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Education Budget Vote
Wednesday, 6 June 2007, 10h00, Provincial Legislature, Cape Town
Versterking van dienslewering vir gehalte onderwys
Strengthening service delivery for quality education
Ukukhuthaza ngamandla ukwenziwa kweenkonzo ukuze imfundo ibe semgangathweni
Thank You Mr Speaker
Mr Speaker, President Thabo Mbeki, in his 2007 State of the Nation Address, said "We reiterate our call for our youth to act as a vanguard against crime, against drug abuse, against woman and child abuse; to set their sights on education and obtain scarce skills that our country requires. Our youth should take advantage of opportunities presented by government and working with the National Youth Commission, cultivate a spirit, culture and ethos of working among our people, of dedication and service to the people".
And Premier Ebrahim Rasool, in his 2007 State of the Province Address, reminded us that we have to make some critical transitions. "These include the transitions from policy to implementation, from strategy to programmes, from planning to delivery, from compliance to innovation and from caution to leadership."
These quotes underline the huge responsibility we have towards our youth – as government, labour, business and civil society. Our ANC government was re-elected in 2004 on a mandate to build a people’s contract to fight poverty and create work. 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. Quality education for every one of our learners will only be realised if we continue to direct resources (financial and human) in a manner that creates genuine equity and redress and when our educators, parents and learners place teaching and learning at the centre of their lives.
There is indeed no time to lose. We have almost reached full implementation of the National Curriculum Statement and, despite some remaining challenges, I believe that we are on the threshold of achieving curriculum stability. We must turn our attention now to issues of quality. This means greater support to our teachers and schools by our department. It requires a commitment to service delivery from every single official.
In the context of the ongoing strike in the education sector it is very tempting to lose hope and become cynical. This we should not allow to happen. I believe there is a serious commitment from our government to bring relief to our teachers and it is critical that agreement is reached so that serious work can continue to implement much needed incentives which have been budgeted for. In this process we need to respect the legislative framework and ensure that unacceptable conduct is condemned by all of us. Let us exercise the rights and freedoms we have won in a disciplined manner.
Our department provides services for 947 815 learners, 30 872 educators, 1 452 public ordinary schools, 70 schools for learners with special needs, 6 Further Education and Training Colleges at 39 sites, 112 Adult Community Learning Centres at 301 sites and 446 subsidised pre-primary schools. We have 8 823 public service staff.
Honourable Members, the expenditure on education in the province has grown by, on average, 9,7% cent per annum in nominal terms since 2003/04. Education continues to receive the bulk of the available provincial funding with 37,12% of the 2007/08 provincial budget being allocated to education. For 2006/07 this share was 36,7%. The Department’s budget grows from R7.115 billion in the 2006/7 revised estimate to R7,685 billion in 2007/8 or by 8% in nominal terms.
In the space of the last few years there has been change in the national education policy environment, coupled with changes in the roles and responsibilities of the WCED in respect of the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy and the Human Capital Development Strategy.
We need to contribute to 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.
The learner in the classroom is our key concern. What is important then, in this budget, is the centrality of the school, or the learning site. We need to focus our efforts and funding on providing support for the management of sites of learning, for the learners, for the teachers and for the parents.
Our commitment to quality education is demonstrated in the steady rise in per capita spending since 2002/03. In this financial year the department is spending R6, 507 per capita on public ordinary school education. This is R445 more than the national average, and the third highest total in the country.
By far the greatest portion of the budget goes to the primary and secondary school system, including schools for Special Needs. 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 poor.
We have seen consistent growth in educator numbers and increased the total number of teaching posts in the province by 500 at the beginning of the year. However, although many of our schools in this province are excelling in their matriculation results and in various other measures of performance, it is clear that significant additional support for teachers is needed in order for our learners to be reaching their full potential. Too many African and Coloured learners are not passing with matriculation endorsements and in the critical areas of Maths and Science.
Thus our service delivery must focus unequivocally on our schools that face daily challenges of poverty, crime and underdevelopment. While all schools are our concern, it is critical that we rise to the challenge set by the Premier and focus specifically on the 109 schools which fall within the 15 communities identified.
What then are our service-delivery focuses?
I want to list and discuss the key service delivery focuses towards quality education for this financial year and I will finish by lifting out a few highlights from the budgets of each of the programmes.
