ATC170620: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on oversight visits to Ekurhuleni North, Ekurhuleni South and Tshwane North Education Districts, Gauteng Province, dated 20 June 2017
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having undertaken oversight visits to Ekurhuleni North, Ekurhuleni South and Tshwane North Education Districts, Gauteng Province, reports as follows:
1. Introduction and Background
- The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education conducted oversight visits to Ekurhuleni North, Ekurhuleni South and Tshwane North Education Districts, Gauteng Province from 26 to 31 March 2017.
- The primary purpose of the oversight visit was to monitor and oversee the overall state-of-schooling in the Province. This includes ensuring that learners and educators are in school, in class, on time, learning and teaching seven hours a day, as pronounced by the President in previous State of the Nation Addresses. The Portfolio Committee further aimed to monitor the timeous delivery of all Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) to schools, the provisioning of educators and the progress made in the admission and registration of learners. The Portfolio Committee sought to have an understanding of any further challenges being faced; the contingency plans in place and possible assistance that could be forthcoming.
- The above areas of focus formed part of the key deliverables finding expression in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MSTF), 2014 – 2019 and the National Development Plan (NDP), 2030.
- The oversight visit to Gauteng also afforded the Portfolio Committee the opportunity to learn best practices. The Gauteng Province had consistently performed well over the last few years and obtained a third place in the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results at a National Level, with a percent pass rate of 85.1 per cent. The Gauteng Department of Education also operated a relatively effective and efficient Information and Communications Technology (ICT) model which could be replicated in other provinces as a form of best practice. Further to this, the Portfolio Committee also visited the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) as part of the programme of the week.
- As part of the oversight, the Portfolio Committee received briefings from officials of the Gauteng Department of Education, including District Officials, School Governing Body (SGB) Associations, the South African Principals Association (SAPA) and Organised Labour. The Portfolio Committee was also joined by the Portfolio Committee on Education in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature during engagements and visits to schools. The delegation held meetings with all relevant stakeholders in order to gain first-hand information on the state of schooling and to discuss various challenges faced in the Provincial Education Department (PED) and affected Districts.
1.6 This report provides a summary of the key issues that emerged from the interaction with stakeholders, officials of the national and provincial departments as well as the Portfolio Committee’s deliberations, observations and recommendations.
2. Objectives of the Oversight Visit
The oversight visit focussed primarily on the following:
- The state of the school environment;
- The state of the admission and registration of learners;
- The provision of Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM);
- Staff establishments (Post-Provisioning Norms);
- School Improvement Plans and District support, including Grade R programmes;
- The availability of learner transport and the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) to qualifying learners;
- The functionality of the School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and School Management Teams (SMTs);
- The state of infrastructure and ICT;
- The availability of school furniture;
- Inclusive Education; and
- Social cohesion
3.1 Portfolio Committee on Basic Education: Hon N Gina, MP (ANC) (Chairperson), Hon J Basson MP (ANC), Hon N Mokoto MP (ANC), Hon H D Khosa MP (ANC), Hon G Davis MP (DA), Hon C T Msimang MP (IFP) and Hon C Majeke MP (UDM). Parliamentary staff consisted of Mr L A Brown (Committee Secretary), Mr D Bandi (Content Advisor), Ms S Ntabeni (Committee Assistant), Mr M Kekana (Parliamentary Researcher) and Ms R Azzakani (Parliamentary Communication).
3.2 National Department of Basic Education: Mr J Ndlebe, Mr A Subban, Ms E Mamathuba, Mr E Behane, Mr S P Govender, Mr L Mahada, Ms M Fuzile
3.3 Gauteng Provincial Legislature Portfolio Committee on Education: Hon J Mpisi, Hon M J Makhura, Hon B Mncube, Hon M Tlou, Mr J M Letsoalo, Mr T Kekana, Ms J Letsoalo and Ms S Gaya
3.4 National Department of Basic Education: Ms N Msimanga, Mrs M Lefoka, Ms N Nyembe, Mr L Mahada, Mr R Kuhles, Mr D Mpanza, Mr G Macquela, T Mbana, N Netshifhefhe, Ms M Tshitema, Ms L Munday, Ms J Ndlebe, Mr S Mlambo and Ms N Rakwena.
3.5 Gauteng Department of Education: Mr P Lesufi: MEC for Education, Mr E Mosuwe: Head of Department, Mr D Chanee, Ms L Mkhari, Ms Z Mthembu, Mr V Mpofu, Ms E Froneman, Adv. A Bengtsun, Ms S Molobi, R M Mmutlana, Ms A Bengatson, Mr S Babona, Mr M E Tau, Mrs N Ntutu, Ms Z Mthembu, B Ngubane, S Molobi, R Mogorosi, S Mhlophe, Mrs S Chabalala, N Ntembe, A Gwebani, E Dlamini, R Mutlana, M Makgakela, J Bhagaloo, Mr C E Moses, Mr P Devchand, Mr M Mahlangu, Ms R Diale, Ms P Mamba, Ms M Ngwako, Ms E Sibande, Mr J Seroka, Ms W Appel, Ms L Moeletsi, Ms M P Phokanoka, Mr T Dlamini, Mr D Moses, Ms R Suliman, Mr K Molebaloa, Mr P Mthembu, Mr N Mpela and Mrs D G Tshabalala.
3.6 Organised Labour
3.5.1 NAPTOSA : Mr T du Preez, Mr T Manne
3.5.2 P.E.U : Ms M Mabotja
3.5.3 SADTU : Mr M Mabuya
3.7 South African Principals Association (SAPA): Ms C S Ndebele
3.8 SGB Associations
3.8.1 United Front : Mr T I Mapetla
3.8.2 Governor’s Alliance : Ms K Callaghan
3.8.3 Governing Body Alliance: Mrs A Martin
3.8.4 PACSEN : Ms J I Hoff
3.8.5 NASGB : Mr L Qoqa
4. Oversight and Monitoring Visit in Ekurhuleni (North and South) and Tshwane North Education Districts, Gauteng Province
The oversight visit to the Ekurhuleni (North and South) and Tshwane North Education Districts occurred from 26 – 31 March 2017 and concluded with a debriefing session/report back in Johannesburg on 30 March 2017. The Committee had meetings and school visits as follows:
- A meeting with the MEC for Education in the Gauteng Province, the Head of Department in the Gauteng Provincial Education Department, the National Department of Basic Education, Senior officials in the Office of the Head of the Provincial Education Department and Senior Provincial and District officials, SGB Associations, South African Principals Association and Organised Labour.
- Schools visited by the delegation included:
- Phomolong Secondary School;
- Masiqhakaze Secondary School;
- Ratshepo Secondary School;
- Tipuxeni Secondary School;
- Sempakaneng Primary School;
- Hammanskraal Secondary School;
- Temba Teacher Resource Centre;
- Boitumelong Secondary School;
- Nyiko Primary School;
- Dinoto Technical Secondary School;
- Mvelaphanda Primary School;
- Chief Albert Luthuli Primary School;
- Phumulani Secondary School;
- Kathlehong Technical Senior Secondary School;
- Esibnelweshle Secondary School; and
- Dan Radebe Primary School.
- A courtesy visit, and in-loco walk-about, at the Head Office of the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi).
- A wrap-up session with the MEC for Education in the Gauteng Province, the Office of the Head of Department in the Gauteng Department of Education, the National Department of Basic Education and Senior officials.
5. Meeting with the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), Members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Committee on Education, Office of the MEC, National Department of Basic Education, Senior and District Officials, SGB Associations, SA Principals Association and Organised Labour
5.1 Opening Remarks – Hon N Gina, Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Basic Education
The Chairperson gave a detailed overview in respect of the reasons for the oversight visit and indicated that the Portfolio Committee was proud of the performance of the Province as a whole and was interested to learn from the good practices of the Department such as the roll out of ICT and online learner registration processes, which could be emulated in other provinces in the country.
5.2 Address by the MEC for Education in Gauteng – Mr P Lesufi
The MEC, in his opening remarks reported that earlier in the week a community in Bronkhorstspruit, protesting against demarcations, had torched a school. The MEC’s view was that the community should take responsibility for their action. He would not take money from those needing a school and give it to a community that did not want a school. By taking this action, he was discouraging an environment where schools became targets for protest action in the future. Mr Lesufi further spoke of the priorities and interventions of the Gauteng Department of Education set out in its ten pillars for education transformation. Key priorities and interventions included:
- Changing the face of township education;
- Overhauling all toilets/sanitation in township schools;
- Ensuring quality educators for township schools – there should be no classroom without a teacher teaching the correct subject in the correct classroom;
- Providing support in respect of LTSM - identification of schools requiring LTSM and monitoring of these schools in respect of procurement processes;
- Introducing ICT in schools – Ensuring that every learner had a tablet and every teacher had a laptop;
- Refurbishing of all township schools and ensuring that every classroom had a new-look;
- Investing in social cohesion; and
- Pairing of schools to ensure they are able to share resources evenly.
- The Department was badly affected by the policy of not appointing foreign educators;
- The Department was investing heavily in teacher development, support and placement;
- The Department had established a school governing body dispute resolution committee to assist SGB’s with any challenges;
- The Department had a pro-poor package and ensured that approximately 1.2 million learners receive a hot meal every day. Almost 130 000 learners were being transported to schools daily. At least 83 percent of the schools in Gauteng were no-fee schools. The Department ensured that all girl learners received dignity packs with the assistance of the Department of Social Development; and
- The Department was able to consolidate and finalise their online registration processes which could be shared with any of the provinces wishing to use the system.
Mr Lesufi also touched on some of the major challenges faced as follows:
- A sudden increase of parents wanting to do home-schooling. The MEC believed that this was an abuse of the system and felt that there should be a strong review on this policy in Gauteng;
- A question of whether the country could afford two assessment systems and a call for a review of the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) and National Senior Certificate (NSC);
- A need for the review of the powers of SGB’s in the country;
- Demarcation and issues of language required a radical review;
- Limitation with the ICT investment which was being targeted by criminals who invaded schools to steal equipment. Some learners were selling/pawning their tablets and data bundles were being used for other purposes.
