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Media Release

7 December, 2007

"In spite of difficult year, I'm proud of Service Delivery"

Message from Western Cape Education MEC Cameron Dugmore to all WCED staff

This year was without a doubt a very difficult year for the entire education community in the country and in this province.

We are all aware that the prolonged industrial action earlier this year has impacted heavily on all of our lives. However, I have no reason to be anxious about the performances of our schools, and remain confident in your abilities to deliver quality services to our teachers, schools and communities.

The strike in June not only affected schooling for up to three weeks, but also impacted on the department's capacity to continue deliver services, especially in communities that could least afford this disruption.

I want to thank those who have participated in the industrial action, for conducting yourselves in a dignified manner during the strike, and that there was no victimization against anyone for whichever decision he/she has made on whether or not to participate in the industrial action.

I believe you did your best for our schools and the learners. I am confident that the extra effort put in by all of you will make an important difference. I am sure many of you have sacrificed family and personal time in order to meet deadlines and deliver quality services.

Earlier this year the WCED launched a Service Delivery Charter, committing itself to ensure that all teachers are competent and well-prepared, and that teachers will be able to recognize and assist learners experiencing barriers to learning.

The unveiling of the WCED's Service Delivery Charter is part of an ongoing programme to improve service delivery, to ensure quality education for all in the Western Cape.

The service standards, in three categories, apply to the department as a whole, and form the basis of the WCED's Service Delivery Charter. The standards cover Teaching and Learning Assessment and Support; Management and Governance; and Learning Site Environment.

The department is currently engaged in a redesign project to ensure that it has the capacity to implement the Human Capital Development Strategy of the Western Cape. We are strengthening circuit teams to bring development support closer to schools that need this assistance the most.

The WCED will provide training for staff at various levels to build a culture of service excellence over the next three years. This training will include training for office-based staff, setting and managing service delivery standards by middle and senior management, and building a culture of customer care based on the Batho Pele principles, to "put people first".

The WCED has introduced a compliments and complaints mechanism, called Thetha Nathi, for clients wishing to complain about poor service delivery or to report examples of service excellence.

Improving service excellence is not a once-off event, but a process. The WCED's success in the annual Premier's Awards for Service Excellence has already demonstrated the department's commitment to service excellence. The Service Delivery Charter will take this process further.

Our service delivery standards must focus across all levels of our education system, but must unequivocally emphasise our schools that face daily challenges of poverty, crime and underdevelopment.

I also want to encourage you to access the services offered by the Employee Health and Wellness Days arranged by the Directorate Internal Human Capital Management.

There is a toll-free helpline available, which provides a host of counseling support, ranging from personal relationship issues, debt counseling, stress and anxiety issues, legal issues, to substance use and HIV/AIDS.

The directorate promotes a healthy lifestyle. During these opening days a host of screening services are available, such as for blood pressure, cholesterol checks and body mass index screening. Remember, prevention is better than cure.

I want to take the opportunity to thank the Directorate: Internal Human Capital Management, which has offered to me and the thousands of employees body massages, reflexology and other healthy treats.

The response from you to the Wellness Days has been overwhelmingly appreciative, and I am informed that many of you have requested for more Wellness Days. I understand that seven are already planned for 2008.

We must always remember that the delivery of the curriculum remains our core mandate, and the learner in the classroom is thus our key concern. All of us have a critical role to play to ensure that our youth acquire the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes needed to develop their own potential and assist in placing our country on a sustainable and shared growth path.

The year 2007 is coming to an end I wish you a happy and safe, holiday break. Please enjoy your well-deserved holiday responsibly. For the many personnel who will be working throughout the holidays and assist with the announcement of the matric results, thank you very much.

Warm regards, enjoy and have a safe journey.

Cameron Dugmore, MPP

MEC for Education

Western Cape


Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

The Western Cape - A Home for All
INtshona Koloni - iKhaya loMntu wonke
Die Wes-Kaap - 'n Tuiste vir Almal


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2007 WCED