In order to render services properly, a department needs to be staffed appropriately. Because even the original re-design process of 2001/2 was not completed (we have been running at a vacancy rate of about 30%), effective service delivery has been compromised. In 2005, the provincial cabinet decided that the department should align its structures and process to drive transformation, to build organizational capacity, to align district boundaries with those of municipalities and to enable the organization to meet its delivery responsibilities. We are now poised to implement the first stages of that envisaged redesign in this financial year.
After a lengthy period of investigation and planning, the model, which was developed under the leadership of a team of consultants, was approved by the provincial cabinet on 13 February this year. This model was then the subject of consultations with labour. It was subsequently approved at a national level on 21 May, with the following comment from Minister Fraser-Moleketi, "My department would hereby commend you on the work done…the design was done with the users and beneficiaries of the services in mind. This is clearly illustrated in the move to decentralize the infrastructure with the intention to capacitate the new district and circuit offices to deliver in terms of their primary grassroots development and support responsibilities…it is clear that your department has made a sterling effort to align the organizational structure to the strategic objectives and service delivery needs of the department".
The total cost for funding the re-design is R159 million, including personnel, recurrent and non-recurrent costs. This will be phased in over a 3-year period. The outlay in 2007/8 will be R50 million, which will allow for the filling of Senior Management Team posts and the initial resourcing of districts.
How is service delivery going to improve? The new macro-structure of the WCED locates the Head Office as the strategic apex, with management vested in the districts. The actual "delivery" arena will be via the circuit teams and, of course, via the institutions themselves. Under the new macro-structure we are adding a branch for "Planning and Strategy" to the Head Office establishment. The other branches will be Curriculum Management, Institution Development and Co-ordination and Corporate Services. Significantly, we are going to add another district office, which will bring the total number of districts up to 8.
There will be significantly increased support for schools from the new brand of circuit teams. Each group of 30 schools will have a dedicated team of curriculum advisers, special needs’ education professionals, professional support for institutional management and for school-based management, a psychologist, a social worker, a learning support adviser, an IMG adviser and an administrative development adviser.
Service Delivery Focus 2: Investment in the fundamentals
Last year we launched the province’s first joint Literacy and Numeracy Strategy to address unsatisfactory performance levels in these two critical domains.
Part of our strategy is to conduct regular testing of numeracy and literacy levels. The results enable us to identify challenges and ways in which to meet these challenges. In the long term, we will only improve the throughput rate in our schools if we build a solid foundation in literacy and numeracy in primary schools.
In November 2006 the WCED tested 82,879 Grade 3 learners at 1,086 schools. This was the third in a series of studies of Grade 3 learners, conducted in 2002, 2004 and 2006. The WCED surveys the performance of Grade 6 learners in alternate years.
The success rate for Grade 3 learners in literacy has improved from 39,5% in 2004 to 47,7% in 2006, an increase of 8,2%. This is an improvement of 12,2% over the three testing periods. This is a sterling effort. While the performance is not yet satisfactory, the improvement is encouraging, and shows that special interventions to improve results can work.
We are less happy with the results of the numeracy study, which reflects a decline of 6,3% from 37,3% to 31%. It is only since last year that we have added a strong numeracy component to our work and I am confident that we will begin to see improvement in this regard. Our analysis of these scores will obviously form the basis of our continuing interventions in this regard. There are encouraging examples of some successes by schools in the most poor quintiles and we are studying these closely.
A major innovation was the appointment of 510 teaching assistants in 163 primary schools in 2006 to support teachers in Grades 1 to 3 in poor areas. Indications are that they are making a difference, and we have continued the pilot in 2007. In 2007/8 R16,8 million is dedicated to maintaining this initiative. A fantastic spin-off has been the surprising number of teaching assistants who are now seriously considering becoming teachers!
We have dedicated a team of 100 specialists to lead this literacy and numeracy turnaround intervention. We also concentrated in 2006 on training support programmes for 450 specialist Learning Support teachers. These 550 specialists were provided with Learner and Teacher Support Material and mathematics kits. They attended training in the use of these and are now sharing this expertise in schools across the province. Other support measures include providing textbooks and other materials. The "Litnum" teams are working intensively with teachers in the classroom to help strengthen teaching and learning practices.
Key elements of our strategy include teacher support and development; changes to classroom practice; a renewed focus on early childhood development; family and community literacy and numeracy; research; monitoring and support, coordination and learning and teaching support materials.