5.3 An Overview of Education in Gauteng – Mr A Chanee
Mr Chanee gave the Portfolio Committee an overview of the Gauteng Department of Education five-year Strategic Plan. He further mentioned the GDE plans that were underpinned by the ten provincial pillars for education transformation.
Mr Chanee further spoke of the improvement journey of schools and key levers for improving quality and equity in education. In respect of the situational analysis, Mr Chanee gave a detailed overview of the following areas:
- Growth in enrolment;
- Learner education ratio in public ordinary schools;
- Distribution of schools by index and quintile; and
- Shifts as a results of re-ranking.
On learner performance, Mr Chanee mentioned that there had been improved learner performance noted in Grades 3, 6 and 9 Language and Mathematics over three years. On Grade 9 performance in Mathematics and Science, the Gauteng Province as compared to the national scores and other African countries performed higher with 408 and 405 in Maths and Science respectively. A total of 49 per cent of learners performed above the 400 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) points mark for Mathematics while 48 per cent of learners performed at or above the 400 TIMSS points mark for Science. The Gauteng Province performed at 420 in Grade 5 Mathematics coming in second place in the country, although 20 points behind the top performing province. Mr Chanee also covered the comparison of the Department and the NSC performance over the years.
Mr Chanee reflected on the mid-term review (2014 – 2016) and key achievements of the Department in the following areas:
- Pillar 1: Curriculum and Assessment Development - Sustained improvement in learner performance (Matric, ANA and Top performing province in TIMSS)
- Pillar 2: Teacher Provisioning and Support - Teacher training to support Curriculum delivery
- Pillar 3: Leadership and Management – Introduction of the first provincial on-line learner admission system
- Pillar 4: Infrastructure Development and Maintenance – School infrastructure
- Pillar 5: Planning, Financing and Resourcing – Unqualified audit opinion
- Pillar 6: ICT in Education – School of the future (ICT rollout)
- Pillar 7: Social Cohesion – Pro-poor policy (No-fee schools, NSNP and Scholar Transport) and schools sports and culture. Access for learners with special needs
- Pillar 9: Skills Development – Facilitating the transition from school to post-schooling. The introduction of Schools of Specialisation
- Pillar 10: Access to Quality Early Childhood Development – Universalisation of Grade R
Mr Chanee also spoke of the key challenges faced by the GDE to the end of term and beyond. He further reflected on the five strategies (each strategy had been chosen to address specific components of the issues facing the Gauteng Department of Education as well as the province as a whole) to improve learners’ outcomes with a detailed overview of the departmental intervention strategies for the following:
- Improve learner performance in Grade 3, 6 and 9 - To improve learner outcomes across Maths and Language at Grade 3, 6 and 9;
- Improve pass rate and quality of matric results – To improve both Matric pass rate to 92 percent and improve the percentage of Bachelor passes to 40 percent;
- Improve enabling conditions at schools through a focus on the functionality of schools – To shift the percentage of poor to fair schools in the good to great category as well the eradication of non-compliant buildings
- Facilitate transition to post school opportunities - to secure increased funding for bursaries and create additional opportunities for skills development by 2019; and
- Ensure e-learning capability is available in classrooms.
In respect of resourcing for 2017/18, Mr Chanee gave an overview of the 2017/18 budget and MTEF estimates. The Department’s budget for the 2017/18 financial year amounted to R40.8 billion. The budget increased with R1.7 billion from 2016/17 which amounted to a 4.5 percent increase.
The budget grew by 39.8 percent from 2013/14 to 2017/18, an increase of R11.6 billion over a period of five years. The budget would grow at an average rate of 6.2 percent over the 2017 MTEF to a total of R46.7 billion in 2019/20. Conditional grants were increasing in line with inflation projections and the National Nutrition grant did not accommodate additional schools declared as no-fee.
The Department’s budget showed significant increase from R40.8 billion in 2017/18 to R44 billion in the 2018/19 financial year indicating an increase of 8.7 percent or R3.5 billion. Public ordinary schools’ budget would increase from R31 billion in 2017/18 to R33 billion in 2018/19 representing an increase of 7.7 per cent. Public Special School Education would receive an allocation of R 2.3 billion in 2017/18, showing an increased percentage of 15.9 percent from R2 billion in 2016/17 financial year. The budget for ECD decreased from R811 million in 2016/17 to R765 million in 2017/18 indicating a decrease of R45.8 million or 5.7 percent. The Department reprioritised funding from the programme to augment budget shortfalls for the examination services and to fund the ICT strategy.
The Compensation of Employees budget was increased by 7.2 percent or R2 billion in the 2017/18 financial year. The increase in budget for compensation of employees was primarily to make provision for the recruitment of additional educators and support staff and to meet the policy demands of having a learner: educator ratio as per policy requirements of 1:40 and 1:35 for public primary and secondary schools respectively. The 2017/18 budget for goods and services increased by 26.1 percent, from R3.7 billion in 2016/17 to R4.7 billion in 2017/18. The Department’s transfer and subsidy allocation decreased from R4.3 billion in 2016/17 to R4.2 billion in 2017/18. This showed a decrease of 2.1 percent due to funds reprioritised from interventions budget to fund the ICT strategy within goods and services.
- Impact of urbanization and migration:
- The annual growth of the provincial education system by over 2,7 percent, mainly as a result of in-migration was beginning to have a negative impact on the province’s ability to meet the demand, while maintaining educationally sound class sizes and learner/ educator ratios.
- The Gauteng Department of Education catered for 2,2 million learners (second only to KwaZulu-Natal) – this was a significant number of learners who were critical to securing the future of Gauteng.
- There was a steady increase in the average class size in township schools and this included the utilization of specialist rooms.
- The growing provincial system required additional learning spaces across most regions of the Province in order to accommodate the rapid increase annually hence, scholar transport had increased from approximately 70 000 to over 100 000 learners - which exacerbated the shortage of functional school furniture.
- The annual increase in learner numbers was equivalent to the number of learning spaces in 60 to 80 schools.
- The only way in which the Province could accommodate the growth was to ensure optimal utilization of existing schools
- In recent years there had been levels of overcrowding emerging in township schools, where even specialist rooms were being used to accommodate the growth.
- The annual delivery of approximately 18 schools was insufficient to absorb the growth and to maintain effective class sizes for quality learning.
- This also placed pressure on the Department in respect of school nutrition and no-fee subsidies.
- Budgetary pressures
- The education budget was increasingly under pressure to cope with the resourcing of the extra ordinary growth in the Province; and
- While the equitable share formula adjusted for this migration, it did not fully compensate the Province for the building of new infrastructure and capital outlay of educational resources.
- There was a growing backlog of school infrastructure as the current school building programme and budget availability could not meet current and future demand.
- The annual increase of 80 000 required learning spaces equivalent to 60-80 new schools. The current average number of schools per year was less than 18.
- There was also a shortage of school infrastructure in middle income housing areas across Tshwane and Johannesburg.
- This also required intervention in mono-lingual schools that were underutilized, e.g. Afrikaans medium schools.
- Education budgeting and resourcing - There was a need to relook at education budgeting and resourcing. This would include a review of the percentage of GDP spent on education, budgeting for the development of school infrastructure to meet demand rather than chase demand and relook at the financing of no fee education in township schools.
- Strengthen the community ownership and participation – There was a need to strengthen the community ownership and participation in the management and protection of ICT resources deployed to no-fee schools.
- Develop a preventative maintenance programme - There was a need to develop a preventative maintenance for schools to prevent dilapidation of the current stock of school buildings.
- Review the resource capacity of sister departments - There was a need to review the resource capacity of sister departments, such as, sports and social development to expand social services in schools, school health services and competitive sports programmes.
- Expand private sector support for skills - There was a need to expand the number of companies creating opportunity for youth employment and experiential learning.
5.6 Inputs by Stakeholders:
5.6.1 National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa
NAPTOSA indicated that there was relative labour peace in the Province and that the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) Chamber was functional. NAPTOSA was concerned with the influx of learners into Gauteng schools and challenges with ensuring placement for all learners on time. NAPTOSA also raised concerns with inadequate specialised staff for Inclusive Education as there was a need for educators with special skills to assist these learners. It was important that the Department engaged Higher Education Institutions in this regard. The Department, although providing scholar transport, needed to ensure special scholar transport programmes for special schools.
5.6.2 Governance Alliance
The Governance Alliance was of the view that SGBs needed to be affiliated to a functional association. They were also of the view that consideration be given to smaller classroom sizes, especially in Grade 1. Of concern was that roughly half of all Grade 1 learners dropped out before they reached Matric. There was a need to ensure that National Norms and Standards for special schools were finalised. The Governance Alliance indicated that there was a need to ensure that there were qualified Grade R practitioners in classrooms. Special needs learners required special education and needed to receive the necessary support and be correctly diagnosed. There was a need for more psychologists and therapists.
5.6.3 Governing Body Foundation
The Governing Body Foundation wanted to ensure that educators and learners were in class, on time, and busy on the same topic. They (questioned the training received by educators. Principals needed to lead and ensure this happen within a clean and safe schooling environment. Learners needed to be taught to respect and value their school environment. All SGBs and School Management Teams (SMTs) needed to work together in the best interest of learners. The Governing Body Foundation indicated that funding and conditions of service for Grade R practitioners needed to be reviewed. Learner electronic application could not cope with the complexities of the admission policy with many parents not being computer literate. The Department needed to allow for a hybrid registration system for the next round of admissions and placement. The Department needed to ensure that discipline was a corrective and not punitive process.
5.6.4 United Front
The United Front was of the view that communities needed to be involved in schools and schooling environment – and look at societal issues and education of communities to safeguard schools.
5.6.5 The South African Principals Association (SAPA)
SAPA was of the view that there was a need to relook at the issues of extra and co-curricular activities at schools. Further to this, there was a need to capacitate and develop the sister departments and share resources. Parents should be given a time period to submit admission documents. The need to ensure quality education through proper/adequate capacity building and development of educators was critical.
5.6.6 Parents and Carers of Children with Special Educational Needs (PACSEN)
PACSEN was of the view that, although there were six incontinence clinics in Gauteng, there was a need for a further four clinics as the Province was a springboard for training in the rest of the country. There were major challenges with transport for learners attending special needs schools, requiring urgent attention. There was also a shortfall in the delivery of textbooks for Braille.
