learners were mostly doing Mathematics Literature which limited career paths. All learners were capable of doing well in Mathematics with the necessary support, guidance and encouragement.
8.12 The Chairperson of the Education Committee in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature indicated that during their oversight visits, they had realised learner’s increased interest in reading as a result of the use of ICTequipment/tools. Organised labour had also raised issues around their participation in the Annual National Assessment (ANA) and the programmes in place in respect of the continuation thereof. The Department also needed to ensure that teacher training received at universities and colleges was properly capacitated to roll-out teaching in classrooms. Teachers needed to be fully competent in the classroom. The Chairperson acknowledge their infrastructure challenges that required rectification.
8.13 The Portfolio Committee also noted the lack of management and leadership at school level and queried how the DBE was able to capacitate schools.
8.14 The Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Limpopo Provincial Legislature indicated that there was a need to appreciate PEDs where good work was being done. He mentioned that the tolerance of underperformance and mediocrity needed to be addressed. He was of the view that there be consequence management at all levels. He further indicated that the politicization of our education at schools and the system needed to be addressed. Educators did not place the learner at the centre of all they do. The hallmarks of success at a school hinged on the principal and teachers and their relationship. On Languages, he indicated that, instead of playing victim, there was a need to take queue from Afrikaans language and how they organised their Language at schools. He was further of the view that African parents had taken away the right to parent their children.
8.15 Prof Lalendle queried whether there was any correlation between audits and the performance of provinces. He further queried whether there was any base-line data used to ensure the improvement of our schooling system. He was of the view that Universities were ready to develop our teachers. Prof Lalendle also queried the extent of social services within the schooling system.
9. Presentations by Provincial Education Departments
The presentations by the Provincial Education Departments focused mainly on the following:
- Improving Curriculum delivery: learner attainment improvement plans; the implementation of Second Chance Matric Programme; support to progressed learners; and, the availability of textbooks
- Human resource provisioning, including teacher supply, utilisation and development; and
- Inclusive Education.
9.1 KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Education Department – Dr N S P Sishi
The Head of Department (HOD), Dr Sishi, alluded to the Department’s Learner Attainment Improvement Plan for improving Curriculum delivery which gave details in the following:
· Percentage drop by districts in 2015;
· Categories of performance by quintile ranking of schools;
· District results analysis;
· The number of underperforming schools;
· Performance in gateway subjects; and
· Subject profiles.
The HOD noted that one of the challenges in the system was that there were less learners taking Mathematics than Mathematical Literacy. This undermined the efforts of the system to encourage more learners to offer Mathematics. KwaZulu-Natal had increased the number of learners enrolled for Mathematics, with more than half of the learners offering the subject in 2015. Other provinces had more learners registered for Mathematical Literacy than Mathematics in 2015. The Northern Cape had the highest percentage of learners taking Mathematical Literacy nationally. Although nationally, the number of learners passing Mathematics had increased in 2015 as compared to 2014, the performance had dropped from 53.5 percent in 2014 to 49.1 percent in 2015.
The HOD alluded to activities to be undertaken to address underperformance in Mathematics and Science (with success indicators, responsibility and time-frames). Key activities included conducting training on mastery of subject content and methodology training; establishing Mathematics camps per District targeting mainly schools who obtained 0 – 30 per cent; and, conducting structured Saturday classes. The HOD further alluded to the key issues and activities in respect of the following:
· Learner Attainment improvement plans in key subjects;
· Teaching of the new content knowledge in CAPS;
· Increasing the frequency and effectiveness of school monitoring and support visits;
· Improvement of learner’s study and examination skills;
· Improvement of School-Based Assessment (SBA);
· Quality of marking;
· Elimination of examination misdemeanours;
· Focussed improvement of the zero percent to 30 percent schools and 31 percent to 59 percent schools;
· Implementation of the Second Chance Matric Programme; and
· Support to progressed learners.
On textbook coverage, Dr Sishi indicated that the overall average textbook coverage in 2016 across all grades was 85 percent which was a significant improvement from the 62 percent textbook coverage in 2015. However, there was still a challenge in Grades 8 – 12.
9.2 Limpopo Provincial Education Department - Ms B Mutheiwana
The Acting HOD, Ms Mutheiwana, gave a detailed overview and analysis of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examinations 2015 Grade 12 results covering the following:
· Learner performance;
· Circuit performance;
· Performance in selected subjects;
· Provincial subject performance; and
· Performance of progressed learners.
Ms Mutheiwana also alluded to the action-plan to improve the 2016 NSC results with a breakdown of the objectives, areas of focus, remedial action, responsibility and time- line under the following headings:
· Curriculum Development;
· District Coordination; and
· Corporate Services.
Key activities to improve learner performance across the system included training teachers to pitch lessons and assessment activities at appropriate levels; conducting enrichment programmes for learners; administering mid-year common examinations in selected subjects; implementing the MST strategy to improve learner performance; and capacitating managers on the management of underperforming schools.
Regarding the implementation of the Second Chance Matric Programme, it was indicated that the programme had been rolled-out in two districts (Mopani and Sekhukhune Districts) out of five. A total of four Second Chance Matric Centres had been established. The Mopani District managed to implement Phase 1 of the Second Chance Matric Programme. Unfortunately, Sekhukhune District could not implement Phase 1 of the programme because of challenges experienced. Phase 1 focused on learners who qualified for the 2016 supplementary examination. Ms Mutheiwana gave the Portfolio Committee a detailed breakdown of the progress with Phase 1 in all the centres. Key challenges noted included poor advocacy for the Programme; transport challenges; and unregistered learners coming for tuition. The HOD further alluded to the plans of the Department in respect of Phase 2 of the programme as well as support being provided to progressed learners.
On the availability of textbooks, the HOD indicated that 100 percent of stationery ordered was delivered to schools. Schools received 100 percent delivery of Grade R big books, readers and posters and Grade 10 Technical subjects. For Grade 11 Setworks/Literature, only 95 percent was delivered with top-ups of 94 percent of 403 847 books ordered. Key challenges in respect of LTSM delivery to schools included delays in delivery by some publishers, particularly when the orders were low; capacity challenges at SAPO which led to delays in delivery to schools; and, retrieval challenges. Corrective measures being implemented included continuous engagement with/performance assessment of publishers; and the encouragement of incentives for the full return of textbooks.
The HOD gave a detailed overview of Human Resource Provisioning and mentioned that the 2016 Post-Provisioning Norm (PPN) was consulted as per the requirement of EEA with the MEC endorsing a provincial pool of 52 252. The implementation thereof was still a matter to be handled with stakeholders in various schools, circuits and districts. The Department had advertised management posts that would impact on delivering the curriculum, thereby improving learner performance. The HOD also touched on the placement of the Funza Lushaka Bursars and the number of posts to be filled in 2016/17.
The shortage of Mathematics and Science educators still existed in the Province. Amongst other strategies, the Department utilised foreign educators with the DBE partnering with TeachSA to employ graduates, not qualified as teachers, to begin by teaching before joining the private sector.
In respect of the Portfolio Committee’s oversight findings, Ms Mutheiwana reported the progress as follows:
• The Department conducted an audit on the usage of the allocated Braille LTSM assistive devices in all the schools offering scholastic programmes. i.e. CAPS.
• Follow-up intensive training for teachers (including principals) on the utilisation of the devices was held on 18-19 January 2016.
• Some schools were at an advanced level in terms of the Braille LTSM assistive device.
• Schools had been requested to submit the titles of their textbooks and learner guides to be loaded into the Braille Note Apex.
• All public special schools for learners with visual impairment were going to receive one new Embosser as part of their top-ups.
• Roving Technical Intern Assistants would provide on-site support in the new financial year to enhance usage and mastery of the gadget.
• The Braille LTSM/Specialised assistive devices had been allocated to specific schools with the required shortfall and top-ups.
Ms Mutheiwana further elaborated on findings, recommendations and progress in respect of the following:
· Learner transport;
· The School Nutrition Programme;
· School Governance;
· Inclusive Education, Social Mobilisation and Well-being; and
· Early Childhood Development (ECD).