To date 210 teachers have been put through 18 hours each of Early Literacy training and 150 teachers have completed Early Numeracy courses. Post course evaluations indicate promising responses. 687 teachers and managers have been through three hours of training in the management and use of concrete teaching materials. Clearly more training is needed. The department has also provided support materials in the form of exemplar Grade R work schedules and CDs in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa.
A prominent feature of our strategy is the importance of family and community literacy. There are simple things that every family can do to improve reading, writing and arithmetic at home, and we will be developing this aspect further in the months ahead. We are also building strategic partnerships to work on this issue.
A key tool for both access and redress is language. The apartheid system used language to exclude and to negatively discriminate. The provincial Language Transformation Plan, which targets both extending the use of the mother-tongue as the language of learning and teaching in primary schools and the learning of all three languages of the province, was approved by all stakeholders and sent to schools.
All relevant officials experienced a five-day orientation process in the first quarter and schools sent three representatives each to a one-day workshop. Sixteen project schools have been set up and one teacher from each is enrolled for an Advanced Certificate of Education.
Schools have been given until the end of July to submit draft language policies and are being supported by advocacy videos, leaflets and other materials, as well as by our officials. We have drafted a full Learning Programme for learners in the GET band to study isiXhosa as a second additional language. It will be sent to schools soon.
We look forward to seeing the impact of this initiative on test performance, on general academic performance, on confidence, on social cohesion and in due course, on the provincial economy.
Service Delivery Focus 3: Investment in people
Over the 2007 MTEF an additional amount of R809 million is allocated for personnel-related issues in education to:
Within this province we look forward to the implementation of a pilot course for school business managers in 2007. R2,8 million has been assigned in this financial year. The first 65 trainees - officials and FET college staff - are already being trained as mentors. In January 2008 the first intake of 150 school administrative clerks will commence a one-year training programme. There will be 350 candidates in 2009 and 500 in 2010. In total R16 million has been assigned over the MTEF to the pilot, which will cover the tuition of 1000 school business managers. I am convinced that our school administrative staff have massive potential to strengthen the management at school level by developing skills in finance, administration, infrastructure and personnel matters.
In 2006 a total of 1,875 educators were exposed to 38 different residential courses at the Cape Teaching Institute. It is important that we continue to provide focussed in-service training to teachers based on research needs identified by national and provincial studies as well as the roll out of the New Curriculum Statement (NCS), especially in the fields of Literacy, Numeracy, Mathematics, Life Skills, Natural Sciences, Arts and Culture, Technology and Mathematical Literacy. Conferences are also held regularly to enable teachers to fully interact with each other and share best practice in the classroom. We continue to resource and secure full-scale teacher development programmes aimed at upgrading the qualifications of existing teachers.
Training of school management teams must ensure that teachers, in turn, are supported by competent and knowledgeable managers and leaders. Leadership development at all levels of the system has been repeatedly identified as a weakness. To respond pro-actively to this need, the WCED is offering induction programmes to newly appointed principals and deputy-principals, as well as courses to aspirant principals. We have budgeted R9 million for specific training programmes that will improve the leadership and management skills of 160 school principals, who will enrol for the first year of an Advanced Certificate in Education. An amount of R121 million over the 2007 MTEF has been specifically earmarked for the training of both teachers and principals.
An amount of R1,8 million is assigned to bursaries for Mathematics and/or Science students - ranging from R17 000 to R24 000 per annum for 4 years, repayable through one year's service for every year financed.
The National Department of Education has made substantial funding available to full time students in the fields of Languages, Mathematics, Science, Technology, Agriculture - including those who wish to teach in the Foundation Phase. These bursaries range between R35 000 and R40 000 per annum over four years. Repayment is by means of service. Initial reports indicate positive take-up of the bursaries at our institutions of higher learning in the province.
Our district offices manage the range of Workplace Skills’ Training Courses, which are part of the cycle held together by the model of individual personal growth plans and school and district improvement plans, which fall under the Integrated Quality Management System and the other sets of Performance Management tools.
Clearly our teachers and school leaders are our most precious resource. They are the direct target of our proposed redesign and have been the subject of countless hours of deliberation as we have strategised as to how to set up support and service models which will respond directly to their needs – whether they be related to timeous payments, classroom skills, employee wellness support, housing, benefits and so on.