5.7 Portfolio Committee Observations
- Members queried the issue of teacher training to teach learners in their mother-tongue.
- Members queried whether other provinces were engaging with the Gauteng Department of Education in respect of best practices, especially regarding LTSM.
- Members commended the Province for its extensive investment on the roll-out of ICT to schools, including the provision of tablets to learners, laptops to teachers and classroom smartboards. They raised a query regarding plans to ensure the roll-out of the programme to all grades and levels; the impact on delivery of LTSM; and, the challenges with the roll-out of tablets to learners and laptops to educators.
- Members queried the target of the Department to ensure sufficient classrooms, specifically for Grade R – as well as the plans to eradicate inappropriate structures.
- Members queried the plans in place to utilise empty school after rationalisation (e.g. for conversion into schools of skills). Members queried the status of the rationalisation programme in the province and the number of schools affected.
- Members appreciated the Department’s reflectively effective management of the procurement of LTSM in both Section 20 and 21 schools.
- Members queried the timeframe of the project to ensure that all schools had functional toilets;
- Members were concerned with the shortage of suitably qualified teachers for Maths and Science and whether the policy on Foreign Educators would be reviewed. The need to recruit suitably qualified Foundation Phase educators was also noted.
- Members questioned the conditions of service for Grade R practitioners and how this was managed in the Province.
- Members also raised concern over the issues of data collection and verification of data of learners.
- Members queried how the SA-SAMS system was functioning in the sector and whether there were any parallel systems in place in the province;
- Members noted that Curriculum coverage in the province was well managed and queried how the province was achieving this.
- Members also queried how the Incremental Introduction of African Languages (IIAL) was being implemented in the Province.
- Members raised concerns over the prevalence of drug abuse and teenage pregnancies and how the Department was dealing with this phenomenon.
- Members commended the stakeholders for working constructively to support the Department.
5.8 Portfolio Committee Recommendations:
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that:
a) The Gauteng Department of Education should:
- Investigate ways of ensuring that empty schools left after rationalisation be converted into special schools with quality teachers to teach at these schools;
- Investigates the reports of a family living within the precincts of a school in an informal settlement in Ekurhuleni; and
- Investigate the issue of private/home schooling that had started to increase in the province.
b) The Department of Basic Education should:
- Together with the Portfolio Committee, consider the amendment of the legislative framework governing scholar transport and the NSNP to remove any imbalances in assisting learners with benefitting from these programmes.
- Together with the Portfolio Committee, take the necessary steps to fast track the amendment of legislation to ensure that Grade R becomes part of the schooling system;
- Together with relevant authorities, fast track the inquiry into the remuneration and conditions of service for educators, including Grade R, to ensure that the profession was attractive for educators.
- Together with the Portfolio Committee, revisit the processes and procedure with respect to the appointment of principals.
6. Visits to Schools
6.1 Phomolong Secondary School
The school is situated in Tembisa in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality and had a learner enrolment figure of 1 624 learners between Grades 8 – 12. The school was established in 2006 and catered for learners from impoverished backgrounds. Over 500 learners were from child headed families and were orphans. The school offered three academic streams (Commerce, Science and General). In respect of learner registration, the school experienced the following challenges:
- Late registration/applications;
- Network connectivity challenges;
- Parents who were not computer literate;
- Challenges with compulsory registration document not available; and
- Failure to apply at all.
In respect of LTSM, the school LTSM Committee was functional and in accordance with the policy prescripts. All learners had been provided with LTSM and textbooks loaded onto their tablets.
The ICT Committee was functional with meeting held to discuss operational matters. The members worked together to ensure that resources were managed and used optimally on a daily basis. The school recorded 22 classrooms that were without smartboards and the matter had been escalated to the relevant service provider and Head Office. All learners were able to access the e-content and e-books loaded on their tablets to support their learning with educators using smartboards and laptops for teaching.
Regarding staffing, the school employed 55 CS staff and 12 PS staff. The school had vacancies for 1 HOD and 1 Principal – currently subject advisors from both GET and FET with support sessions. The principal received training on the changes in the PAM document and School Liaison Clerks conducted on-site verification for the 3-way leave reconciliation process and to support the school in terms of leave management. The SGB received training on shortlisting and interview processes.
The school participated in the nutrition programme with a dedicated coordinator and five food handlers preparing meals. A total of 1 389 learners benefited from the NSNP. It was indicated that the fire extinguisher was not serviced and needed attention. The school reported a shortage of utensils and a need for an extra stove and running water in the kitchen.
The school had a functional SGB and SMT. SGB Members understood their roles and responsibilities with teamwork evident in the functioning of the SMT
Regarding infrastructure the school was an ACT structure with overcrowding of classrooms due to increased population in the area. The building needs attention as some panels of some classes were open. Ceilings were intact in most of the classes, however there were falling ceilings in toilets. Broken windows were fixed earlier in the year, however there were still a few broken windows that needed fixing. The school perimeter fence required fixing on a regular basis; especially at the back because of break-ins. Although toilets were kept clean on a daily basis there were some toilets with leakages.
- There were challenges with online registration of learners;
- Shortage of 22 smartboards as the classes were not ready/conducive for the Smartboards;
- The school was made up of mobile classrooms and not brick-and-mortar (this was not a permanent structure);
- School buildings were dilapidated, some structures are easily breakable;
- Vandalism of some of the toilet facilities and leaking toilets and falling ceilings;
- The school reported a shortage of utensils and a need for an extra stove and running water in the kitchen;
- Overcrowding of classrooms due to increased population in the area; and
- School perimeter fencing needs refurbishment.
6.1.3 Portfolio Committee Observations
- Members queried whether the Department was receiving value for money on refurbishing a temporary structure. Members were of the view that the construction of a new school be prioritised.
- Members noted the concerns regarding teacher/pupil ratios where the class size was technically correct but practically impossible.
- Members queried the support to progressed learners.
- Members raised concern with the amount of orphaned learners (89) – and the support programmes in place for these learners;
- Members were concerned with the three streams offered at the school and queried whether this was not too ambitious;
- Members were concerned that the post for a new principal was taken so much time to be advertised and filled;
- Members raised concerns with the challenges reported on the pacing of the Curriculum – and whether this was assisting the system; and
- Members were concerned with the poor performance of the GET Phase and whether the school had plans in place to improve performance.
6.1.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education should:
- Fast-track the renovation of classrooms for installation of outstanding smartboards;
- Prioritise the construction of a new/permanent school;
- Consider supplying the school with the necessary feeding utensils and an extra stove for preparing meals;
- Assist the school with ensuring running water; and
- Engage service providers to ensure that all learners receive the necessary e-books loaded.
6.2 Masiqhakaze Secondary School
The school was established in 1989 and was known as Kgothala Secondary School – the name was later changed to Masiqhakaze Secondary School in 1990. Enrolment figures for the school stood at 1 573 learners – mostly from Tembisa, Pretoria and Daveyton informal settlements. The staff establishment stood at 51 CS staff and 12 PS staff. The principal was acting – he was a permanent principal at another school – the permanent principal had been moved to the district.
The school LTSM committee was functional and top-up textbooks had been ordered and delivered to address shortages due to late admissions. All learners had been provided with stationary packs. The ICT committee was functional and worked as a team to manage the use of the ICT resources. Grade 12 learners were able to access the e-content loaded on their tablets to support their learning and educators were using smart boards and laptops for teaching. The renovation of Grade 11 classrooms had been completed and the smartboards had been installed.
The school received support from the District with subject advisors for both GET and FET visiting the school for different subjects. The school was also part of the support sessions conducted by the district director, CES curriculum, circuit manager and the IDSO. District officials had conducted school visits concentrating on educational support programmes. The circuit manager and IDSO did regular visits to the school since it was regarded as underperforming. The principal received training pertaining to the changes in the PAM. The school was also visited by School Liaison Clerks for the 3-way leave reconciliation process and to support the school in terms of leave management.
The nutrition programme was available at the school with six food handlers preparing meals for 1 100 learners who benefitted from the nutrition programme. The school had adequate and clean storage facilities for food but there was a shortage of utensils.
In respect of infrastructure, the entire school needed to be refurbished. The ablution’s conditions were bad and needed immediate attention with toilet seats missing (only 40 percent were functional). Some toilets were leaking and water was running on the floor. The roof of the building was leaking and the ceiling was falling.
- Substance abuse and teenage pregnancies are high amongst learners.
- The school also had challenges with the Department online registration system
- The school had a shortage of three tablets for learners and 15 laptops for educators
- The soccer field requires urgent upgrade
- There was no scholar transport offered to learners
- The school had a total of 12 classrooms that were not being utilised
- The school building and ablution facilities require refurbishment
- Roofs are leaking and ceilings falling
- The school has a shortage of tables, chairs and feeding utensils.
6.2.3 Portfolio Committee Observations
- Members raised concern over the veracity and accuracy of the data supplied for the school.
- Members were concerned with the low performance in languages
- Members were concerned that training for educators could not be prioritised at the expense of teaching and learning.
- Members queried the manner in which the school was able to manage its municipal accounts – and whether they were coping.
- Members queried whether someone was seconded to the school to maintain ICT equipment – and who paid for such maintenance.
- Members queried whether the school had been able to identify causes for the underperformance – and strategies in place to improve on performance.
- Members queried whether educators who continued to underperform were held accountable.
- Members were concerned about issues around the former principal who was removed from the school and currently reporting to the Department.
- Members noted concerns with overcrowded classrooms especially in the languages – this manifested itself in the poor performance in languages.
6.2.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education:
- Ensured that data captured was updated, correct and verified;
- Engaged with service providers in respect of any equipment shortages (tablets and laptops);
- Dealt decisively with the issues around the appointment of a principal for the school.
- Ensured that all textbook top-ups were delivered and received by the school as a matter of urgency.
- Considered the upgrading of the school soccer field and supplying the school with further tables, chairs and feeding utensils.
6.3 Tipfuxeni Secondary School
The school is based in the Stinkwater area in Hammanskraal. The school was established in 1995 and catered for Grade 7, 8 and 9 at the time. After 2000, the school was only catering for Grade 8 and 9. The school applied for, and was granted, secondary school status in 2001. Grade 10 was introduced in 2002, Grade 11 in 2003 and the first Matric class was presented in 2004. The delegation received an overview of the learner performance of the school form 2012 – 2016 (including subject performance for all grades. The school currently had a total of 1 005 learners admitted.
