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Media Release

17 August, 2007

WCED launches Service Delivery Charter

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

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) today (Friday 17 August 2007) unveiled a 12-point plan 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 standards relating to teaching and learning assessment and support cover a range of issues, including universal enrolment of learners of school-going age, and improving access to early childhood development, further education and training, adult basic education and training and special needs education.

Learners must have 100% of the appropriate learning and support materials on the first day of the school year. All Grade 8 learners must receive adequate guidance on further study and appropriate career guidance.

The standards on management and governance relate to building effective leadership and governance at schools and colleges; regular and appropriate communication; and consultation with parent bodies and local communities.

Standards on the learning site environment commit the WCED to ensuring that all learning sites are secured, that all learners and staff are safe, and that all learners have sufficient and appropriate accommodation.

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.

The redesign project is at advanced stage. Key principles including strengthening circuits 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.

Said Education MEC Cameron Dugmore: "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. In the last few years, there has been consistent growth in educator numbers; and many of our schools in the province are excelling in their matriculation results and in various other measures of performance.

"However, too many African and Coloured learners are not passing with matriculation endorsements and in the critical areas of Maths and Science, and it is clear that significant additional support for teachers is needed in order for our learners to be reaching their full potential.

"Thus 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.

"In order to render services properly, the department is being staffed appropriately through our Redesign process. In fact, I am proud to report to you today that the Cabinet has this week approved nominations for Senior Management Service posts. I believe this is a seminal moment for service delivery and transformation of the WCED.

"The structural adjustments we are making, will accelerate the goals of expanding access; promoting equity and redress; providing knowledge and skills and, by so doing, assist in the fight against poverty and unemployment.

"This remains our mandate and we in the education sector 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."

For the full text of MEC Dugmore's speech, see here or visit  www.capegateway.gov.za/education.

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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