Service Delivery Focus 4: Investment in redress and access
The number of no-fee schools will be expanded by 233 for 2007, by including both the poorest primary and the poorest secondary schools in national quintiles 1 to 3, bringing the total number of no-fee schools to 652. This means that parents of about 345,000 learners will not have to pay fees for their children from this year. This represents 37,6% of all learners in the poorest schools, which is a considerable increase on the number of learners attending no-fee schools in 2006. Quintile 1 schools receive R738 per capita; quintile 2 schools R677 per capita and quintile 3 schools receive R554 per capita.
The prescribed national norm is that 40% of learners out of quintiles one and two should not be required to pay fees. Because only 14.5% of the learners in the Western Cape are in these poorest quintiles, we extended the no-fee offer to quintile 3 schools as well, all of whom accepted on a voluntary basis.
We still have 62,4 % of our learners in fee-paying schools, many of whom are from poor communities. I am hopeful that, over time, more Western Cape schools will be covered by the no-fee policy. In the meantime, I want to remind all parents who have children attending fee-paying schools of their right to apply for full or partial exemption from fees. It is the legal duty of our school principals to ensure that parents are informed of this right.
Over the 2007 MTEF, R622,267 million is earmarked for the funding of the no-fee status schools. This is a massive boost for many of our schools.
Quality improvement, development, support and upliftment programme (QIDS-UP)
This is a national initiative, which aims to allocate new resources to schools, especially in poor and disadvantaged communities.
This programme is a focused response to improve academic standards through better teaching and learning conditions in these schools, by providing basic resources such as equipment, supplies, infrastructure and personnel development.
The WCED has identified 377 primary schools, which are located in quintiles 1 and 2. These primary schools are the feeder schools to 30 of the poorest secondary schools in the identified quintiles. In total there are 407 schools in the project for the 2007/08 financial year. A further analysis of these schools show that 14 of the 30 secondary schools are part of the Learner Attainment Strategy (LAS) schools and 30 are Dinaledi schools.
R23 million will be spent on 98 scheduled maintenance projects at Quintile 1 and 2 schools throughout the province. The projects will include general maintenance in order to make the buildings fully functional. Included will be three pilot projects aimed at enhancing the safety of the learners. Emergency repairs include repairs to roofs, ceilings, replacing windowpanes, painting, repairs to toilets, etc. This is to provide a classroom environment, which is comfortable and conducive to teaching and learning. There are material resources to revive existing libraries or to start up new ones at schools which do not have library facilities.
Since there is a commitment over five years, the second phase will include the poorest "no-fee" schools in the national quintiles 3 and deserving schools in national quintiles 4 and 5. An amount of R386,875 million has been earmarked over the MTEF. A business and procurement plan of R71,442 million for 2007/08 has been drawn up and approved by the department.
Our school building programme continually seeks to keep pace with population growth and to manage down the numbers in some of our over-populated schools. Twelve new school buildings will be completed during the 2007/08 financial year. They are: Samora Machel P/S, Smutsville P/S, Table View P/S, Khayelitsha No. 1, Khayelitsha No. 2, Delft N2 Gateway P/S, Dalebuhle P/S, Kuyasa P/S, Khayelitsha S/S No. 1, Khayelitsha S/S No. 2, Khayelitsha S/S No.3 and Khayamandi S/S. This will provide accommodation for approximately 13,200 learners.
Other projects include the building of school halls, the completion of additional classrooms and some maintenance costs. The budget allocation for this is R178,038 million with R30,7 million going to maintenance; R40 million to additional classroom backlogs in African communities; R80,2 million as the provincial infrastructure grant; and R25,5 million on normal works. A further R6 million is to be spent on emergency maintenance. I really want to salute Petrosa who soon after building a school for us in Mosselbay, committed millions to build a school in Saldanha / Vredenburg. Their ongoing support to schools across the province is greatly appreciated. The support we have received from the Garden Cities Archway Foundation in the building of school halls has added momentum to this programme.
We face a massive infrastructure challenge in the province in regard to the building of new schools as well as maintaining our existing facilities. It is hoped that the bid to national treasury arising out of the national audit of school needs will result in increased funding to meet some of these challenges.
Our focus schools are an innovative redress initiative to provide access to excellence in various educational fields and to contribute to the development of skills aligned to key growth sectors within the provincial economy.
28 secondary schools serving historically marginalised communities, were converted into focus schools over the three years from 2005 to 2008 - in the fields of: Arts and Culture; Business, Commerce and Management; and Engineering and Technology.
