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Media Release

1 June, 2007

WCED completes first phase of redesign process

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has completed the first phase of a redesign process to ensure that it has the capacity to implement the province's Human Capital Development Strategy (HCDS).

The WCED launched the strategy in March 2006 after two years of extensive consultation. The HCDS is a key component of the provincial government's growth and development programme.

The HCDS covers every aspect of education in the Western Cape, and sets challenging targets for every sector by 2014.

The implications of the strategy are far-reaching. We have to ensure that the WCED has the capacity to bring about systemic change in the education system, given the huge challenges we face in building the human capital of the province.

The redesign process represents the first phase of our implementation of the strategy. We have made significant progress over the past year.

The first phase of the strategy has involved investigating what the WCED requires to improve support for schools, Further Education and Training colleges, preprimary schools and adult education centres, among other support services.

Key findings have included the need to bring development support much closer to under-performing schools in poor communities.

The WCED has engaged organisation specialists to assist the department in redesigning its structures where necessary over the past 12 months.

The first stage of the process has been to develop a "macro" design, followed by a "micro" design, which is looking at the fine detail involved in improving services to schools.

The provincial Cabinet approved the macro design in February this year. The WCED will advertise outstanding posts for the macro design on Sunday, 3 June 2007. The department has to fill these posts before implementing the micro design.

The WCED will allocate about 85% of the resources needed for the redesign to districts and circuits and 15% to the head office. A key point of departure has been to devolve management to districts and to strengthen circuit teams to ensure that they can provide support where this is needed the most.

The education sector has grown steadily in the Western Cape in recent years, including an increase in the number of teachers employed by the province.

Our capacity for supporting these teachers has not kept pace with this growth. Our redesign will address this issue.

The HCDS is a long-term strategy designed to meet the needs of our economy and to improve the quality of life of all of our citizens. The HCDS is designed to build the future by building the people of the province.

Issued by:
Paddy Attwell
Director: Communication
Western Cape Education Department
Tel: 021 467 2531
Fax: 021 461 3694
Email: pattwell@pgwc.gov.za

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2007 WCED