On the issues of infrastructure, Ms Mutheiwana touched on the relocation of Setotolwane Special School. She mentioned that concurrent work was underway on two different sites (i.e. Setotolwane and Hwiti Secondary Schools). The Department was looking to effect immediate upgrading of Setotolwane hostels with further work being undertaken at Hwiti. Work at Hwiti had reached practical completion with a possible hand-over planned for 01/04/16. With the mobile classrooms being refurbished, learners were scheduled to move to the school.
9.3 Western Cape Provincial Education Department – Ms P A Vinjevold
The HOD, Ms Vinjevold, gave the Portfolio Committee a detailed breakdown of the Grade 1 – 11 pass rates for 2014 and 2015. Added to this the HOD also supplied information on Grades 3, 6 and 9 Language and Mathematics pass percentages. The HOD further elaborated on the learners who wrote against the number who passed the NSC examination, and the percentage of Bachelor passes. The HOD touched on the details pertaining to the NSC by quintile from 2010 – 2015, as well as the number of schools per pass category for 2010, 2014 and 2015.
In respect of Post Provisioning Norms (PPN) for 2017, Ms Vinjevold alluded to the assessment of needs for 2017 teacher establishments together with the pre-MTEF consultation to gauge needs and set priority focus areas for 2016. This process began as early as 5 May 2016 to allow extensive consultations. The Department would continue consultation on priority areas and best scenarios in terms of post provisioning for 2017. Further consultation would occur on the distribution of posts for 2017 in respect of the distribution of teacher establishments to ordinary public schools as well as public special schools. The distribution of teacher establishments to both ordinary public schools and public special schools was earmarked for August 2016.
9.4 Gauteng Provincial Education Department – Mr V Mpofu
Mr Mpofu, in his opening remarks alluded to the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) goals and strategic pillars and the services provided by the GDE. The GDE was of the view that through whole school improvement they could produce the 5T’s of effective teaching and learning as follows:
· Teachers - Ensuring teachers provide effective teaching
· Time – Ensuring appropriate use of every school day
· Textbooks – Ensuring every learner has access to appropriate material
· Testing (Assessment) – Ensuring the use of appropriate and effective learner assessment
· Timetable – Ensuring the use of effective and appropriate timetables
The GDE was also looking to ensure a system-wide data-driven approach to education in order to enhance system performance. In respect of learner attainment, Mr Mpofu touched on some of the achievements and challenges experienced. He further spoke on issues around the 2015 NSC results and the ANA performance. The GDE was increasing monitoring and support at all levels for effective delivery of the Curriculum and to ensure feedback between various stakeholders. Mr Mpofu also gave detailed information on the GDE priorities for the 2016/17 MTEF.
On Curriculum and Assessment Development, the GDE would intensify ANA and Matric interventions and increase district oversight at school level in respect of Curriculum completeness and assessment standards. The Department would ensure clearer and more defined Grades 6, 9 and School Management Team interventions with intensified teacher training in high risk subjects.
In respect of Teacher Development and Support, Mr Mpofu mentioned the increased accountability by line managers in filling office-based vacancies timeously and within the 90-day period. The Department would also reinforce the improvement in the turnaround time in the management of labour cases.
With leadership and management, Mr Mpofu indicated the improvement of support to schools and intensifying circuit and cluster support. The Department wanted to ensure improved accountability and SGB dispute resolution structures in place.
On Early Childhood Development (ECD), Mr Mpofu mentioned that the Department was revising the Grade R Strategy and Plan to achieve universalisation, including the finalisation of regulations related to the registration of Private Grade R. The Department would review the budget plan for Grade R and ensure optimal utilisation of the budget. The move was to streamline the training of Grade R practitioners and to ensure that all new recruits were trained before assuming duty. There was a need for increased oversight and support of Grade R programmes at school-level by district officials.
9.5 Northern Cape Provincial Education Department – Mr L Monyera
In his opening remarks, Mr Monyera alluded to the Departments ten-point-plan with key focus areas identified to improve performance. These included, amongst others the following:
· Teacher Development – These included Curriculum road shows, cluster workshop sessions and teacher development clinics for high risk subjects. Furthermore, the provincial intervention plan included teacher empowerment sessions, lead teacher programmes and content support for high risk underperforming schools.
· Learner Interventions – The intervention plan included seasonal schools for top achievers and borderline and progressed learners. The provincial intervention plan also allowed for support classes and lock-in sessions.
· Improving School-based Assessment – This included addressing all issues during clinics, empowerment sessions, cluster meetings and school support visits.
· Subject Improvement Plans - The FET Directorate in conjunction with districts developed a focussed set of resource material which will be used at all interventions throughout the year. Mind the GAP was used as a guiding resource.
· SMT Capacity Building – The Department planned workshops to strengthen the capacity of SMT’s on Curriculum management.
· Custodian Support – This support involved Head Office curriculum officials being assigned as custodians to identified underperforming schools to offer additional support
· Psycho-Social Support Programme - The 2016 Psycho-social Support Programme would focus on the 2 200 progressed learners who achieved a maximum of three level 1’s in the November Grade 11 examination. The main driver of the Psycho-social Support Programme was to effect level progression with respect to the performance of the identified group. To this end, every service provider would be expected to sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the Department. Phase 1 was to be delivered during the period 1 March through 18 March. This was a series of contact sessions comprising activities and interventions for each school identified by the Department and were to be conducted by each Service Provider as appointed by the Department. Phase 2 involved innovative learning skills (ILS) based on findings from Phase 1. The third Phase involved parents and teachers as the target audience. The theme was Psycho-Social Learner Support for Academic Performance.
· Modularisation - The process of modularisation implied that learners would write a certain number of subjects at the end of the academic year and the rest in June of the following year.
On the Second Chance Programme, Mr Monyera touched on the establishment of the centres to serve the programme. Whilst the focus was only on two of the five districts, a total of 11 centres were established, of which seven were in the Frances Baard District and four in the JTG District. Due to the vast distances in the Northern Cape, these centres had to be carefully selected according to the proximity of where learners were residing, in an effort to counter transport challenges. Mr Monyera also alluded to some of the challenges faced with the establishment of the centres.
Regarding LTSM, Mr Monyera mentioned that schools place orders based on projected numbers in June and orders are verified in July. The Department placed orders with publishers during July – August and orders are delivered to Departmental warehouses by September – October. The managing agents are delivered to schools in October – November. Schools declare shortages in January – February with mop-up orders placed by the Department during this period. All mop-ups were delivered in February – March. Mr Monyera also alluded to the challenges and mitigations in respect of LTSM.
On Post Provisioning Norms (PPN), Mr Monyera spoke of the issuing of the 2016 educator staff establishment and the principles and factors applied. He further indicated the management of additional educators based on multi-phase and multi-grade teaching. He further addressed the processes in respect of the distribution of the 2016 educator staff establishment.
In respect of Inclusive Education, Mr Monyera, indicated that the Department was looking to strengthen competency in the implementation of the Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS) Instrument for Subject Advisors (Provincial and Districts Offices) and school level. The centralised admission process of learners with barriers to learning had resulted in an increase in the number of learners with barriers to learning being placed in Special Schools. Teacher induction, training and ongoing support on the Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS) Instrument for both officials (Provincial and Districts Offices) and schools continue to be provided. Through collaboration with Maphalane Disability and the Siyakha Education Trusts, infrastructure for Special Schools and SASL learning and teaching support material (LTSM) had been procured for the one school offering education to the deaf.
9.6 North West Provincial Education Department – Mr J Myburgh
Mr Myburgh gave a detailed breakdown of the underperforming schools with a review of 2015. He alluded to the NSLA reporting framework which addressed nine key areas of the sector intended to improve the schooling system from Grades R – 12. He further touched on the provincial plans and the 2016 priority areas. Mr Myburgh also gave further details in respect of the following areas:
· Use of diagnostic reports;
· Increased cognitive demand of papers;
· Language of learning and teaching; and
· SBA practices.