R82 million for the period 2005 to end of March 2007 was made available to the 28 schools to be used for buildings, infrastructure, ICT equipment, LTSM, security, marketing and advocacy, human resource development, monitoring and evaluation. In addition to the normal establishment, 32 redress posts were also allocated to the schools.
One-hundred-and-fifty-six of the specialist venues and facilities have been completed, with another 64 under construction and 16 planned. As the venues are being completed, the equipment that will allow for the meaningful use of the facilities is being installed. A total of 2005 learners and educators attended conferences and workshops in 2006 and 2007.
The budget allocation for this financial year for the focus schools is R30 million. As part of the 2007/08 phase of the project, more emphasis will be on curriculum development processes, capacity and skills development and career opportunity programmes. We will focus on realignment to the purpose of the project, strategic support and forward planning.
Service Delivery Focus 5: Investment in the future
Early Childhood Development
We are pleased to announce the further extension of Grade R with 6,000 learners in approximately 200 new sites. There will also be allocations of the increased subsidy formula to more sites in poor and rural communities. Over the 2007 MTEF R238,828 million is earmarked for the expansion of Grade R, of which R52 million is for Grade R expansion in 2007/08.
The Department has committed R149, 573 million over the 2007 MTEF for Extended Public Works 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. In this financial year R30 million will go to the expansion of the EPWP programme and R7 million for resource kits.
Since the spending in this sector was R60,135 million in 2004/5, we are looking forward to tracking the impact of this dramatically enlarged allocation – an increase of 42,4% on the amount of the allocation in 2006/7. It is common knowledge that early childhood development plays a substantial role in laying the foundations for future learning success.
The development in the ECD sector, taken alongside the Adult literacy interventions and in consort with our massive support in the classrooms via teacher training and the deployment of the Teaching Assistants allows us to face the future with more optimism than we felt a few years ago. The elements of the plan are coming together and we are giving expression to the kind of long-term strategy which will allow us to see measurable benefits in due course.
The education system has to offer second-chance opportunities to learners. Many adult learners are already wage earners whose improved skills can have a direct and immediate impact on their employability.
There is an allocation increase in 2007/8 of 10.54% for the Adult Basic Education and Training program – the allocation goes up from R23,571 million in 2006/7 to R26,056 million.
Provision is made for about 2500 new learners annually. We will offer purpose-driven numeracy and literacy in modularised form at ABET Levels 1, 2 and 3 in all Community Learning Centres. At ABET level 4 the focus will be on the electives of Ancillary Health Care, Maths, Science and Technology.
About R1,528 billion in total has been allocated, nationally, over the 2007 MTEF period for an 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 set aside R28 million to develop and launch the campaign in 2007/08.The thrust will address the challenges of basic literacy both as a human right and as a contributor to social cohesion. The preparations for the MLC start this year, with implementation scheduled for 2008 onwards.
We look forward to the impact of the MLC on parents and on family literacy and to the knock-on effect into the learning progress of our young learners.
FET colleges form a key component of the Human Capital Development Strategy of the Western Cape. In terms of the HCDS, the WCED plans to increase the number of students registered at FET colleges from 60,000 currently to 180,000 by 2014.
About 60,000 students registered for courses at the six FET colleges in 44 campuses in the Western Cape this year. College programmes range from short courses over several weeks and months to programmes over a number of years.
This year, the colleges introduced 11 new Vocational Certificate Programmes on Levels 2, 3 and 4 of the National Qualifications Framework. The total number of students planned is 3,428. According to the draft national funding formula, the estimated non-personnel/non-capital costs for delivering these programmes will be R25,050 million.
The national Department of Education has capped the class fees for these programmes and the estimated fee income for 2007 will be R12,142 million. A national loan/bursary scheme guarantees R9,5 million of this amount. The colleges are managing the financial aid schemes. It is further estimated that full paying students will cover the outstanding amount, with no loss to the colleges on the already capped class fees.
The WCED will put in an extraordinary effort in supporting the colleges with appropriate funding to realise the national and provincial expectations for responsive programme delivery.
The allocation for FET increases from R264,527 million in the 2006/7 Revised Estimate to R309,637 million in 2007/8 – an increase of 17,05%.
R26,325 million is earmarked in 2007/8 to promote equity within FET colleges and to provide greater access for poor and academically-deserving learners through a bursary scheme.
Public–private partnerships play an important role in delivering the necessary expertise to do the fundamentals of any qualification. Our colleges are working towards becoming centres of excellence through such partnerships.