In respect of LTSM, the school procured all the necessary textbooks and stationery for learners, including outstanding deliveries. The school had four Grade 12 classrooms with Smartboards loaded with e-books. All Grade 12 teachers had been trained on smartboard utilisation. Further to this, four Grade 11 classrooms had been renovated and ready for smartboard installation.
The school had a well-developed and available School Improvement Plan (SIP). The School also received support from the District through a comprehensive Curriculum support package, exam guidelines and diagnostic reports. Subject advisors also provided classroom support in key subjects.
No learner transport was required as most learners stayed within the vicinity of the school. All learners enjoyed the benefit of the National School Nutrition Programme with a dedicated NSNP educator and five voluntary food handlers. The school had a functioning SGB and SMT.
In respect of infrastructure, the school had 12 brick-and-mortar classrooms and 10 mobile classrooms. The school will be receiving three ACT classrooms in 2017. The school had two blocks of toilets and two mobile toilets. Currently, there were two blocks of toilets being constructed.
The school would receive SIAS training in April, May and June of 2017. Five Grade 12 concessions were applied for and submitted and recommended by the District. Two educators had received training on the application for concessions in February 2017.
- Smartboard connectivity and Wi-Fi access was challenging.
- The school had two PL2 vacancies (one post was advertised in January 2017 and the other post was yet to be advertised).
- The school did not have a proper kitchen facility for NSNP.
- Sections of concrete palisade fencing had been stolen.
- Ceilings had collapsed in four ICT classrooms.
- The school was awaiting a response on the request for 240 tables and 240 chairs;
- The School Based Support Team (SBST) was not fully functional due to capacity constraints.
- High rate of learner pregnancy.
- Decreasing enrolment at the school.
- Mathematics (34 % average mark) was too low
- The school experienced a high rate of teenage pregnancies.
6.3.3 Portfolio Committee Observations:
- Members raised concerns with the low Grade 10 results of the school and queried reasons for the underperformance.
- Members queried the type of support to progressed learners at the school.
- Members noted with concern the decreasing enrolment at the school.
- Members were also concerned with the low Mathematics marks and queried reasons for the poor performance
- Members queried how the school dealt with issues of drug abuse.
- Members queried the involvement of parents, community and other stakeholders in respect of vandalism at school.
- Members queried the strategies in place to ensure that SBSTwere fully functional.
- Members queried how often teachers receive training and development.
- Members queried whether the school was implementing the retrieval policy and whether this was effective; and
- Members noted the challenges with teenage pregnancies and advised that this be dealt with by the school and SGB with assistance from the Department.
- The Portfolio Committee noted with concern that the school was not offering Xitsonga as a subject despite the fact that it was a dominant home language for the feeder area.
6.3.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education:
- Ensure that WI-FI connectivity be restored to the school
- In collaboration with the Education Portfolio Committee in the Provincial Legislature, ensure that the school was equipped with a functioning kitchen.
- Take urgent steps to ensure that the school offers Xitsonga language as part of the curriculum.
6.4 Ratshepo Secondary School
The school is based next to the Temba City Complex, Post Office, the Department of Home Affairs and other economic activities. The school catered for Grade 10 – 12 learners from Temba and neighbouring areas. The school was used mostly for workshops and meetings and was a no-fee school. The school enrolment stood at 1 187 learners with 25 classrooms, 44 CS educators and 7 PS staff members.
There was intervention from Social Workers who gave presentation on substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. All referrals were directed to SANCA and Angels of Glory for substance abuse and diversions programmes on behavioural problems. The school provided a list of seven foster children who all received foster care grants. Assessments would be done individually for each foster care learner.
The delegation received a detailed overview of the learner performance of the school for the last five years (2012 – 2016). This also included data on the various subjects and performance in the grades
The school had eight Grade 12 classrooms with smartboards in each classroom loaded with e-books. All 44 Grade 12 educators had been trained on smartboard utilisation and the school had received 32 laptops and the school is short of six laptops. There were nine Grade 11 classrooms under renovation for the smartboard installation.
The school had two PL2, one PL3 and one Admin Assistant vacancies of which advertisements have been put on hold.
The School Improvement Plan was available with cluster leader and circuit managers monitoring and providing support. Further support from the sub-directorate include Curriculum support packages, exam guidelines and diagnostic reports. Learner performance was analysed per term and support strategies were implemented in line with Curriculum needs. The SMT monitored and supported with Curriculum management systems. Subject advisors offered classroom support in key subjects.
A total of 378 learners at the school benefitted from the scholar transport programme with a dedicated learner transport coordinator. Busses always arrived on time with no challenges with the service provider. A total of 1 187 learners benefitted from the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) with a dedicated NSNP educator and four food handlers. The school had sufficient utensils.
In respect of infrastructure, the school had 21 brick-and-mortar classrooms and five mobile classrooms. The school is earmarked for an additional four mobile classrooms. The structures were in good shape. The school also had four blocks of toilets with two blocks of toilets under construction.
- Learners experience social problems at home;
- Pregnancy and substance abuse;
- The sport ground has a rock bed and need assistance with upgrading the sport field;
- Structural challenges – there is a need for at least eight classrooms, a functional library, laboratory, storeroom, staff room and computer laboratory;
- Shortage of educator laptops and learner tablets;
- Vacancies were yet to be filled (two PL2, one PL3 and one Admin Assistance); and
- The school experienced underperformance in Mathematics.
6.4.3 Portfolio Committee Observations:
- Members raised concern over the shortage of learner tablets
- Members were eager to understand when construction and renovation of classrooms would commence.
- Members queried the school plans and programmes in place to improve the Mathematics percentage.
- Members queried the timeframe for filling vacant posts at the schools.
- Members queried the type of support and assistance offered to progressed learners at the school
- Members queried what efforts were in place to ensure the syllabus was covered on time
- Members queried the type of support being offered to foster children.
6.4.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations:
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education:
- Take steps to ensure that all outstanding ICT equipment was supplied to the school (learner tablets and teacher laptops); and
- Fast –track the appointment of permanent staff for the staff vacancies at the school.
6.5 Temba Teacher Development Centre
The Centre was incorporated from the North West Department of Education on 1st April 2007 and turned into a teacher development centre. The Centre serves the Hammanskraal schools and the surrounding community. The main purpose was to provide support for Curriculum delivery to ensure effective teaching and learning. The Centre was mainly utilised by teachers for professional development activities and Grade 12 learners. It was one of two District Teacher Development Centres in the Tshwane North District, established to serve as a decentralised venue where teachers could access professional development programmes.
The Centre was equipped with the following resources:
- One Vodacom ICT laboratory wit 30 laptops;
- Four Smart Classrooms;
- Furniture for each of the above rooms;
- Downloadable subject specific MINDSET video-on-demand (VOD);
- Internet connectivity and Wi-Fi; and
- Six tablets.
The following programmes were offered:
- Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) linked training;
- Induction for newly appointed teachers;
- Advocacy and support for the National Teaching Awards (NTA), CPTD and Fundza Lusaka;
- SA-SAMS support; and
- Training and Integration of ICT in the classroom through the utilisation of smartboards
The Centre also provided the following services:
- District office meetings;
- Computer training;
- Online registration of Grade 1 and 8 learners;
- Training on the needs of educators as identified in the School Improvement Plan;
- CAPS training;
- Workshops on personal development;
- Nodal point for collection of examination papers by schools;
- Centre for AET office.
- CPTD online registration; and
- Provides internet access to teachers and learners of all grades.
- The centre was too small for rendering development programmes;
- Insufficient lecture rooms;
- No libraries, laboratories, hall, auditorium or proper fencing;
- Insufficient toilets;
- A shortage of staff - long staff working hours required management;
- Was the Centre just a venue for all to access or was this a fully-fledged training facility; and
- A report had been forwarded to the DBE in respect of the challenges of the Centre as far back as 2007 – with no responses.
6.5.3 Portfolio Committee Observations:
- Members queried how working hours for staff at the centre were being managed – and whether staff was being remunerated for the extra hours they worked
- Members queried who facilitated the training programmes and schedules.
- Members noted the concerns raised and queried whether these were communicated to the Department.
- Members queried the benefit and impact of teacher performance after completion of training offered.
- With only one staff member; Members were concerned that the centre was currently not a fully-fledged teacher development facility, but just a venue to train teachers. Members queried the ideal staff establishment for a fully functional training centre.
- Members raised concerns over the storage of examination question papers at the centre.
- Members noted concerns over the lack of a library for the Centre.
6.5.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations:
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education:
- Respond to the situation and challenges of the Centre, which had not been responded to as far back as 2007 (staff capacity, construction of more buildings, ground space);
- Consider the upgrading and refurbishment of the Centre; and
- Consider reviewing the manner in which the centre was being utilised and seek support and benchmarks from best practices in the country.
6.6 Hammanskraal Secondary School
The school was opened in January 2011 with 1 004 learners. The first Grade 12 presentation was in 2012 with a pass percentage of 63 percent. The school was situated in Mandela Village in Hammanskraal and was a no-fee school. The enrolment figures for the school stood at 1455 learners. At least 98 percent of learners depended on the National School Nutrition Programme with 40 percent of learners relying on scholar transport. The school had seven progressed learners in the system.
The school provided the social worker with a list of 11 orphaned learners. A total of 48 learners were receiving child support grants. The Social Workers organised social relief for the family in order to make sure the learners was able to fully function at school and be able to concentrate on their studies. Social workers went to schools introducing services of the social workers and explaining referral procedures. Home visits were conducted to investigate home circumstances after individual session with learners. Cases of substance abuse had been referred to SANCA for further assistance.
The school procured textbooks and stationery for Grade 12 learners. All learners had the necessary stationery. The verification for GET textbooks coverage would be confirmed and reported on 24 March 2017 (including physical verification). The school had five Grade 12 classrooms with smartboards loaded with e-books. All 25 Grade 12 educators had been trained in smartboard utilisation. All 133 Grade 12 learners received tablets. The school was provided with 24 laptops for utilisation by educators.