The provincial number of progressed learners in Grade 12 had doubled from the 2015 numbers. This requires double effort in ensuring that the group did not affect performance. The Department needed to ensure that they provide attention to all learners and not focus only on progressed learners at the expense of progressed learners. Mr Myburgh also touched on the following aspects:
· Budget implications for camps;
· NSLA reporting schedule;
· SBA practices; and
Mr Myburgh also touched on specific areas of challenge in respect of Mathematics, Life Science and Physical Science. He alluded to best practices and specific interventions by the Department.
On the Second Chance Matric Programme, Mr Myburgh indicated that the greatest challenge facing the basic education sector was the high dropout rate of learners in the system. The overarching objective of the programme was to offer young people who had failed to meet the requirements of NSC, a second chance to obtain matriculation and thereby improve their quality of life. The programme was piloted this year (2016) and registration for participation was open to learners who attempted the NSC examinations in 2015.
Mr Myburgh also gave details on the number of progressed learners in the system from the various districts with a schedule in respect of the planning processes in handling these learners. He also alluded to the many challenges faced by these progressed learners in attending the support centres – and alluded to the recommendations to mitigate these challenges.
Regarding educator post, the Department indicated that the academic year  and financial year [2015/2016] were not the same. The number of affordable educator posts for the academic year 2016 was determined in 2015 according to annual survey information. The MEC determined the affordable number of posts, taking into account the budget of the Department – in consultation with employee organisations. The Head of Department (HOD) distributed the number of affordable educator posts through the post provisioning model. The Portfolio Committee also received details of the number of educator posts per category for public schools with figures for excess educators. The Department also otlined strategies to address the shortage of educators in the system.
In respect of teacher development, the Department gave a detailed breakdown of the budget for training and development and the Department’s teacher development plan for 2015/16.
On Inclusive Education, it was indicated that 20 Subject Advisors, inclusive education officials and Educators were trained in Grade-2 Braille. Assistive devices had been purchased for Dr Ruth Mompati and Dr Kenneth Kaunda Districts with the remaining districts receiving devices in the next financial year. The 20 newly appointed Subject Advisors would be trained in Braille in the 2016/17 financial year. The procurement of enlarged print and Braille for outstanding grades would be conducted in the 2016/17 financial year.
9.7 Free State Provincial Education Department – Mr R S Malope
Mr Malope, in his opening remarks gave a detailed breakdown of the learner attainment plans in respect of the improvement of Curriculum delivery and learner attainment which included, amongst others the following:
· Resource provisioning;
· Direct learner support;
· Stakeholder support; and
Mr Malope also touched on the challenges faced in respect of Curriculum delivery and learner attainment.
Regarding the Second Chance Programme, Mr Malope mentioned that the programme was running in two districts (Motheo and Thabo). Coordinators had been appointed in both districts and at provincial level. Motheo District had five centers and Thabo Mofutsanyane District four centres. The Department ran an advocacy campaign through the media.
Mr Malope also gave a detailed analysis of the support provided by the Department to all progressed learners in the system. He further gave a detailed account of the availability of LTSM under the following headings:
· Procurement model;
· Challenges and mitigation plans;
· South African Sign Language (SASL), Braille and Large Print; and
· Incremental Introduction of African Languages.
In respect of Human Resource Provisioning, Teacher Supply, Utilisation and Development, Mr Malope indicated that the provincial department supplied teachers to schools through various means. Whenever a post level 1 vacancy existed at a school, educators were sourced from the following:
· Excess list;
· Fundza Lushaka Bursars;
· Provincial Bursars; and
· Provincial Database of unemployed educators.
There were no delays experienced in appointing post level 1 educators with the Province converting temporary educators into permanent upon completion of six months continuous service in vacant substantive posts (Collective Agreement 1 of 2009). The contracts for all temporary educators in vacant posts were being extended bi-annually. The Province had no shortage of subject advisors as vacancies were being advertised on a regular basis. Mr Malope also gave a detailed account of teacher development in the Province.
On Inclusive Education, Mr Malope indicated that the Province had 154 Full Service Schools with 20 more primary schools identified to be Full Service Schools in 2016/2017. Mr Malope also alluded to the Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS) Strategy and the strengthening of Special Schools.
9.8 Mpumalanga Provincial Education Department – Dr H Van Zyl
In his opening remarks, Dr Van Zyl indicated that the 2016 Learner Performance Improvement Plan was informed by the Department’s resolve and commitment to improve the quality of learner performance in all grades and ensuring that learners were developed to realize their full potential and capabilities in preparation for the challenges in life and work after they had completed schooling. Given that the 2015 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results had declined from 79 percent in 2014 to 78.6 percent in 2016 there was an urgent need for the Department to develop a strategy that would appropriately and decisively respond to the actual and contextual factors that had led to this.
Dr Van Zyl gave further details on the drafting of the plan taking into consideration critical policies and guidelines. The plan was further informed by certain developments. Dr Van Zyl also alluded to the purpose of the plan with reflection on the 2015 NSC results. He gave a detailed breakdown of the analysis of the implementation of the 2015 strategies with key findings and recommendations of the Diagnostic Report. Dr Van Zyl also spoke of the 2016 Strategies for the various categories of schools and subjects in the following areas:
· Learner support;
· Teacher and Subject Advisor Support;
· Subject Performance;
· Moderation of SBA’s; and
· Curriculum monitoring and reporting,
For the above, Dr Van Zyl alluded to the various interventions and activities, responsibility, time-frame and budget for the 2016 Learner Performance Improvement Plan, the broader implementation plan for schools as well as the 2016 Risk Management Plan for the Department, outlining with progress to date.
On Inclusive Education, Dr Van Zyl, supplied a detailed overview of the key priorities, activities and progress to date on the following:
· Moderate to high level support – A total of eight Special Schools (SID, MID and CYCC) and 140 designated Full-Service Schools
· Curriculum delivery - Curriculum differentiation was being implemented across. MID schools also offered practical skills. Learners were granted concessions from Grades1-12 according to identified needs through support needs assessment.
· Implementation of the South African Sign Language (SASL) CAPS – A total of five schools were implementing SASL CAPS at the Intermediate Phase in 2016 (four Special Schools and one Full-Service School)
· Provision of LTSM - Special Schools had a special catalogue for stationery. All learners who experienced barriers to learning in all public schools were identified and supported with relevant assistive devices. ICT connectivity was implemented incrementally for both Special Schools and Full-Service Schools.
· Human Resource Development - District–based support teams (multi-disciplinary teams) were re-trained in 2015 and were fully functional. School-based support teams were also trained incrementally to co-ordinate support at school level. Educators were trained on remedial education, SASL, Braille, Curriculum Differentiation and SIAS.
· Provision of Social Support Staff - A total of 30 posts were created in 2010 and 26 were already filled. Currently, the Department was head-hunting for four Occupational Therapists.
On the availability of textbooks, Dr Van Zyl gave a detailed breakdown on the LTSM analysis for the 2015/16 academic year, indicating the list of projects, budget, expenditure and the number of schools benefitting. Dr Van Zyl also alluded to the challenges and possible solutions in respect of issues of LTSM.
In respect of Educator demand, supply and utilisation, Dr Van Zyl indicated that the Department, in compliance with the legislative framework and subsequent to consultative processes, prepared the 2016 post provisioning certificates on 29 September 2015. Districts distributed the certificates when schools re-opened for the fourth school term. The Department, for the 2016 academic year maintained the same pool of educator posts (32 637) for distribution to public schools. Of the 32 637 educator posts, 401 were distributed to LSEN schools to service the 4159 learners in Grades 1 to 12, at an average Teacher/Learner ratio of 1:10.37. The remaining 32,236 educator posts were distributed to Public Ordinary schools to service the 991,481 learners in Grades 1 to 12 at an average Teacher/Learner ratio of 1:30.76. The 32637 posts thus distributed for the 2016 academic year to service a total Public School Learner enrolment of 995,640 in Grade 1 to 12, would result in an overall Educator/Learner ratio for Public schools of 1:30.51. These ratios were favourable in terms of teaching and learning processes, and it is on this basis that the Department again for 2016 maintained the same pool of educator posts for distribution to public schools (Grade 1 to 12) for 2016 as was approved for the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 academic years.