Collectively, our FET colleges are comfortably facilitating close to 800 learnerships within "Learnership 1000"; the 2,400 learnerships for Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners is an extremely important intervention.
The colleges have partnerships with at least 20 of the 23 SETAs. Some of the skills delivery projects are:
FET in Schools
This year sees the last cohort of matriculants writing the current Senior Certificate examinations.
The national Department of Education has provided the WCED with Grade 11 exemplars and memoranda. Altogether, 86 exemplar papers have been supplied – which cover 50 subjects in the National Curriculum Statement.
The WCED has put in place the following support measures:
The managers of the National Senior Certificate process, both nationally and provincially, are putting all possible measures in place to facilitate the last few stages of this transition smoothly.
Soon teachers in the FET band will be in a position to build up their resources, grow in confidence and move into the pattern of maintenance which we are seeing now with Foundation and Intermediate Phase teachers. We are now in the final phase; the curriculum is being bedded down. The debate is no longer about whether there is a need for curriculum reform. It is about issues related to assessment and burdens placed on our educators.
Service Delivery Focus 6: Investment in school safety and social capital in education
Our Safe Schools Project has a three pronged strategy:
I believe that these programmes have assisted many of our schools to create safer environments against outside threats under very difficult circumstances.
Every teacher and every learner deserves a safe learning environment. The violent and senseless death last week of 17-year-old Mogammat Kannemeyer on the school premises, and the brutal axe killing of eight-year-old Wilfred Kriel, allegedly by two boys, aged seven and 12 shocked all of us. Stabbings and violence at our schools threaten the very culture of learning and teaching.
A line must be drawn. There can never be any justification for anyone taking drugs or weapons into a school. There can never be any justification for any learner to taunt teachers, abuse or assault them. There is no place in our schools for teachers who abuse and torment children. No parent has the right to walk onto a school and assault a teacher. Druglords and gangsters who peddle drugs to our children must have no place to hide. All of us should work with the police to expose, prosecute and imprison them.
The time has arrived for all schools in the Western Cape to embark on a process of revisiting school codes of conduct. Not only to strengthen them but to ensure that members of the school community – parents, teachers and learners – are taken through a process which results in everyone’s buying into a code of behaviour which promotes respect, tolerance, discipline, non-violence, non-racialism, non-sexism, respect for human rights, democratic practice and community participation. A commitment must be made to apply these rules consistently and fairly.
Our school principals, management teams, governing bodies and representative councils of learners must be given concrete support to manage these codes. This will take time and effort but will assist in changing attitudes and behaviour in our schools.
I believe that the new National Curriculum Statement has massive potential for giving us the turnaround we need. Outcomes, such as those in life orientation, provide training in hard skills for life and living. I believe that our curriculum has the potential to help our youngsters contend with drugs, peer pressures, racism, gender-bias, bullying and all forms of violence.
Many of these issues are already being addressed. What is required is sustained and co-ordinated teacher development and learning programmes to assist our teachers help learners achieve these outcomes and also to give teachers more practical skills to manage learners in the classroom.
This year the allocation to School Safety is R14,190 million. Of this amount R5, 093 million is allocated to crime control interventions including access control and armed response. R5,746 million is allocated to crime prevention programmes driven by our EMDC’s and our school clusters. The balance is set aside aside as a contingency budget which deals with issues such as victim support and vandalism. The Call Centre allocation is R560 000.
In addition to these programmes we will:
In all this work we need the support of our communities. I salute the community police forums, NGO’s and faith-based organisations who are supporting our schools on a daily basis.
I welcome the Premier’s announcement concerning the deployment of a total of 149 SAPS reservists and the continued deployment of 500 Bambanani volunteers to the 109 high-risk schools.
Of these, a total of 69 schools received one reservist each, while two reservists have been deployed to the 40 schools most at risk.
It is critical that the draft integrated school safety strategy, which has been discussed at the provincial cabinet social cluster, be now finalised and taken to cabinet for approval.
Schools and communities pledge to work together towards targets
Last week Minister Naledi Pandor asked in her Budget Speech whether the education sector and our communities "are ready to excel". She said, "I urge South Africans to affirm excellence and reject mediocrity in the interest of nation building, socio-economic development and true liberation. The levels of under-performance in our education system are unacceptably high, and an unjust subversion of the historic promise of freedom and democracy that we've put before our people."