The School Improvement Plans were available and monitored by circuit management. Subject advisors continued to mediate the use of ATPs and lesson plans during visits. Further support was provided by the sub-directorate by way of exam guidelines and diagnostic reports. Planned school visits focussed on improving learner performance. Learner performance was analysed per term and support strategies were implemented in line with the Curriculum needs. Subject advisors also offered classroom support in key subjects.
The school had 1 429 learners who benefitted from the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). A total of six voluntary food handlers were employed to assist with meals. Unfortunately, the school had no running water and wash basins.
The school has a total of 38 mobile classes utilised for various functions. There were 14 blocks of ablution facilities on site. The school was on a priority list for the replacement of mobile classrooms with brick-and-mortar classrooms in 2017. The school was also identified for major repairs and refurbishments. A section of the perimeter fencing still needs to be completed as soon as budget allows.
- Minimal support and lack of parental involvement
- Conflict and infighting amongst the School Management Team – the school was non-functional
- SGB is not operational and functional
- No evidence of attendance registers as proof that the complete SGB met.
- No evidence on draft and approved budgets by the SGB and parents
- Inventory list not updated and no asset register provided for inspection
- No evidence that school requested quotations from different suppliers before service could be rendered
- No check requisitions provided for inspection
- No finance policy was presented for inspection
- The bank specimen signatures were not presented for inspection
- The school did not perform a monthly bank reconciliation
- High prevalence of learner substance abuse
- Learners coming from child-headed households and others being orphaned
- Grade 12 smartboards had incorrect content
- Most learner’s tablets were without simcards
- A shortage of office furniture
- One of the service providers of scholar transport had overloaded busses and late coming of learners due to lack of sufficient busses
- School has no running water or basins in the kitchen
- No food-storage facilities hence food was badly affected
- The kitchen was infested with cockroaches
- There were no eating utensils and advised to raise fund for this
- No food garden due to challenges with water
6.6.3 Portfolio Committee Observations:
- Members were concerned over the general performance of learner that was heading households – and the support offered by the Department;
- Members queried the subject streaming and choices of learners and whether they were correctly advised and mentored;
- With a dysfunctional SGB, Members queried how the SGB was able to utilise its budget and authorise expenditure;
- Members were concerned with the current impasse, in-fighting and conflict between SMT members and its impact on school management. There was clearly no unity and cohesion amongst staff members with no respect for each other;
- Members raised concern over issues of overloaded scholar transport who also arrived late;
- Members were concerned with the low number of Grade 12 learners and queried whether learners were dropping-out or being retained in other grades; and
- Members queried the role of the District and the type of support provided to the school that seemed clearly dysfunctional.
6.6.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education:
- Ensure the finalisation of disputes with the filling of the posts and fast –track the appointments at the school.
- Convene a workshop with the SMT to iron out the challenges faced.
- Ensure that the crisis facing the school is resolved with the facilitation of the Department. This should include the dissolution of the current SGB followed by bi-elections for a new SGB.
6.7 Katlehong Technical Secondary School
The school was started in 1978 as a Technical Support Centre for learners from the local primary schools. In 1994 the school was converted into an ordinary Secondary School offering subjects in the Technical and Commerce streams. The majority of learners participate in the nutrition programme funded by the SGB. Technical Education and Mathematics were central to the Curriculum. The school started to phase out Mathematical Literacy out as a subject and developing a Vocational College to ensure a smooth transition from schooling to industry. The project includes infrastructure development to ensure proper industry accredited programmes.
The school applied the online admissions for application in 2016 for Grade 8s with no challenges encountered with the online applications. The high number of late registrations in January and February 2017 especially in Grade 8 was a challenge. The school enrolment stood at 1 434 learners with 76 school staff – the school ratio was about 1:26.
The school ICT-committee was functional and smartboards were installed in six Grade 11 classes. Content for Grade 9 – 12 was loaded onto the smartboards – but not for all learning areas. The SGB installed Wi-Fi in the school premises and data-projectors were available for teaching and learning. A total of 24 educators received laptops and received training on the use of smartboards.
School Improvement plan were compiled at the end of 2016 and was used on a regular basis to give direction to the needs to be addressed. The SIP action plan was up to date for Quarter 1 of 2017. The school was supported on a regular basis by all units at the District Office. The Curriculum Unit visited educators once a term unless if more support sessions were required.
Katlehong Technical Secondary School was also part of the Scholar Transport system with a transport liaising officer that ensured that busses always arrived on time. A total of 89 learners utilised the scholar transport system. Although Katlehong Technical Secondary School was classified as a “No-Fee” school they were not included in the nutrition programme. Due to the poor background of learners the SGB decided to provide nutrition to learners from donations received. Approximately 1 280 learners enjoyed a meal offered by the school. Six parents availed themselves to assist with preparing meals.
The SGB and SMT was highly functional and involved in governance of the school. There were no challenges experienced with the SGB as all stakeholders understood their duties and responsibilities. All members of the SMT worked together as a team to improve the results and functionality of the school.
In respect of school infrastructure, the school was well looked after with neat, clean and working toilets. Toilet paper and sanitary supplies (girls) were supplied to learners on a daily basis. An adequate security systems was in place with proper fencing, alarm and CCTV.
- High number of late registrations in January/February 2017 especially in Grade 8;
- Most children come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds;
- The school not offering the NSNP – SGB provided meals from donations received;
- The community is mostly poor as it survives on social-grants;
- The unemployment rate of parents and guardians is very high;
- Shortages of LTSM (although books had been ordered);
- Book retrieval rate was low;
- Learner pregnancies was too high;
- Problem with leaking roofs were experienced during heavy rain of the last two months – a call was logged with HO / infrastructure to assist with repairs; and
- The issue of the compensation of educators need to be addressed to attract quality educators.
6.7.3 Portfolio Committee Observations:
- Member raised concern for learners from child-headed families and queried the type of assistance and support from the school and the Department;
- Members were interested to know whether the school was able to share its best-practices with other schools in the district;
- Members queried whether the school had approached the Department for assistance with the NSNP;
- Members queried measures in place to ensure that learners were placed and accommodated in industries when they completed their studies;
- Members raised concerns over the poor performance of the Grade 10 class and the general poor performance in this grade;
- Members queried whether the school had a policy of gatekeeping for Grade 12 – and whether the school had any progressed learners;
- Members queried whether educators and learners were aware of all SMT plans and intentions and whether there was buy-in from all involved, including parents;
- Members queried whether the school had a succession plan in place for the future;
- Succession at the school…does the school have a succession plan for the future; and
- Members queried the current status of the shortages of LTSM reported – and whether these had been delivered by the Department.
6.7.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations:
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education:
- Assisted the school to find placement at relevant industries for learners who had completed their studies;
- Assisted the school with attracting, training and developing educators towards specialisation for Grade 10 teaching; and
- Reviewed the policies in respect of compensation/remuneration of educators to attract quality educators.
6.8 Phumulani Secondary School
The school was started as Ntombizodwa Secondary in 1993 and was situated in Siluma View in Katlehong Township. The enrolment of the school stood at 1 520 learners with b5 school staff. The school opted to be a no-fee school. The school had online admissions of the Grade 8 learners and experienced some challenges as this was a new experience. However, the problems experienced were resolved and all leaners were placed. No challenges were experienced in registration of learners in the other grades and teaching and learning started on the first day of re-opening of schools. Learners were encouraged to bring tablets to use in class for research purposes. Tablets were only utilised under the supervision of the educator. Grade 11 and 12 classrooms had been installed with smartboards and utilised by teachers for daily lessons. Grade 12 educators were using laptops to prepare their lessons.
The school drafted the School Improvement Plan informed by the Whole School Improvement process covering the nine focus areas. The School Improvement Plan was not aligned with requirements indicated in Circular 09/2016 and had been revised. The school was supported by the relevant units from the district office and attended cluster and district meetings. Parental workshops were scheduled for weekends and were supported by district staff. The SGB also receives support from the District Office.
A total of 66 learners utilised the GDE Scholar Transport programme. The school also participates in the GDE Nutrition Programme feeding 1 520 learners with six food handlers. A classroom had been converted into a kitchen with no challenges with respect to the delivery of groceries. Learners brought their own utensils. The school had a challenge with storage space for groceries.
The school had a functioning LTSM committee where all members assisted in the retrieval of books per grade and collection of loan book forms from educators. The SGB was fully functional with monthly meetings, AGM and parent meetings.
In respect of infrastructure, all the ceilings were intact with electricity in all classes and in the Admin block. All classes had ceramic tiles with smaller classroom having vinyl tiles. All the doors of rooms were intact and there were no broken windows. All toilets were functional and the school had one entrance and the perimeter fence was intact. The school had enough chairs and desks.
In respect of Inclusive Education, the school had an SBST committee that was functional where learners with different aptitudes were catered for in the programme. The District Office provided support for learners with barriers.
- Majority of parents were unemployed;
- The community also had child-headed families and orphaned children;
- Learners were exposed to HIV infections due to socio-economic situation;
- High rate of teenage pregnancies;
- The smartboard in the Grade 12 G class was not connecting to signals;
- Challenges with incorrect career pathing and choices of subject streams;
- Some teachers were not yet competent with the usage of the ICT resources;
- No kitchen for preparing meals and no storage facility for storing groceries; and
- No utensils for feeding – children brought their own utensils.
6.8.3 Portfolio Committee Observations:
- Members queried the support and assistance offered to child-headed homes and orphaned learners;
- Members queried the measures in place to ensure educators received training in ICT;
- Members queried whether the school involve relevant stakeholders in respect of teenage pregnancies for assistance, guidance and motivation;
- Members noted problems with Internet connectivity and signal and queried how the school dealt with this – and how this impacted on learner and teacher performance;
- Members queried the assistance and support from the school for progressed learners; and
- Members queried the intervals for teacher training, development and workshops.
6.8.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations:
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education:
- Assisted and supported the school with construction of the envisaged multipurpose centre being requested; and
- Assisted and supported the school with the construction of the envisaged Administration Block being requested.
6.9 Esibonelwesihle Secondary School
The school was established in 1974 and was a no-fee school with a learner population of 1 404 learners with 59 school staff (48 CS Educators and 11 Ps Staff) Members. The school offered 17 subjects in the FET Phase and 9 Subjects in the Senior Phase. Most parents were unemployed and the impact of socio- economic challenges resonated in the manner they respond to the school and its needs. Learners were negatively affected by child headed households, drugs, teenage pregnancy, crime and all other societal ills like late coming and absenteeism.