Dr Van Zyl went on to give a detailed overview of the annual educator post provisioning for 2016, which also covered the implication of the reduced Compensation of Employees (CoE) budget of the Department. The information supplied gave details on the impact on projected enrolments. The Department was aware that it may not under any circumstances overspend on its CoE budget for 2016/17. As there was no scope for savings elsewhere in the budget, the Department would have to look at strategies to reduce funding for educator posts in order to effect the required savings. The Department would have to consult its partners on strategies to phase in the reduction of the pool of educator post provisioning with a view to minimize disruption of the system and impact on curriculum delivery.
In respect of educator supply and retention, Dr Van Zyl indicated that the Department issued provincial vacancy lists advertising vacant promotional educator posts at least three times per annum to facilitate the efficient replacement of educator staff. Vacant promotional posts were immediately filled in acting capacity until such time as posts could be advertised and effectively filled. The Department advertised all vacant promotional educator posts in November 2015, based on the 2016 approved post provisioning. Where new schools were either established as merger schools for existing non-viable small schools or established to provide relief in respect of existing overcrowded schools, effective post provisioning principles applied in terms of which posts and incumbents always had to follow learners. In such cases a portion of the promotional educator posts in the new schools were filled through the deployment of serving educators in promotional ranks that were no longer required in their former merged / down sized schools. Dr Van Zyl also alluded to the following aspects in respect of educator supply and retention:
· The filling of vacant educator promotional posts;
· Strategies to enhance the efficient filling of promotional educator posts;
· Plans to further improve the filling of promotional educator posts (uniform and consistent selection criteria and competency testing for principals);
· The filling of vacant teacher posts;
· The supply of Maths and Science teachers;
· The retention and development of Maths and Science teachers; and
· The retention of temporary teachers.
Regarding educator utilisation, Dr Van Zyl indicated that the Department was addressing multi-grade teaching issues through a phased process of establishing Boarding Schools in strategic areas to cater for learners in multi-grade teaching schools. Upon closure of such small schools the former educators were identified to be in addition and transferred to approved vacant posts in the Boarding School and other surrounding schools. In as far as teachers teaching outside of their subject area was concerned it had to be noted that the Department’s EMIS component was currently conducting an investigation to identify qualified maths and physical science teachers who were not teaching Mathematics or Physical Science, for the purposes of consulting their correct placement. Dr Van Zyl also alluded to the strategies implemented to enhance the utilisation of educators (with challenges), the status quo pertaining to Grade R teachers and support staff in schools as well as Subject Advisors.
9.9 The Eastern Cape Provincial Education Department – Dr Nuku
Dr Nuku indicated in his opening remarks that, given the performance of learners in the schooling system in the Province, the Department had identified some gaps that impeded effective teaching and learning. The Department was consciously focusing on the following three core issues:
· Improving Curriculum Delivery by way of learner attainment plans and targeted subject specific intervention;
· The implementation of the Second Chance Matric Programme as well as progressed learners; and
· Resourcing of learners in schools.
In improving Curriculum delivery, the Department looked at the following key results areas:
• Ensuring the increase in the percentage of Grade 3, 6 and 9 learners performing at the required levels in language and mathematics;
• Ensuring the increase in the number of leaners who pass Mathematics and Physical Sciences in Grade 12;
• Ensuring the increase of the number of passes and Bachelor passes in the National Senior Certificate; and
• Ensuring the improvement of systems for monitoring of learner performance, through effective, credible and efficient administration, management of assessment and examinations processes.
Dr Nuku also alluded to the project to address dysfunctional schools and dealing with the increased cognitive demands of questions in the NSC examination papers. The Department would also continue scaling up current co-curricular activities in respect of improvement in Languages. The Department would intensify reading through the formation of reading clubs as pilot projects in quintiles 1-3 schools in certain districts. The Department was looking to institutionalise the concept of Drop all and Read (DAR) in all schools by ensuring that timetables allocated one hour per week for the project. The Department planned to conduct literature workshops for Grade 10 -12 literature as well as cluster workshops on the teaching of language structures and conventions through informal tasks.
Dr Nuku also alluded to the GET Curriculum priorities for 2016 with key focus areas, mode of GET delivery and GET Curriculum interventions. In respect of FET priorities for 2016, the Department would ensure the following:
· To monitor CAPS implementation (including APS for Technical Schools) through ensuring curriculum coverage in line with the Annual Teaching plan (ATP);
· To ensure the implementation and credibility of School-Based Assessment (SBA) in Grades 10 -12 through support, moderation and monitoring;
· To improve the frequency and quality of the monitoring and support services provided to schools by district offices and to the district by Head office;
· To co-ordinate the implementation of Grades 10 – 12 NSLA / LAIS and Subject Improvement Plans (including the promotion of Literacy & the Reading Strategy); and
· To develop learner and teacher support programmes through the functional and vibrant subject committees/professional learning communities and co-curricular activities.
In respect of the management of progressed learners, Dr Nuku mentioned that progressed learners were encouraged to modularise (i.e. they shall sit for between 2-4 subjects) in the first sitting and complete the remaining subjects in the next NSC examination which was supplementary or June examinations or November examinations. The subjects the progressed learners would write in the NSC examination at the end of 2016 would be determined by their progress in June half year and September trial examinations. They would be allowed to write only the subjects that they passed in both June and September trial examinations. Dr Nuku alluded to the intensive support programmes to all learners including progressed learners in the schools that had performed below 60 percent so that they pass a minimum of four of the “gate way” subjects they offer by not less than 40 percent.
Regarding the Second Chance pilot programme, Dr Nuku alluded to the pilot programmes currently running in the province. A total of 23 districts would identify a minimum of one centre for the purposes of establishing the NSC Completion centres for the second chance learners. Unsuccessful NSC learners, post 2008, who wished to complete their NSC qualification would be allowed to register in the centre (s) identified in each district. Tuitions would be provided to the registered learners during weekends and holidays.
Dr Nuku also indicated that, in terms of special schools, a total of 94 educators completed a 5-day Sign Language course with 62 intermediate educators trained in a 3-day “”How I Teach SASL” course. Regarding the education of the Blind, the Department indicated that 64 educators from three Schools for the Blind were trained in Grade 1 and 2 Braille as well as Braille Maths. A total of 98 educators from Special Schools were trained in a Level-1 course in Autism Specific Disorders.
For Full Service Schools, a total of 120 educators had completed a short learning programme in Scholastic Assessment which had 30 credits towards the Advanced Diploma in Remedial Education. A total of 30 Full Service Schools had been resourced with laptops, Clicker-7 and Read and Write software programmes to support learners with learning barriers. At least 30 Full Service Schools had been resourced and trained on the Web-Based Screening Tool which was a Learner Profiler Tool as part of SIAS roll-out.
Dr Nuku gave the Portfolio Committee a detailed overview and summary of LTSM procurement for 2015/16 with figures for the various projects and order value. Dr Nuku mentioned some of the following highlights:
· Literature - Grade R and Grade 11 Literature was 100 percent delivered to schools
· CAPS top-up - Out of 51 Publishers, 15 were at 100 percent delivered to the warehouse with 12 still below 100 percent delivery.
· A total of 24 publishers were at 0 percent delivery to the warehouse.
· Deliveries to schools would commence on 5th April 2016.
The delivery of stationery was made to all schools in October 2015 for 2016 academic year. However, there were challenges of shortage in some schools as well as the quality issues of the bags in particular. Going forward the Department was tightening monitoring of all resources delivered to schools
Under the tutorage of the DBE, the delivery of workbooks (Grades R-9) had been made to all deserving schools in the entire province. There were no fundamental problems regarding this delivery, albeit minor challenge, e.g. language delivery, which was dealt with immediately by DBE. The Department was reviewing the sourcing and procurement strategy for textbooks with a first option being to participate in a transversal tender to procure textbooks as guided by the PFMA.
Regarding teacher demand and supply, Dr Nuku gave a detailed overview of the PPN for 2016 versus the PERSAL filled as at March 2016. He further alluded to the school based educator age analysis in 2016. Some of the challenges was the reluctance of teachers to move to the needy schools, particularly to rural areas. There was disagreements on the implementation between Organised Labour and the Department. Unrest in the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth had affected schooling in that particular district.