In the spirit of the Minister’s call to reject mediocrity, this year has seen a fundamental intervention in pursuit of quality matric passes in Western Cape schools. Just before the end of the first term, school principals, governing bodies and Representative Councils of Learners (RCLs) signed target-setting documents against standard templates for the first time ever.
After a process of analysis and consultation they have announced 2007 Grade 12 matriculation endorsement targets; matriculation pass targets; and targets in regard to numbers of learners successfully completing Mathematics and Science on both higher and standard grade.
We also want our schools to set targets to reduce the numbers of so-called "dropouts". Too many learners are leaving the system. If these learners drop out because schools over-emphasize the target of an exemplary pass rate at the Grade 12 level, then this is intolerable. Although we can never expect a 100% retention rate from grade 1 to 12 and more learners who pass grade 9 should register at our FET colleges, too many of our learners with the potential to reach grade 12 are not making it.
Finally literacy and numeracy targets will be set for all primary schools later this year.
Each set of targets must be accompanied by an action plan. These plans will indicate what steps will be taken to achieve the targets and might include winter schools, extra tuition after normal school hours or whatever remedial action is indicated. We have assigned R1 million to help schools in the nodal zones of Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain meet these targets through after-hours classes and programmes.
To ensure service delivery we are amending the performance agreements of all WCED managers to ensure that they provide "adequate support" to our schools. If there is a proven failure to provide support then the performance bonuses of relevant officials will be withheld, or rank and notch increases may not be granted. Consistent failure may even lead to incapacity and/or disciplinary proceedings.
Schools as Nodes of Care
The Premier reported in his budget speech that we have undertaken a programme called Schools as Nodes of Care (SNOC). Under this programme 70 staff from across the social cluster will be trained for deployment in the 15 areas on the Cape Flats and elsewhere, to intervene in situations of dire poverty amongst children, trauma counselling, and help promote access to basic services such as grants and birth certificates.
There are two aspects to the process: firstly, working with SGBs and civil society in establishing school-community-based safety nets of care and support – in order to reduce barriers to learning.
The second premise is that "education is everyone’s business". This suggests that the provision of quality education, especially in most-vulnerable communities, depends on multi-sectoral partnerships. Community support is therefore critical to ensure success.
Schools as community hubs
In my Budget Address last year I referred to the need for us to work differently in, and with, our communities. Our schools must become the hub of the local community. Like Proudly Manenberg, the Khayelitsha Education Forum, the Hanover Park Education Forum, our communities must unite in action to place learning at the centre of all endeavours.
Under the sports and extra-mural development programmes we are also working to expand the idea of the school as community hub. We have a growing number of role-model schools in this regard.
I want to commend the work of the Extra Mural Education Project, EMEP. They are involved in a pilot project in three of our districts and have worked on a proposal to reshape the school day to ensure that learners are engaged in activities throughout the day and that our school management and educators also have time for administration and preparation.
The Community School Initiative of last year saw the inception of a "Reading Mommies" project in a number of schools – as an illustration of the real role parents can play in support of schools. We noted impressive partnerships across schools and within communities. Businesses and parents offered both labour and materials to school improvement initiatives. This initiative will be further developed in 2007.
A school operates within its own community context. We need to understand that context and support any initiatives which help our schools to defeat the negative conditions which might exist outside their fences.
Growing our support base
Social capital projects scheduled for consolidation in this financial year include:
I shall complete this address by touching on the various programmes under which our allocations are managed.
Programme 1 (Administration)
This programme provides overall management of, and support to, the education system. Key policy developments include the implementation of the Human Capital Development Strategy; the implementation of Phase 1 of the re-design; the running of a learner tracking system; building of social capital and supporting the financial management within schools. An amount of R338,540 million is assigned to this programme.
Programme 2 (Public Ordinary Schools)
This major programme covers the entire spectrum of schools in terms of professional services; human resource development, school nutrition programme, the QIDS up programme, the work on the Learner Attainment Strategy, Safety, Focus and Dinaledi Schools, Teaching Assistants, Whole School Evaluation and specialized training. Priority focuses for 2007 include also provisioning of posts. The total budget assigned to this programme is R6 209,951 million.
A highlight from the 2007 budget includes an earmarked allocation of R24 million to address primary school classroom backlogs and of R16 million to address high school classroom backlogs, especially in African communities.
Currently the WCED is providing meals to 203,535 learners at 990 schools, of which 116 are high schools, where we feed 21,043 learners, under the National Schools’ Nutrition Programme. As from this year the department will also provide hot meals.