All learners were issued with stationery and text books but a shortages in textbooks were detected in January 2017 due to growth in learner numbers. All the necessary top-ups were secured to ensure all learners had books. Grade 8 and 9 DBE Mathematics workbooks were used and all learners were supplied with these. The school had six ICT classes in Grade 12 with eight Grade 11 classes under construction. All learners received tablets with learning material loaded. The school received six educator laptops and was awaiting delivery for all Grade 11 and 12 educators. Educators were trained to use these gadgets and there was continuing training at the District and the school in the use of devices.
The school had 48 CS educators and 11 PS staff members. Four educators were on temporary employment pending four promotion posts appointments. The process of filling the vacant posts was underway in the Chief Director’s office. The school needed two additional educators as the number of learners had increased.
The school had a functional SGB and SMT with bi-elections conducted on the 19 March 2017 to beef up parent members. SGB members had been trained and parent-learner workshops were held on 1 March 2017. The SMT had three HOD’s and 1 deputy posts vacant that was currently being processed for filling.
In respect if infrastructure, the school was old and required refurbishment. The school had collapsing ceilings, roofs requiring painting and the school ground needed attention. The school had loose walls and patio bricks. There were bare electrical wiring and uneven flooring in classrooms. The toilets were habitable and well maintained. There was a need for extra staff furniture in the staffroom. The school also required refurbishment of perimeter fencing.
The District supported the school with its Curriculum through scheduled visits and reports on findings and recommendations left with the school for intervention and implementation. The District also arranged workshops and training for developing educators
A total of 1 404 learners benefitted from the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) with a dedicated coordinator and six volunteer food handlers. The food was delivered on time, quality was satisfactory and there was enough cooking and eating utensils.
The school was scheduled for SIAS Training in the 2nd Term. There were 16 concessions made in Grade 12 (slow writing and slow reading). Further applications for Grade 10 and 11 concessions were to be submitted to the ISS in the 2nd Term. The school had identified 68 orphans, four pregnant learners, tow learners from child headed families and three vulnerable learners.
- Learners were negatively affected by child-headed households, drugs, teenage pregnancy, crime and all other societal ills (including late coming and absenteeism);
- Staff shortage and vacant posts not filled to date - Labour disputes in respect of filling SMT posts;
- A need for the services of two Home Language (Grade 9 and 10) educators;
- The school received six educator laptops and was awaiting delivery for all Grade 11 and 12 educators;
- Overcrowded classrooms;
- Challenges with incorrect career pathing and choices of subject streams;
- Parental involvement was still a challenge;
- Learner ill-discipline (Late coming, absenteeism);
- The school was old and required refurbishment (Collapsing ceilings and the roofs requiring painting);
- School grounds require upgrading;
- Bare electrical wiring and uneven flooring in classrooms;
- A need for extra staff furniture in the staffroom; and
- The school also required refurbishment of perimeter fencing.
6.9.3 Portfolio Committee Observations:
- Members were concerned with the time taken to fill the acting positions at the school;
- Members queried the plans in place to improve on the performance of the school;
- Members were concerned with the decline in results for the school and the mechanisms in place to improve on performance;
- Members queried the status of delivery of outstanding laptops for educators outstanding…when will they be delivered, could this not be prioritised;
- Members queried the support and assistance from the Department in dealing with the overcrowded classrooms;
- Looking at the poor performance, Members queried whether educators were sufficiently qualified to teach their subjects;
- Members queried the strategies in place by the SGB to deal with late coming and absenteeism;
- Members queried the timeframes for the completion of the school syllabus;
- Members queried accountability measures for educators where learners continued to underperform;
- Members queried whether the shifting of educators would assist with school performance;
- Members also queried the type of assistance and support provided by the circuit and subject advisors; and
- Member queried whether the school had challenges with payment of the municipal rates and tariffs.
6.9.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations:
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education:
- Ensured that the delivery of all outstanding educator laptops was prioritised;
- Ensured that the filling of vacant post was speeded up and finalised;
- Assisted the school with the services of two Home Language (Grade 9 and 10) educators;
- Ensured that patrollers were captured correctly to ensure proper payment of patrollers newly appointed on the system; and
- Collaborated with the Education Committee in the Provincial Legislature on follow-up visits to the school on matters raised.
6.10 Mvelaphanda Primary School
The school is situated in Tembisa in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality
and was established in 1968. It is the only Tshivenda primary school in the area and reportedly caters largely for learners from poverty stricken communities from Tembisa and the surrounding informal settlements though some learners are from as far as the Kempton Park and Germiston areas. The school has about 200 learners who receive uniform from the Department of Social Development and Kaya FM donates 100 pairs of shoes for these children.
The school has a learner enrolment of 1015 with 22 CS staff and five public servant (PS) staff. All teachers at the school are reportedly well qualified and teaching the subjects they are qualified to teach. The school performs well in most subjects and had obtained a pass rate in 2016 ranging from 89 per cent in Grade 5 and 99 per cent in Grade 7. Performance was poor in subjects such as Mathematics and EMS in the Senior Phase and Intermediate Phase.
It was reported that the school’s LTSM Committee is functional and most learners have the necessary textbooks, stationery and workbooks. Due to the high influx of learners from outside the province and the school being the only Tshivenda primary school in the area the school experienced a shortage of Grades 4 and 5 Tshivenda Home. Language (HL) and Natural Science - Technology textbooks. Orders were placed but resources were not readily available. The matter would be reported to the LTSM unit. The ICT Committee was functional and available ICT resources were used optimal. The nutrition programme was also functional and benefiting all learners at the school.
District support was reportedly satisfactory and the Circuit supported the school through visits focusing on basic functionality, leadership and management, governance and learner achievement. The SGB and SMT were functioning well with team work being evident.
In terms of infrastructure, all seem to be in good condition except for the gutters that need attention. The school yard also seems to be small to accommodate additional mobile classrooms. Toilets are in good working condition.
- Child Headed families and Grannies serving as parents to children;
- Over-crowding of learners in classrooms poses a challenge, particularly in Grade 4
- Gutters need to be repaired
- The school yard appears to be small to accommodate additional mobile classrooms to address overcrowding.
- The food storage is small though ventilated.
6.10.3 Portfolio Committee Observations
- Members noted with concern the underperformance of the school in certain subjects such as Mathematics and Economic Management Sciences.
- Members observed that the school yard appeared to be small to accommodate additional mobile classrooms.
6.10.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education should:
- Support the school to improve its performance in subjects such as Mathematics and EMS.
- Assist the school to address overcrowding in affected classes.
- Survey the school yard to determine if there is adequate space for additional mobile classrooms.
6.11 Nyiko Primary School
Nyiko Primary School is a no-fee school situated in Tembisa in the Ekurhuleni Municipality. The school was established in 1977 as a Primary School catering for Xitsonga learners and introduced its first Grade R class in 2005. Learners at the school are largely from low socio-economic backgrounds. The school has 20 orphans who stay with relatives.
The school has a learner enrolment of 1062 with 28 CS staff and seven PS staff. There were two vacancies for HODs, of which one was advertised in January with a target filling date of 1 May 2017. All teachers at the school are reportedly well qualified and teaching the subjects they are qualified to teach. The school performance is generally satisfactory and the school had obtained a pass rate in 2016 ranging from 72 per cent in Grade 1 to 98 per cent in Grade 7. However, learners still underperform in Common Tests.
The school improvement plan is available and informed by the nine areas of evaluation. The school has embarked on a reading programme that takes place during assembly on Monday and Friday. The LTSM Committee is in place and functional. All learners have the necessary textbooks, stationery and workbooks.
In terms of infrastructure, classrooms are sufficient and appropriately furnished, maintained and used for their intended purposes. The school also has reliable and sufficient functional services such as electricity and water. The school grounds are also clean and well maintained. Toilets are in good condition though not sufficient. Ceiling in 15 classrooms and fencing require attention.
District support is reportedly satisfactory and includes areas such as SGB functionality, financial management systems, policies, teaching and learning, and SMT functionality. The SGB and SMT are functioning well with evident team work. It was also reported that parents are actively engaged in school activities.
The nutrition programme is functional and benefiting all learners at the school. The storage is clean though not ventilated.
- Classrooms have uneven floors
- Teachers are awaiting the District for training on Inclusive Education
- Ceiling in 15 classrooms needs to be replaced. The SGB is reportedly unable to afford the maintenance of the ceiling.
- Palisade fencing at the back of the school has been removed
- Security of the school is changing from time to time;
- Several learners lack the necessary documentation and officials from Home Affairs have been unwilling to visit the school
6.11.3 Portfolio Committee Observations
- Members observed with appreciation that the school was well managed.
- Members were concerned that the school lacked adequate fencing.
6.11.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education recommended that the Gauteng Department of Education should:
- Provide the school with the necessary support in respect of concrete palisade fence
- Prioritise the school for the training of teachers on Inclusive Education.
- Together with the relevant role players, take the necessary steps to ensure that all learners have the necessary documentation for registration at the school.
6.12 Dinoto Technical Secondary School
Dinoto Technical Secondary School was established in 1983 by the Anglo American Company. The school has a learner enrolment of 1074 with 42 CS educators and eight PS staff. The learners are drawn largely from the areas of Daveyton and Etwatwa and a few from Kingsway. Approximately 50% of the learners are reportedly economically under-privileged. and some are orphans from child headed families. The school had two HOD vacancies, which were advertised in January 2017 for filling on 1 May 2017.
Some learners are engaged in substance abuse especially dagga and have been referred to Sanca. The school also experiences a high rate of learner pregnancy, particularly in Grade 12. As part of mechanisms to address the challenge, parents are involved – peer counselling is conducted. The school is also supported by an NGO.
The LTSM Committee is functional and all learners reportedly have LTSM in all subjects. The school collects extra books from other schools as there are currently no approved Technical Science textbooks in the market.