10.1 Members appreciated the comprehensive reports of the PEDS and found their angle and approach very interesting since the PEDs were able to identify challenges in the system and how these were being dealt with. The aim of the workshop was to identify areas of weakness in the system and find solutions to the challenges. The inputs by the PEDs gave a clearer picture of the education system in the country – and allowed for a better understanding of the system as a whole. Members were interested to know what legislative framework was in place for the DBE to hold te PEDs accountable.
10.2 The South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) mentioned that they had minimum requirements for teachers which spoke to teaching and learning. Their responsibility was to ensure educators were properly equipped. The Union continued to support government in achieving the national development aims as set out in the NDP.
10.3 The Portfolio Committee noted the sound plans and practical presentations made. Members queried when the PEDs came to realise that results were not going well and the intervention plans from the PEDs. Members also queried the PEDs reactions and mitigations. Members queried the efforts in place to ensure monitoring and how officials were being held accountable. Members also queried the mechanisms in place to ensure that labour challenges were addressed fairly and equitably.
10.4 In respect of resignations, it was noted that teachers were resigning purely to access their pension funds. Members queried the role played by unions in engaging teachers on the matter.
10.5 Members were interested to gather more information on Section 100 management and administration as well as budgetary challenges that affected provinces.
10.6 The Portfolio Committee indicated a need for the acceleration of the rationalisation of small and non-viable schools.
10.7 Members noted with concern the non-submission of School Based Assessments (SBAs) in certain provinces and requested reasons for this, as well as assistance given where required.
10.8 Members also queried the relocation of learners to specific schools in the Limpopo Province, and the current state of affairs in this regard.
10.9 The Portfolio Committee agreed that, as far as possible, education be de-politicised.
10.10 Members were interested to know what factors demotivated teachers in the execution of their duties, and how this could be improved.
10.11 The Portfolio Committee also raised concerns around the implementation of the book retrieval policy by all PEDs, and how schools were being held responsible to ensure implementation of the retrieval policy.
10.12 Members also raised concern over the type of support received by districts in respect of challenges faced; as well as district accountability. Further to this, Members raised concern over the challenges faced by Circuit Managers who could not reach all schools as they were supposed to. How were circuit managers being capacitated to improve their performance in respect of work conducted with schools?
10.13 Members also queried the retention strategies of the PEDs and the role and involvement of parents in supporting learning and teaching.
10.14 Members also queried the resources available to the PEDs in rolling-out the Matric Second Chance Programme.
11.1 The Department of Basic Education - Mr Mweli, in his responses spoke of the systemic challenges in the sector. He also alluded to the cognitive level of question papers, and the level it was pitched at. He further questioned whether teacher development was responding to changes in the education environment. Although, as a country much was done in respect of teacher development, the question remained whether these initiatives and programmes were well-coordinated to assist the system as a whole. He also queried whether School Improvement Plans were addressing the challenges faced with teaching and learning.
11.2 The North West Province – Mr Myburgh indicated that when Umalusi rejected SBA marks, learners received a system mark which was calculated and adjusted on an average. When moderating SBA marks schools were given the previous year average for that particular subject. CAPS had increased the pass requirements for the Senior Phase and the question was whether the pass requirements should not be revisited. Mr Myburgh also indicated that budget cuts negatively affected provincial departments in various ways.
11.3 Limpopo - The HOD mentioned that after the province disclaimer, the province was able to implement the necessary interventions. On textbooks, the current state of affairs had improved in respect of LTSM in the province with processes in place to engage schools on procurement and distribution of textbooks. Issues around Section 100 remained challenging and the province did not have the necessary framework in place to implement. The HOD gave details on the implication of budget cuts and mentioned that engagements with the Provincial Treasury were underway to address backlog issues. Regarding the relocation of learners, The HOD indicated that the Department was committed to moving learners as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to service delivery protests, this had been set aside until normality was restored. Learners would probably be moved in the second term. Ms Mutheiwana mentioned that issues of over-age and ill-disciplined learners was being addressed. The Department was still in discussions with the Treasury on time-lines for the filling of posts. She further indicated that underperforming districts were receiving the necessary support from the Department through regular engagements and interaction with principals and managers.
11.4 Eastern Cape – Dr Nuku provided details in respect of challenges with providing LTSM. Small/unviable schools was a priority for the Province with a sizable number already rationalized. The Department had looked at their performance and identified the problems at school and management level. In addition to support from DBE, there was a team that was assisting the Department. The MEC also had his own outreach programmes together with that of the Head of Department (HOD). Regarding centralised procurement of stationary the Department took a conscious decision after a survey by the Department - centralisation had its advantages and disadvantages. The Department indicated that posts for therapist in all districts had been advertised, though appointment could not be finalised due to the lack of capacity with appointment procedures.
11.5 Northern Cape: Mr Monyera alluded to the support to newly appointed teachers and programmes during probation periods. The Department had packaged a compulsory induction programme for newly appointed teachers and SMTs – the programme was structured by way of a multi-directorate team. They also included the principal as the Curriculum Manager of the school. Induction was followed by onsite support to schools and educators. Districts needed to document support provided to schools.
11.6 Mpumalanga – Dr Van Zyl indicated that educators were resigning simply to access their pension fund and the situation was unfortunately very disruptive. The Department put in place corrective measures to reduce the phenomenon. The Department also implemented probationary appointments. The Department had no customized assessment process to track programmes currently. He mentioned that the Department utilised the IQMS processes as a mechanism to appoint educators.
11.7 KwaZulu-Natal – Regarding Inclusive Education, Dr Sishi indicated that the province had 50 Inclusive Schools covering three districts. The Department had constructed new full service centres (102 to date) to mitigate the distribution of inclusive schools. A weakness was that the Department did not sufficiently trained educators to the required level due to lack of capacity. The Department was mitigating this challenge with a twinning programme. The Department was concerned with schools that failed to submit SBA’s in certain districts – the Department was addressing this matter urgently
11.8 Gauteng - The Department had 434 learners expelled or redirected to other schools due to behavioural challenges. This number would have been higher if it was not for our intervention programmes. Huge number of educators with experience and expertise had left the system. Regarding challenges with admissions many learners were not placed. Interventions have been put in place to mitigate these challenges and create better strategies.
11.9 Free State – Mr Malope was of the view that there was a need to reinforce learning and teaching to ensure learners were able to pass examinations. He gave various reasons for learners dropping out of the schooling system. The Department agreed to do the necessary research into reasons for the drop-outs - and await the final research report. Mr Malope alluded to some of the challenges with budgets – having written to Treasury and outlining the Departments baseline and allocation. Coupled with this was issues of salary increases. The Department decided to procure textbooks for all learners in the schools and results had improved. There was a general basket of allocations to provinces and some provinces were unable to do the necessary allocations transfers. Regarding viaments, Mr Malope spoke of programmes without the necessary funds for these programme - money was then reprioritised from other programmes. Regarding the resignation of teachers, the Department adopted a different approach by engaging with Unions. The Department’s first priority was to appoint unemployed graduates, then those who were offering the gate-way subjects. The Department was engaging with Unions and there was agreement on the appointments for effective leadership and management. The delegated authority on appointing principals was redirected to Office of HOD - and not at district level.
11.10 UMALUSI – Dr Rakometsi spoke of the reasons for the drop in results over the last year. Having looked at the standardisation graphs and tables, he had not seen learner perform as badly as they were. Dr Rakometsi was of the view that field-tests be done on the question papers to gauge how they were responded to. He was of the view that there was a need for an item response theory in future. Umalusi had committed to a joint workshop with all stakeholders’ i.r.o question papers - to share experiences. Further to this, Umalusi hosted workshops with external moderators in the recent past. A further factor for the drop in pass rate was the level of difficulty of the question papers as well as the increased number of learners who wrote the exam. Dr Rakometsi was of the view that the budget allocation be increased proportionately to the number of learners writing the NSC Exams. It was important that educators adhered to the CAPS guidelines.
