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Media Release

19 April, 2007

Presentation of the 2007/08 Budget and Annual Performance Plan to the Standing Committee on Education, Thursday 19 April 2007, 16h00, Provincial Legislature

Statement by Cameron Dugmore, MEC for Education in the Western Cape

The Chairperson - Ms Joyce Witbooi

Members of the Standing Committee

The SG Mr Ron Swartz and other officials

Ladies and gentlemen in the gallery

Fellow colleagues and members of the media

I present to you today a Budget, which is essentially, I believe a good news budget - it is good news all round for educators, for learners, for their parents, for officials in government, and for the country as a whole This budget is about responding to the challenges of building the economy, growth and shared development.

President Thabo Mbeki, in his State of the Nation Address earlier, said "it was imperative to move forward as quickly as possible to build the South Africa defined by a common dream", by implementing detailed programmes intended to, inter-alia, "speed up the process of skills development".

The allocations by my colleague Finance MEC Lynne Browne, built on the positive allocations made by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel. And this was mostly additional funds for teacher development, incentives for school principals, administrative capacity and extra resources to strengthen our districts - togive real hope to parents, teachers and schools. The fund injections would be used to entrench quality education.

Honourable Members, the expenditure on education in the province has grown by on average 9,7 per cent per annum in nominal terms since 2003/04.

Education continues to receive the bulk of the available provincial funding with 37,1 per cent of the 2007/08 provincial budget being allocated to education. For 2006/07 this share was 36,7 per cent.

A number of features in this Budget are aimed specifically at improving the quality of our schools. Our commitment to education is demonstrated in the steady rise in per capita spending since 2002/03.

In 2007/08, the Department is planning to spend R6 507 per capita on public ordinary school education. This is R445 more than the national average, and the third highest in the country.

By far the greatest portion of the budget goes to the primary and secondary school system including schools for LSEN. In the schools system, personnel are equitably allocated in terms of the post provisioning norms according to reported learner numbers, community poverty rankings and subjects offered.

Norms and standards funding is allocated according to national poverty quintiles with the poorest quintile receiving on average six times more than the least poorest. Emphasis has been placed on skills development, teacher development, and remuneration for teachers and administrative personnel.

The focus on Early Childhood Development (ECD), Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, and general education through the QIDS-UP project, builds quality throughout the system. We will use this injection to build human capital in the province and take further steps to entrench quality education.

The Quality Improvement, Development, Support and Upliftment Programme (Quids-Up) is a national initiative, led by Minister Naledia Pandor, which aims to allocate new resources to schools, especially in poor and disadvantaged communities.

The programme includes all primary schools in quintiles one and two. Many of these primary schools are feeder schools to secondary schools that have poor results. It also includes about 80 high schools with poor Senior Certificate results.

Funding has been provided for the following national Education Sector priorities, as approved by the Council of Education Ministers (CEM):

  • For the 2006 MTEF, i.e. for the period to 2008/09 - quality through re-capitalisation through the Quality Improvement, Development, Support and Upliftment Programme (QIDS-UP) for public schools.
  • Access and equity with the implementation of 'no-fee schools' and the expansion of Grade R to ensure universal access. Curriculum delivery with the implementation of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) in Grades 8 - 12 and teacher development. Monitoring and evaluation by enhancing the Education Management and Information System (EMIS) and improved human resource systems and capacity.

For the 2007 MTEF, i.e. for the period to 2009/10, the national sector initiatives target improving the quality of education. These included systemic evaluation and in-service training and teacher development programmes to enhance the quality of teaching in critical subjects such as mathematics and life orientation, Grade R and overall school management improvement.

About 1,528 billion rand in total has been allocated over the 2007 MTEF period for adult mass literacy campaign (MLC). This will be done through partnerships with non-governmental organisations, adult basic education centres and volunteers.

The national Department of Education has in the first year set aside R28 million to develop and launch the campaign in 2007/08 to address the challenges of basic literacy both as a human right and a contributor to social cohesion.

The preparations for the MLC start this year with implementation scheduled for 2008 onwards. All funds are voted for the DoE and not for provinces. This has been tabled at HEDCOM and CEM and generally seems to be acceptable. This is in addition to the significant increase of 10.54% for the Adult Basic Education and Training program, from R23,571,000 to R26,056,000.

This year will also see:

  • The number of no-fee schools being expanded by 233 for 2007, by including both the poorest primary and secondary schools in national quintiles 1 to 3, bringing the total number of no-fee schools to 652.
  • The development and introduction of an improved salary dispensation for principals and improving the administrative support for schools.
  • The implementation of a pilot course for school business managers in 2007.
  • The further extension of Grade R with 6,000 learners in approximately 200 new sites, including allocating the increased subsidy formula to more sites in poor and rural communities. The Department has committed R150 million over the 2007 MTEF for EPWP programmes in the area of Early Childhood Development. The funds will be used to provide resource kits to ECD community sites, to increase the number ECD practitioners in poor communities, and to upgrade the skill level of those practitioners. We will add 1,500 practitioners to the 900 practitioners currently enrolled in accredited training through this programme.
  • Access to FET Colleges widened with R26 million allocated to promote equity and provide bursaries to poor and academically deserving learners.
  • Teacher development programmes aimed at upgrading the qualifications of existing teachers, while specific training programmes will improve the leadership and management skills of school principals. An amount of R121 million over the 2007 MTEF has been specifically earmarked for this purpose.
  • The implementation of the Re-designed WCED. The Cabinet approved the new macro structure for the WCED on 13 February 2007.

Over the 2007 MTEF an additional amount of R809 million is allocated for personnel related issues in education to:

  • improve the level of remuneration of teachers;
  • increase the number of clerical and support staff in schools and districts;
  • hire teaching assistants especially in the foundation phase of the schooling system; and
  • to provide targeted incentives to teachers in critical subjects.

Honourable Members, I am aware that infrastructure provisioning remains a challenge, but we are exploring a number of options to supplement this allocation, but I believe this budget gives us considerable space to work towards greater equality and equity in the education system.

I thank you for the opportunity to present this to you today, and I am looking forward to engage with you in the interest of building on the positive framework provided by this budget.

I thank you

For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi:  082 550 3938, or gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za.

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

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