The ICT Committee is also functional at the school. Grade 12 learners are able to access the e-content loaded on their tablets to support their learning. Educators are using smart boards and laptops for teaching. Educators are also able to access the loaded e-books to support teaching and learning in the classroom. It was reported that one Smartboard for Grade 12 was not functional – The ICT unit had already visited the school to address the problem. Renovations of Grade 11 classrooms have been completed and the smart boards have been installed. Grade 11 educators are now using the smart boards for teaching during the lessons
The school receives support from the district on basic functionality, leadership management and communication, quality teaching and learning and governance relationship. A total of 750 learners benefit from the nutrition programme, which reportedly runs smoothly. The school does not have a proper storage facility for food and uses a library. The school also experiences a shortage of utensils such as spoons and bowls.
A total of seven learners benefit from scholar transport from Kingsway. In terms of overall status of infrastructure, maintenance is needed. Approximately 46 per cent of ablution facilities are reportedly dysfunctional due to vandalism. Ceilings and floors are in a good condition.
- The school buildings are old and may need to be renovated or painted
- The school experiences a challenge of substance abuse especially dagga
- The School needs training in the use of SA SAMS
- The school introduced Business Studies in a technical environment
- Progressed learners appear to be stigmatised.
- Vandalism of ablution facilities at the school is cause for concern
- The school requires Technical Science textbooks
- Funding for LTSM from the Department is sometimes transferred late.
6.12.3 Portfolio Committee Recommendations
- Take the necessary steps to ensure that the school receives a full complement of Technical Science textbooks as a matter of urgency
- Prioritise the school for training on SA SAMS,
- Ensure that the school maintains the dignity of progressed learners by treating them the same way they treat all other learners
6.13 Chief Albert Luthuli Primary School
The delegation conducted an in-loco site visit to Chief Luthuli Primary School. The newly built school is one of the state of the art ICT schools launched by the Gauteng Department of Education in 2016. It is situated at Chief Luthuli Park in Daveyton. The school was established to relieve overcrowding at Chief Luthuli Primary School No. 1 as well as absorb learners from a closed small farm school called Bapsfontein Primary School. The school had a staff establishment of 33 educators and a learner enrolment of 1 409, drawn mainly from disadvantaged backgrounds. All SMT members were acting and the recruitment process had been concluded with assumption expected from 1 April 2017. The school also had eight PS staff, three administrative staff and five ground assistants.
The delegation observed that the school boasted impressive modern facilities, including 33 smart ICT classrooms, science laboratories and a library, well-resourced Grade R sites, a great hall, a kitchen with the state of the art eating area with furniture for learners, two multi-purpose offices, five HOD offices and a sports field with lawn.
In terms of ICT usage, the school had 132 tablets used daily by Grade 7 learners and all grade 7 educators had laptops. Textbooks were digitalised and stored in the tablets. The school also had an LTSM policy, which was inclusive of a section on retrieval. The ICT committee was functional. Educators were reportedly receiving regular training on ICT and its usage in the classroom.
The school nutrition programme was functioning well and all learners benefitted from this programme. The SGB was also reportedly functional, with parents attending meetings regularly.
Key challenges noted include:
- The school experienced internet connectivity challenges. Letters had been written to the Department and had not yielded the desired results.
- The environment of the school was not kept clean and tidy.
- The school was underperforming in Mathematics.
- Four smartboards were not working
- There was a shortage of laptops for educators (23 out of 33 educators)
- Xitsonga ebooks were not available on the laptops. Hard copies were used.
6.12.3 Portfolio Committee Recommendations
- Take the necessary steps to address the connectivity challenges at the school, as well attend to the smartboards that were not working.
- Take steps to ensure that all official languages have ebooks on the laptops.
- Ensure that the school keep its environment clean and tidy.
- Support the school to improve its performance, particularly in Mathematics
6.13.1 Dan Radebe Primary School
The school is situated at Bluegum View, Duduza.and was established in 1994 and named after the education stalwart Mr Dan Radebe. The enrolment figures for 2017 for Grade R – 7 stood at 1 299 with classes being oversubscribed in Grade R, 4, 5, and 6. To ease the class sizes, the school was receiving two extra Grade R sites. Learners were from poor communities with some learners being orphans living with foster parents or grandparents. The majority of the learners benefited from the NSNP. About 397 learners travelled four kilometres to and from school, on foot or by taxi. The staff component of the schools included 37 CS and 8 PS staff. The school had a vacancy for a PL3 educator and the selection process had been concluded.
The school is a Quintile 2 with all 1 273 learners participating in the NSNP with a coordinator and six food handlers who also received a monthly stipend. The school had all the necessary utensils and adequate storage space. The school had a functional SGB and SMT, however, there was a vacancy for an HOD which would be advertised with the next vacancy list.
In respect of District Support, it was reported that officials ensure the following for the school:
- Verification of enrolments;
- Conducting Grade R readiness;
- Verifying the progressed learners in Grade 2 and 3;
- Monitor and support values in education programmes;
- Vaccination of all Grade 4 girls (9 years and older);
- Site inspections on construction of Grade R sites;
- Monitoring and support of LTSM processes;
- Support for the SMT; and
- Support for educators and developing their assessment.
Regarding school infrastructure, the buildings were new and occupied since 2004. The building does require roof painting and water proofing. The classroom ceilings were repaired after heavy rains of the last summer. All toilets were in good condition although ablution facilities in the sport grounds require refurbishment.
In respect of Inclusive Education, a number of learners were identified and they were added to the learner risk register. A learners was assessed in 2016 with his placement letter incorrectly stating Grade 1 when it should have been Grade 2 – the learner would resume at the school next term. Another learner only attended classes two or three times a week – the school was engaging the parents on the matter.
- The rapid growth of learners’ enrolment posed a serious challenge with overcrowded classrooms;
- Challenges with online registration of learners as follows:
- Lack of capacity to implement the electronic version;
- Parents resisted the change;
- Parents unable to open and complete electronic version on cell phones for self-registration;
- Parents unable to use technology or have no cell phones;
- Parents not accepting and confirm school of their 1st choice; and
- Documents of immigrants not available for submission: birth certificates, immunisation card and parent’s identity books passport/ work permits.
- Buildings require roof painting and water proofing;
- SGB requires further quality training on Financial Management;
- Ablution building in the sport field needs refurbishment ;
- Maintenance of the combi-court and sport ground was very high; and
- The issue of pregnant learner may be a mistake as the last incident was in 2014.
6.13.3 Portfolio Committee Observations:
- Members raised concern over the challenges in respect of registration of learners as well as problems with documents of immigrants;
- Members queried the exact amount paid to Grade R Practitioner as a stipend;
- Members queried whether the school had a sport coordinator to train learners for sporting codes;
- Members queried the working relationship and cooperation with parents and the surrounding community;
- Members noted the concerns from the SGB regarding inadequate training received;
- Members queried how the school was able to track learner performance in the absence of the ANA and other assessment tools;
- Members queried the strategies in place to improve the performance of the school; and
- Members queried the type of training and development being offered by the Department.
6.13.4 Portfolio Committee Recommendations:
- Consider arranging workshops, in conjunction with the Department of Home Affairs, on issues related to the tracking of documentation for learner registration;
- Ensure that adequate training programmes are made available to SGBs on regular intervals on various subjects. The District should continue to support capacity of SGBs;
- Ensure that Norms and Standards are followed in respect of funding for Grade R practitioners; and
- Consider plans for the construction of another primary school at John Dube to alleviate class sizes as well as ensure that learners did not have to travel long distances to school. While awaiting this, the Department considered construction of extra classrooms to alleviate overcrowding.
7. Engagement with the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) – Dr M Rakometsi
In his opening remarks, Dr Rakometsi touched on the role of Umalusi which was to quality assure the general and further education and training sectors of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The Council ensured that the providers of education and training had the capacity to deliver and assess qualifications and learning programmes and were doing so to expected standards of quality. Umalusi was established through the promulgation of the General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Act, 2001 (GENFETQA Act) (Act number 58 of 2001, as amended in 2008.
In 2007 the review of the Implementation of the NQF was completed and in 2008 the GENFETQA Act was amended, thus creating Umalusi as one of the three Quality Councils with extended mandates, the other two being Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). The object of the amended Act was to enhance the quality of general and further education and training through:
- Development and management of a sub-framework of qualifications for GENFET;
- Quality assuring:
- Qualifications and curricula;
- Provision through the accreditation of private providers (of education and assessment) to provide and assess these qualifications;
- Exit point assessments of the qualifications
- Certifying learner attainments for these qualifications;
- Conducting research on matters pertaining to the GFET sub-framework of qualifications; and
- Advising both Ministers (BE and HET) on matters related to the GFETQSF, its sub-framework of qualifications.
In respect of the reporting lines of the Council, Dr Rakometsi indicated that all Quality Councils (QCs) reported to the Ministry of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on the NQF. Umalusi reported to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) on the Strategic Plan, Budget, and Annual Report etc – whilst the rest of the other Quality Councils (QCs) remained with DHET. Umalusi serviced the DBE on the NSC and serviced the DHET on the NCV and GETC.
Dr Rakometsi also spoke on the Umalusi organisational structure and gave a detailed overview of the various units within Umalusi and its main functions as follows:
- Qualifications, Curriculum and Certification Unit (QCC) – The unit managed the development of a sub-framework of qualifications for General and Further Education and Training, the development and/or review of qualifications and the certification of such qualifications.
- Quality Assurance of Assessment Unit (QAA) – The main function of this unit was to make sure that assessment leading to the award of certificates in schools, adult education centres and TVET colleges was of the required standard. This was in order to ensure that the certificates issued by Umalusi were credible.
- Evaluation and Accreditation (E&A) – The unit accredited and monitored private providers of education and training to offer qualifications certified by Umalusi. These were independent schools, private TVET colleges and private adult education and training providers.
- Statistical Information and Research Unit (SIR) - The unit conducted and commissioned research projects to enhance the Umalusi systems and processes of quality assurance, and to inform strategic direction.
In conclusion, Dr Rakometsi gave details on the upcoming 12th Conference of the Southern Africa Association for Educational Assessment (SAAEA) to be hosted by Umalusi from 14 – 16 May 2018 in Gauteng. The meeting was followed by an in-loco walk-about of the offices of Umalusi.