11.11 Director-General – Mr Mweli commended all HODs f their presence at the workshop as well as Chairpersons of the Education Committees in the various Legislatures. He was of the view that the workshop should be a bi-annual event, since it helped to strengthen oversight and monitoring as well as bridge gaps in the system.
In respect of budget constraints, Mr Mweli alluded to the budget pressures as per the presentation. The Department used certain legislation and policy to hold PEDs accountable for the necessary reporting and implementation. Monitoring was not only about Grade 12 but also for the lower Grades. Mr Mweli implored PEDs to go through the NSLA which covered all phases. He indicated that the Constitution was the most complex and vexing document to implement e.g. the challenges with concurrent functions. He agreed that there should be consequence management which concerned the entire value chain. The issue of Language was a big challenge for the Department involving many role-players.
On teacher development, Mr Mweli indicated that there was a host of stakeholders involved in teacher development – but the challenge was the quality and impact of the various programmes offered for the development of educators.
Regarding school nutrition, Mr Mweli alluded to the types of meals/food being offered to learners which needed to be high in protein.
12. Presentations by Provincial Education Departments on the following focussed areas:
- Progress on conditional grants;
- Infrastructure (progress on the eradication of inappropriate and unsafe schools, as well as the provision of basic services);
- Information and Communications Technology (I.C.T);
- Plans and progress on the rationalisation of small and non-viable schools; and
- Progress in the provision of school furniture.
12.1 Eastern Cape Provincial Education Department
12.1.1 Infrastructure – Dr Nuku indicated that the Department was complementing the DBE ASIDI initiative by addressing schools which had insufficient basic services and partial mud structures, as well as schools that had been omitted from the ASIDI lists. Currently ASIDI was replacing 225 mud schools. However, there were a further 210 schools on the programme which were very small and where their viability was at risk. The National Department, in consultation with the Provincial Department, was planning to consolidate these. Discussions had been held with the relevant Districts, with the proposed consolidation of these into 54 cluster schools. There were, however, 80 schools which, for various reasons, were not considered feasible for clustering. Of the 54 cluster schools, 20 had already been allocated to Implementing Agents (PIAs), 11 to Independent Development Trust (IDT) and nine to the Department of Public Works. The National Department would do the preliminary design work on the balance of 34 schools, before engaging PIAs to undertake implementation.
Dr Nuku gave a detailed overview in respect of the following focus areas:
- Progress with the replacement of inappropriate/unsafe structures;
- Plans to minimise dilapidation of infrastructure;
- Water supply (challenges and remedies);
- Sanitation (challenges and remedies);
The overall delivery of infrastructure in the areas of basic services and replacement of schools for the third (3rd) quarter of 2015/16 (against performance targets) was as follows:
Number of schools to be provided with water supply
Number of schools to be provided with electricity supply
Number of schools to be provided with sanitation facilities
Number of new/replacement schools completed
Number of new/ replacement schools under construction
12.1.2 Grant Funding - The Portfolio Committee received details on the progress on Grant Funding and major invoices received and awaiting payment. In respect of the case for the reallocated budget Dr Nuku indicated that a total of R 530m was withheld and reallocated to the fiscus. The budget increased by 42 percent (from R1, 2 bn to R1, 8 bn). While this happened two chief professionals and a Deputy Director were lost which added to 100 percent vacancies at SMS levels. This was in the midst of depleted capacity to manage Implementing Agents (IA’s) together with the lack of work inspectors for monitoring.
Dr Nuku also gave details on the progress in respect of Human Resource capacitation with challenges, remedies and recommendations. He further alluded to some of the achievements with respect to infrastructure posts and capacity. Dr Nuku also spoke of the strengths, opportunities, risks and mitigation in respect of infrastructure.
12.1.3 Rationalisation/Realignment - On rationalisation and realignment, the Department intended to close 310 schools that had been closed operationally in the preceding years. Of these 105 had been closed legally, 201 were in the process of legal closure, and four remained operational. In 2014 the MEC gave approval to the realignment of 194 schools, providing for Grade 8 and 9 learners to move to secondary schools. This process continued in 2016. A Provincial Gazette had been prepared for the MEC to declare the intention to close a further 191 schools that ceased operations between 2013 and the end of 2015. The Department presented its three-year strategic plan for rationalisation with timeframes for 2016/17.
12.1.4 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – Dr Nuku, in respect of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), gave the Portfolio Committee a detailed overview of the key deliverables, a situation analysis, achievements and challenges faced.
12.1.5 School Furniture – Dr Nuku gave a detailed overview of the demand and supply of school furniture in all districts in the province – with details on progress and challenges. He alluded to the programmes to overcome challenges as follows:
- Nonperforming contractors terminated and the balance split amongst performing contractors;
- Negotiations with the TVET council was underway to set up MoU through the Department of Higher Education and Training.;
- Partnership with NGO’s and CWP’s for the rehabilitation of furniture; and
- Utilisation of SEF (an entity of the Department of Labour) for more value on purchases.
12.2 Free State Provincial Education Department – Ms R S Malope
12.2.1 Conditional Grants - Mr Malope gave an overview of the Departments conditional grants report as at the end of February 2016, including details on the expenditure under the following:
· National School Nutrition Programme;
· Maths, Science and Technology;
· Education Infrastructure; and
· EPWP Integrated Grant;
12.2.2 Infrastructure - Mr Malope further gave a detailed overview on infrastructure and the progress on the eradication of inappropriate and unsafe schools and the provision of basic services. Regarding backlogs as per the norms and standards, Mr Malope indicated that the sanitation backlog was dominant and cuts across all the districts - particularly in farm schools. The Department was providing sanitation to farm schools in the form of mobile ablution units with septic tanks. Further the Department provided water supply to farm school in a form of boreholes equipped with pump and tank stands. The provision of electricity to farm schools was in the form of solar panels due to the fact that most of the farm schools were far from the Power Grid.
Thirty of the thirty-one inappropriate structures (made of prefabricated material some of which was asbestos), had been approved for implementation by the Department of Basic Education. The remaining school had yet to be approved, however, the province had planned for this school in 2017/18. To date, eight schools were completed and thirteen were under construction. Of the remaining nine, five were allocated to the Department for implementation in February 2016 and four to the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) by DBE.
12.2.3 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) – A total of 985 out of 1 261 public schools could be reached via email.The e-Learning & DTDCs unit did the professional development with teachers training on ICT. To this end an ICT professional development learning path for teachers was developed which addressed various training categories and ICT maturity levels – with 858 educators trained by December 2015. With regards to IBP, VSAT dishes were provided for real time video streaming and live interaction with presenters via the internet. MTN, Vodacom and Pearsons provided schools with access points for internet access via Wi-Fi and/ or 3G. Internet access was extended to cover the Administration Blocks of the schools to enable them to use additional internet facilities such as email. Schools with Math's Labs were provided with either an ADSL line or a satellite dish for internet access. This internet is used only for teaching and learning. Mr Malope gave a breakdown of the number of schools provided with ICT facilities and also covered some of the challenges faced in this regard.
12.2.4 Rationalisation/Realignment – Mr Malope addressed the issues around the plans and progress on the rationalisation of small and non-viable schools in the province. He gave a detailed breakdown of the 1 333 schools in the Province. A total of 327 schools were situated on farms – of which 169 schools had fewer than 20 learners. Schools with fewer than 20 learners were targeted for rationalisation.
12.2.5 School Furniture – Mr Malope gave a breakdown of the furniture procured for all new facilities in the various districts. Further to this, he indicated that the district furniture needs for 2016/17 and the allocated budget requirements.
12.3 Gauteng Provincial Education Department – Mr V Mpofu
Mr Mpofu indicated the Departments goals and strategic pillars that guided thee Department. The strategic goals of the Department included the following:
· To deliver quality education in a conducive learning environment;
· To provide an administrative service that supports modern and innovative schools;
· To transform public schooling by addressing barriers to access, equity and redress;
· To increase access to quality pre-and post-school educational opportunities.
12.3.1 Information and Communications Technology - The GDE planned to connect all schools as connectivity was key to the delivery of e- learning. Further support included dedicated resources for individual learners (Tablets devices with e-Books, Multimedia e-Content and freely available e-Content in a form of PDFs) as well as teacher development and support (training, laptops for lesson preparations and LED Smart boards for lesson presentation preloaded with e-Books and the Multimedia Content). The Department hoped to finalise the rollout of the ICT strategy to remaining schools and grades - and to gear multi-year funding over the MTEF (including reprioritisation).
Mr Mpofu also mentioned that in respect of the piloting of Phase 1, the Department would look at class refurbishment, connectivity, provision of devices and E-content amongst others. Mr Mpofu also alluded to the Grade 12 ICT launch and the security assessment on burglaries which included the replacement schedule for stolen devices. The Portfolio Committee also received details on the Department’s connectivity plan for schools and districts. The Department also spoke on the state of ICT infrastructure at district levels. Further to this, the Department gave a detailed overview of the ICT challenges, mitigation and output report – with interventions from the Department.
In respect of teacher development, Mr Mpofu mentioned that all 15 Teacher Development Centres had been renovated, furniture provided, and installed with Smartboards. Furniture quality was poor in five centres, and the service provider was currently addressing this.
12.3.2 Infrastructure - In respect of Infrastructure Development and Maintenance, Mr Mpofu mentioned that sanitation at schools remained a serious and focal point. The Department was ensuring the necessary project management on the conversion of schools in respect of ICT rollout. The Department needed to improve on infrastructure planning, contracting and execution in respect of turnaround time and quality with an increased oversight and remediation in respect of project delivery and quality of materials and work.
12.4 Mpumalanga Provincial Education Department – Dr H Van Zyl
12.4.1 Conditional Grants - Dr Van Zyl gave a breakdown of the 2015/16 progress on implementation of Conditional Grant Infrastructure. Regarding the expected expenditure for the grant at financial year end, the Department was positive that these grant would have spent 98 percent of its budget by the end of the 2015/16 financial year.
12.4.2 Infrastructure – Dr Van Zyl gave some details on the delays to the eradication of inappropriate and unsafe structures as follows:
- The process of eradicating inappropriate and unsafe schools required that the schools be demolished and rebuild.
- Budgetary constraints made it difficult to plan and construct a sizeable quantity within one financial year.
- Five boarding schools were built for this purposes and a sixth one was anticipated.
- The Department was confident that all schools with inappropriate and unsafe buildings would have been completed by the norms implementation target date.
12.4.3 Rationalisation - The delays to the school rationalization process is attributed to the following:
- Processes of consultation which involved learner parent community.
- Consultation with the SGB on the closure or merging of schools.
- The sudden promised refurbishment and allocation of more land by the farm owners.
- Whether the learners moving to the new school will require scholar transport, and
- Gazetting the closure or merging of these schools.
12.4.4 School Furniture – Dr Van Zyl gave a breakdown of the number of schools requiring furniture units in the province. The delays to the provision of school furniture was attributed to going back to the basic double desk to eliminate community abuse and economies of scale. Further to this there was slow delivery of furniture due to the utilization of a single service provider
12.4.5 National School Nutrition Programme - Dr Van Zyl reported to the following:
- A total of 892 202 learners benefited from the programme (586 814 in primary, 303 491 in secondary and 1897 in special schools for 142 school feeding days).
- A total of 586 814 learners in primary schools from grade R-7 were dewormed through a partnership with the Department of Health.
- A total of 4 793 food handlers were capacitated on food preparation and hygiene.
- A total of 600 cooperatives were capacitated on programme implementation, food preparation and hygiene.
- A total of 1 613 officials were capacitated on NSNP implementation and financial management.
12.4.6 Information and Communications Technology – The number of schools with Internet connectivity included 328 from Vodacom Commercial Project, 43 from Vodacom ICASA Project and 107 from Cell C ICASA Project. In respect of Circuit connectivity it was indicated that all the circuits (68) in the province had Internet connectivity. Circuit Managers were issued with laptops, 3G cards of 2GB data monthly with Departmental e-mail addresses created for circuit managers. School principals of all public schools were issued with tablets and 2GB data monthly. All public schools were using a school administration system which were accredited with LURITS. A total of 1 652 schools used SA SAMS and 84 schools were using third party systems.
12.5 Limpopo Provincial Education Department – Ms B Mutheiwana
12.5.1 Conditional Grants - Ms Mutheiwana gave a detailed overview of the following grants:
- National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) - The new tender for the NSNP had been finalised and currently the Department had appointed service providers per circuit. The allocation to each service provider was on average between 3 500 and 5 000 learners.
- Education Infrastructure Grant - The figures portrayed did not take into account the R 79.5 million the National Department had reallocated to the Province. An additional R 150 million was made available during the budget adjustment period from the Provincial Equitable Share allocation. Expenditure on that allocation was R 147, 7 million as at 18 March 2016.
- Maths, Science and Technology Grant - Deliveries for R 4 million (Laptops: R 2, 397 million and Data projectors: R 1, 7 million) was expected in that current week. Invoices for the balance of the budget had been received and were being processed.
- EPWP Incentive Grant - The expected over expenditure on this grant was for UIF contributions which were not properly provided for.
- EPWP Social Sector - The over expenditure was due to misclassifications - journals to correct this was being effected.
- HIV/Aids Life Skills Grant - All activities as per the business plan had been carried out and invoices were being processed. The expected under spending of R 0, 6 million was for delays in the filling of vacant posts (R 0,4 million) and savings in the procurement of various Goods and Services items (R 0,2 million).
12.5.2 Infrastructure - Ms Mutheiwana gave a detailed breakdown of the budget and expenditure projections per category of facility against the current expenditure and projections. Ms Mutheiwana also touched on the status of infrastructure projects. She further alluded to the various infrastructure challenges.
12.5.3 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) - The Department had provided network connectivity and access infrastructure (tablets, laptops, printers) to 243 schools. Funding was a combination of Equitable Share and Corporate Social Investment (CSI). The Department in partnership with DBE, DTPS (Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services) and ICASA had established a provincial task team committee to manage and provide oversight of the USAO (universal services access and obligation) initiative. The Department planned to provide network connectivity to 100 schools through CSI initiatives by end of December 2016. The Department planned to provide network connectivity to 3 372 schools through Equitable Share by the end of March 2019.
12.5.4 Rationalisation – Ms Mutheiwana spoke of the plans and progress on the rationalisation of small schools with a summary of all schools merged as well as rationalised schools in need of additional resources. She further elaborated on the challenges and recommendations in respect of rationalisation.
12.5.5 School Furniture – Ms Mutheiwana gave a detailed overview of the progress in the provisioning of school furniture (shortages, requirements and plans to supply school furniture in the financial year). A challenge being experienced was the delay in concluding the procurement process due to litigation.
12.6 KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Education Department – Dr N S P Sishi
12.6.1 Conditional Grants – Dr Sishi presented details on the financial statements and mentioned that the Department had overspent on certain projects due to incorrect allocations – which would be adjusted by the next reporting period.
12.6.2 Infrastructure – Dr Sishi listed all schools with inappropriate structures in certain Districts. The Department of Education was currently supplying the schools with mobile classrooms to assist the schools with additional teaching and learning spaces. The Department was progressing well with the provision of basic services, however the decreasing budget had limited its speed in attaining the target as set out in the Guidelines to Infrastructure Norms and Standards.
Dr Sishi also alluded to the progress and status of refurbishment of schools which were affected by storm damage. There were no children in completely mud schools in KwaZulu-Natal. Since 2009 a total of 33 entirely mud schools were replaced by new state-of-the-art schools. The Department, for the 2015/16 - 2016/17 Financial years would targeting all inappropriate and mud structures in schools.
12.6.3 Post Provisioning Norms – Dr Sishi gave a detailed breakdown of the number of posts on the approved structure, whether they were filled and the challenges and remedial action to be taken.