7.1 Portfolio Committee Observations:
- Members queried the measures in place to ensure that training institutions were properly accredited with Umalusi – and whether Umalusi had ever withdrawn any accreditation for those found not to be compliant.
- Members raised concerns regarding complaints from various quarters in respect of the perceived lowering of the standard of examinations by way of the upward/downward adjustment of results during the Standardisation processes.
- Members queried Umalusi’s relationship with similar bodies worldwide and whether our qualification was sufficiently benchmarked.
- Members queried whether the Council had received questions posed to the Minister in respect of Umalusi – and whether these had been responded to.
- Members also queried Umalusi’s action against institutions who received accreditation for certain offerings but later offered further subjects not accredited with Umalusi.
- Members queried how the Council implemented its monitoring of institutions claiming to be accredited with Umalusi
- Members queried the collaboration and engagement between Umalusi and Higher Education Institutions in respect of accreditations.
7.2 Portfolio Committee Recommendations:
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, recommended that Umalusi arranged a workshop with the Portfolio Committee on Education in the Provincial Legislature on the standardisation processes and procedures of the Department of Basic Education and Umalusi.
8. Report-Back/Wrap-up Session with the Gauteng Department of Education:
This meeting served as a de-briefing session with the Gauteng Department of Education. The gathering was attended by Members of the Portfolio Committee on Education in the Provincial Legislature, officials from the National Department of Basic Education and the Gauteng Department of Education. The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education gave a brief outline of the many inputs received from stakeholder engagements during the oversight visit in an effort to unlock some of the bottle-necks and challenges faced. The delegation found many areas of strength in respect of the focus areas of the oversight. These include the following:
- Good leadership: Most of the schools visited, both secondary and primary, were well run, with strong leadership. These included Phomolong, Mvelaphanda, Tipfuxeni, Nyiko and Boitumelong.
- ICT: The delegation commended the Department for its extensive investment on the roll out of ICT in schools, including the provision of smart boards, tablets, laptops and e-books, as well as the preparatory work done including the refurbishment of classrooms, the training of teachers and the employment of patrollers. The delegation also observed that ICT Committees had been established and were fully functional. The Province was leading in measures aligned to the NDP, to ensure that all schools had access to broadband at a required speed by 2020. However, the delegation noted areas affecting some schools that needed to be strengthened. These included the following:
- No internet connection at Chief Luthuli Primary School, Tipfuxeni Secondary School and Sekampaneng Primary School;
- No smartboard connectivity at Tipfuxeni Secondary School;
- Four smartboards were not working at Chief Luthuli Primary School 2;
- There was a shortage of laptops (23 out of 33 educators plus principal) at Chief Luthuli Primary School 2;
- No e-books on the smartboards at Chief Luthuli Primary School 2;
- Shortage of educator laptops and learner tablets at Ratshepo Secondary school;
- Esibonelwesihle Secondary School was awaiting delivery of laptops for all Grade 11 and 12 educators; and
- Grade 12 smartboards had incorrect content at Hammanskraal Secondary School.
- Further areas of strength included the following:
- NSNP: The Portfolio Committee observed that the school nutrition programme was functioning well in all the schools visited. However, some schools required proper kitchen facilities for preparing meals. These include Tipfuxeni Secondary School, Phomolong Secondary School and Sekampaneng Primary School. There were also schools requiring storage facilities and utensils.
- Good performing schools: The Portfolio Committee observed that many of the schools visited were generally producing good results in most subjects. These included Tipfuxeni Secondary School, Mvelaphanda Primary School and Nyiko Primary Schools.
- Low performance in Mathematics: Many schools were underperforming in Mathematics. Whilst the Province’s performance in the subject was above the national average, it was not where it should be. Greater targeted support was required in this subject. An exception was found at Hammanskraal Secondary School, which performed exceptionally well in the subject, whilst underperforming in most of the other subjects.
- LTSM: Despite being affected by migration (internal and external) and influx of learners into the Province, Gauteng was experiencing a relatively smooth delivery of LTSM to schools. Most schools visited had LTSM (textbooks, workbooks and stationery) as well as functional LTSM committees. There were schools experiencing shortages which required assistance from the Department as a matter of urgency.
- Admission and Registration: The GDE was also fairly efficient in its admission and registration processes, despite the large influx of learners into the Province.
- School Improvement Plans (SIPs): The Portfolio Committee also observed that School Improvement Plans (SIPs) had been developed in all the schools visited.
- District Support: All schools visited were very satisfied with the level of district support.
- School Governing Bodies (SGBs): The Portfolio Committee observed that in most schools visited the SGBs were operational and functional except at Hammanskraal Secondary School where the SGB should be disbanded.
8.2 Key Challenges:
The Portfolio Committee observed several challenges during the engagements in schools as follows:
- Vacancies: There were several vacancies that needed to be filled urgently at some schools. These include the following schools:
- Phomolong Secondary School (two PL2 educators);
- Tipfuxeni (two PL2 educators);
- Ratshepo (two PL2 educators, one PL3 educator and one AA); and
- Esibonelwesihle (SMT posts and two Home Language PL1) – there was a labour dispute in respect of these posts.
- Overcrowding: Steps should be taken to address overcrowding in schools such as Esibonelwesini Secondary School and Mvelaphanda Primary school and certain subjects such as Xitsonga at Phomolong Secondary School.
- Dwindling learner enrolments: Learner enrolments in many schools visited seemed to drop drastically between Grade 10 and Grade 12, which raised questions related to progression and gatekeeping of learners in Grades 10 and 11.
- Low performance in Grade 10: Several schools experienced low performance in Grade 10. There was a need to pay special attention to this grade and lower grades generally.
- Urgent steps needed to be taken to replace the existing structure of Phomolong Secondary School, which was inappropriate.
- The Gauteng North District needed to take the necessary steps to follow through with its plans to provide a suitable structure for Sekampaneng Primary School, which was currently built on a wetland.
- Structural challenges at Ratshepo Secondary School – there was a need for at least eight classrooms, a functional library, laboratory, storeroom, staff room and computer laboratory.
- Of concern was the observation that some learners removed taps from school toilets to sell in order to buy drugs. Such schools include Phomolong Secondary School. These schools need assistance to strengthen their security, including the involvment of parents and their communities.
- Learner documentation: The Department, in collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs should find ways to provide access points for registration services of undocumented learners (without birth certificates).
The oversight visit to the Gauteng Department of Education provided the Portfolio Committee with an opportunity to monitor, support and learn from the good work and best-practices of the Department, as well as ascertain the functionality of schooling system in the Province. The findings and recommendations contained in this report should help to assist the district and province to improve on schooling in general as well as to strengthen areas related to basic functionality.
10. Portfolio Committee Recommendations
The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having conducted the oversight visit to the Gauteng Province, and having considered the issues that were highlighted, requests that the Minister of Basic Education ensure that the Department consider the following overall recommendations:
- The Gauteng Department of Education should take the necessary steps to ensure that challenges with ICT (internet and smartboard connectivity, laptop and tablets shortages) are addressed at specific schools identified in this report.
- The Gauteng Department of Education should ensure that, where identified, schools are supplied with functioning kitchens, storage facilities and adequate utensils.
- The Gauteng Department of Education should intensify its measures to ensure that schools receive adequate and focussed assistance and interventions to improve their performance in Mathematics, Grade 10, as well as lower grades generally.
- The Gauteng Department of Education should iesured that, where reported, schools with LTSM shortages receive any outstanding LTSM as a matter of urgency.
- The Gauteng Department of Education should ensure that, where reported, posts are filled as a matter of urgency.
- The Gauteng Department of Education should ensure that, where reported, steps are taken to address overcrowding in schools.
- The Gauteng Department of Education should consider investigating the reasons behind dwindling learner enrolments between Grade 10 and Grade 12, which raise questions related to progression and gatekeeping of learners in these grades.
- The Gauteng Department of Education should ensure that, where reported, appropriate steps are taken to replace any inappropriate school structures, supply classrooms, libraries, laboratories, storerooms, staff-rooms and computer-laboratories.
- The Gauteng Department of Education, in collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs, should provide access points for registration services of undocumented learners.
- The Gauteng Department of Education should take the necessary steps to ensure that the following school/facility-specific challenges are addressed:
- Hammanskraal Secondary School: The GDE should ensure that the crisis facing the school is resolved with the facilitation of the Department. This should include the dissolution of the current SGB followed by bi-elections for a new SGB and putting measures to improve relations of the SMT members. Sekampaneng Primary School: The GDE should intervene and ensure that processes leading to supporting the school are fast-tracked.
- Themba Teacher Resource Centre: The GDE should consider developing the centre into a fully-fledged teacher development centre, which is well resourced and having appropriate infrastructure. Mvelaphanda Primary School: The GDE should assist the school with a survey to ascertain whether there is adequate space for additional mobile classrooms.
- Nyiko Primary School: The GDE should ensure that the school is supplied and assisted with concrete palisade fencing and the training of teachers on Inclusive Education should be prioritised.
- Dinoto Technical High School: The GDE should ensure that a full complement of technical science textbooks is delivered to the school as a matter of urgency and staff.
- The Provincial Education Department should progressively address all the other challenges facing schools as identified in this report. The Department of Basic Education should provide Parliament with a progress report in addressing the recommendations made in this report, within two months of the adoption of the report by the National Assembly.
- The Gauteng Department of Education should follow up on commitments made as follows:
- The Portfolio Committee in the Provincial Legislature pledged to provide Tipfuxeni Secondary School with a kitchen for preparing food.
- The District Director pledged to arrange the SA-SAMS training for the staff of Dinoto Technical High School.
- The MEC agreed to visit Hammanskraal Secondary School and Themba Teacher Resource Centre day after the oversight visit by the Portfolio Committee.
- The Department agreed to follow-up on the promise by the Premier regarding the construction of a new Admin Block for a certain school.
The delegation, led by the Hon N Gina MP, thanked the Members of the Provincial Department of Education and the National Department of Basic Education for their support given during the oversight visits. A special word of appreciation was extended to Members of the Provincial Legislature Portfolio Committee on Education for their input and participation in the programme of the National Portfolio Committee on Basic Education. She also extended appreciation and thanks to the SAPA, Unions, and SGB Associations for taking the time to meet with the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and share their experiences and challenges.
Report to be considered.
No related documents