12.6.4 Rationalisation – In transforming the schooling system the Department was looking to consolidate small and non-viable schools. The Department needed to eliminate non-viable satellite schools and streamlining the typologies of the schooling system. The Department would also look to rename school, establish model schools and expand Technical High Schools and Agricultural High Schools. Furthermore the Department was looking to establish a Mathematics and Science Academy and Maritime Schools amongst others. A total of 519 Schools with 100 learners and below were earmarked for systemic and progressive rationalisation. A further 574 Combined schools were identified and earmarked for rationalisation.
12.6.5 National School Nutrition Programme – Dr Sishi alluded to some of the achievement of the Department in respect of the NSNP. The Department also collaborated with the Department of Health to implement the de-worming project. In partnership with municipalities, the Department embarked on a project to improve the supply of fresh perishables. Dr Sishi also alluded to the introduction of long-term contracts and capacity building for new service providers.
12.6.6 Information and Communications Technology – With respect to ICT rollout plan, the Department sought to uplift the standard of teaching, learning and management in the Province. The aim was to improve efficiency across the education value chain with special focus on the following:
- Curriculum delivery;
- Leadership and management development; and
- The use of ICT as a pillar to bring smarter Education to the Department.
A number of connectivity projects for schools were being run simultaneously to speed up the programme during the course of 2015/16. Due to the rural nature of the province, broadband connectivity to public schools (Peri-urban and rural) remained a challenge. The Department would engage the Universal Services and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) to have all public schools in the province connected to broadband. All public schools in the province had, at least, one computer (desktop or laptop) for administration; and 1 570 public schools had over 25 computers (desktops or laptops) that were used for teaching and learning in any subject.
12.7 Northern Cape Provincial Education Department – Mr L Monyera
12.7.1 Conditional Grants – Mr Monyera presented details on the 2015/16 financial outcomes in respect of Conditional Grants as at the end of February 2016. The Department spent R523.135 million (84 percent) as at the end of February 2016 on the total conditional grant allocation. The Education Infrastructure Grant had spent 79 percent of its allocation. Professional Service Providers (PSP’s) had been appointed to assist in the speed up of expenditure due to slow delivery from the current implementing agents. For HIV and AIDS a total of R4.667 million (88 percent) was spent. Slow expenditure could be ascribed to slow supply chain processes, however the grant was projected to break even at the end of the financial year. Maths Science and Technology (MST) had spent 93 percent of its total allocation and was projected to break even. The National School Nutrition Programme had spent 100 per cent of its allocation and there was a projections that the grant would overspend, however, a journal will be passed to correct expenditure. The allocation on the Occupation Specific Dispensation Grant was insufficient. The Department however took it upon itself to pay the amount of R6.580 million, backdated to therapist during the current year.
12.7.2 Infrastructure – Mr Monyera presented the total scope of the projects in 2015/16 including sources of funding and budget allocations. Reporting on progress, he further alluded to the nature of investment, projects and percentage spent to date. He also gave a detailed breakdown of the following:
- Capacitation programmes (Technical resources);
- Progress on closing off projects after completion;
- A list of challenges and recommended solutions;
- The allocation of projects to implementing agents; and
- The infrastructure human resource plans.
12.7.3 Information and Communications Technology – Mr Monyera detailed the ICT provincial intervention plan for 2016. The Department aimed to establish a coordinating team to monitor the utilisation of ICT programmes and address issues relating to broken/stolen equipment. Telematics revision lessons were broadcast to all high schools in February and March as part of the Northern Cape Second Chance Programme.
12.7.4 Rationalisation – Mr Monyera gave a breakdown of the plans and progress on the rationalisation of small and non-viable schools indicating the specific districts where there was merging/closure in 2016 as well as the target for 2017.
12.7.5 School Furniture - Mr Monyera gave a breakdown of the provision of school furniture for learners, educators and staff – including the reporting item and number and a value.
12.8 North West Provincial Education Department – Mr J Myburgh
12.8.1 Conditional Grants - In respect of the Departmental budget distribution for 2015/16, Mr Myburgh indicated that their infrastructure budget had increased to R 997 107 million for the 2015/16 financial year. The Incentive Grant criteria was broken down as follows:
· Planning : 50 percent
· Human Resources : 20 percent
· Performance Evaluation : 30 percent.
12.8.2 Infrastructure – The infrastructure backlog basic services included school sanitation for the Province which stood at 254. The number of school sanitation infrastructure planned for 2015/16 financial year in the backlog list stood at 80. The balance of schools sanitation infrastructure backlog for the North West Province was 174. The total number of small primary and secondary schools to be allocated prefabricated toilets was 102.
Water backlog stood at 65 with the number of schools planned for provision of water for 2015/16 financial year in the backlog list at 65. A total of 11 schools were provided with water (drilling boreholes) – the balance of water backlog for the province was 44. The Department planned to provide electricity to five schools (farm schools) – two (2) were completed and the balance would not be provided with, since they were due to close.
Mr Myburgh touched on the projects for implementation for the 2015/16 Financial Year.
12.8.3 Information and Communications Technology – The Department aimed to ensure E-learning in all schools through:
· Provisioning of computers to schools;
· Maintaining the existing computers in schools; and
· Upgrading of computers and curriculum software.
The Department would also provide schools with tablets loaded with curriculum content focusing on Mathematics and Sciences. Mr Myburgh also spoke on school connectivity and progress as well as the challenges faced by the Department in respect of ICT. He indicated that the operations committee was functional comprising of various units to ensure provision of requisite resources to completed facilities. There were regular meetings with implementing agents, given the huge implications for the Department on service delivery and future funding. There were plans to engage school governing bodies, tribal councils and municipal councillors through QLTC, MEC interactive sessions with stakeholders and other forums and municipalities. Under performing consultants or contractors were put on terms penalties or terminated. The Department would provide mobile classrooms in overcrowded schools.
The presentations by Provincial Education Departments during the two day workshop held with the Department of Basic Education and the Provincial Heads of Education Departments allowed the Committees to reflect on the mandates and updated plans of the education sector in respect of the critical areas of priority, in order to inform the oversight work of the Committees. The workshop further provided a forum for all stakeholders to share experiences and support one another with the view to improving basic education The Portfolio Committee was encouraged by the common understanding of the strategic direction of the sector and the major focus on improving the quality of Basic Education in the Department’s plans. An area requiring more attention moving forward was the matter of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and District Support and Strengthening. Presentations by Provinces which focused on the pressing issues of infrastructure and teacher supply, utilization and development showed progress being made to address these issues but also highlighted the fact that challenges and obstacles still remain with varying degrees across provinces. The Committees would continue with its oversight work and engagements with the Department of Basic Education, Provincial Education Departments, Statutory Bodies and relevant education stakeholders to ensure that the remaining challenges are addressed.
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having conducted a two day workshop with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs), and considered the issues that were highlighted, requests the Minister of Basic Education to ensure that the following key recommendations are considered:
14.1 Systems are put in place to improve accountability at all levels of the system on a regular basis. There should also be consequence management at all levels in the system and the politicisation of education of education should be addressed;
14.2 Provincial Education Departments that are doing well should be used to offer advice and assistance to lesser performing Provincial Education Departments.
14.3 The relationship between the DBE and the Department of Higher Education and Training be advanced to ensure improved quality educators in the system. The Department of Basic Education should engage Higher Education Institutions to ensure that teachers are properly capacitated all to ensure full competence at all levels of the system.
14.4 The Department of Basic Education should ensure uniformity in respect of all services offered by PEDs through the necessary norms and standards.
14.5 The Department of Basic Education, together with the PEDs, should intensify strategies to encourage learners to pursue Mathematics and offer learners the necessary support and guidance.
14.6 The Department of Basic Education, together with the PEDs, should ensure that schools are properly capacitated with good management and leadership;
14.7 The Department of Basic Education, together with the PEDs should engage with Organised Labour, and all relevant players, on the educator resignations purely for the benefit of accessing their pensions.
14.8 Affected PEDs should accelerate the rationalisation of small/non-viable schools through implementation of the policy as well as engagement with affected communities;
14.9 Ensure that relevant authorities are held responsible and accountable for non- implementation of the policy on book.
14.10 The Department of Basic Education, should ensure that ensure that PEDs are adequately resourced for the roll-out of the Second Chance Matric Programme.
Report to be considered.
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