The department has succeeded in involving more than 1,820 volunteers in this programme that receive an honorarium for services rendered. This contributes to poverty alleviation. It should, however be noted that the R50,7 million available for the school feeding scheme is not enough to provide for the needs of all our learners. We need more business and community involvement in this programme.
Programme 3 (Independent School Subsidies)
We offer support to registered independent schools in accordance with the South African Schools’ Act with a total outlay of R39,541 million and ongoing monitoring of the sites of learning.
Programme 4 (Public Special School Education)
In terms of our HCDS we started two new schools of skills in 2006 – one in Gugulethu and one in Mitchell’s Plain in 2006/7. These schools will be developed further in 2007/8. We also started schools of skills sections at existing special schools such as Steinthal (Tulbagh), Nuwe Hoop Sentrum (Worcester), Khayelitsha Special School and Bet El School (Kuilsriver).
In 2007/8 we will plan for the development of two additional schools of skills, probably one in Khayelitsha and one in Eerste Rivier. There is a huge demand for schools of skills and the WCED regards the development of these as a high priority.
We have increased the enrolment at our 70 special schools from 13,855 to 14,348 without additional funds. In spite of this increase in enrolment we still have long waiting lists for placement of learners in special schools. The WCED is therefore considering alternatives to the placement of learners in special schools. One such alternative is the creation of special units at identified mainstream schools, especially in our rural areas. The establishment of such units may be more cost-effective than establishing new special schools and this could be regarded as a first step towards inclusion.
This financial year the WCED will spend close to R1 million on building the curriculum development capacity of special schools. In terms of Education White Paper 6 they need to become resource centres for mainstream schools. This implies that these schools should be experts when it comes to curriculum delivery.
The budget assigned to this programme is R410,446 million.
I have referred elsewhere in some detail to Programme 5 (Further Education and Training in Colleges): Total 2007/8 Budget R309,637 million (up from R264,527 million in 2006/7); Programme 6 (Adult Basic Education and Training): Total 2007/8 Budget R26,056 million (up from R23,571 million in 2006/7); and Programme 7 (Early Childhood Development): Total 2007/8 Budget: R153,039 million (up from R107,397 million in 2006/7).
Programme 8 (Auxiliary and Associated Services)
This programme includes funding for compliance with the Skills’ Development Act; HIV/AIDS Conditional Grant Projects; external examinations; teacher training and special projects under iKapa Elihlumayo.
Allocation to this programme has grown from R121,515 million in 2003/4 to R197,446 million in 2007/8.
Special focuses include the HIV/AIDS project and further resourcing of the 2 new Schools of Skills (R7.8 million).
Also included is the rollout of computer laboratories in a further 200 schools. Out of R40 million allocated to the Khanya project, schools will be provided with at least one computer facility and appropriate educational software. The teachers at these schools will also be provided with basic ICT skills in order for them to gain maximum benefit from the use of the technologies provided and to meet the WCED’s objective of using ICT’s to deliver the curriculum.
I would like to highlight some promising data on our HIV/AIDS programme,
We are very encouraged by these positive results.
Celebrating Service Excellence
In my emphasis today on improved service delivery, Ladies and Gentlemen, I don’t want to create the impression that we have not already been delivering!
I started off by saying that we will continue to strengthen our efforts to improve the quality of service delivery. There are many unsung heroes and heroines, who are at the coalface of government’s service delivery machinery. They are shining examples of our commitment to indeed make a difference.
Last year, the WCED won six of the eight Premier Awards for Service Excellence, including the Gold Award, two of the three Silver Awards, and three of the four Bronze Awards. Nine projects submitted by the WCED were among the 13 finalists. The finalists also included a project submitted jointly by the WCED and the Department of Health. A total of 55 entries were submitted across the departments of the provincial government.
One of our Adult Literacy interventions called "160 Days of Intervention for ABET Centres", based at the Breede River/Overberg Education Management and Development Centre (EMDC) struck gold when it won the top Premier’s Award for Service Excellence.
As the Premier said, these prestigious awards "serve to highlight and celebrate the areas within our government that managed to display a culture of service excellence, social cohesion and ubuntu. They celebrate and showcase those who have clearly indicated a comprehension and inculcation of the Batho Pele Principles in the way we deliver our services to communities."
The WCED’s other award-winning projects are:
Other projects among the finalists were the Western Cape Movement Education Association; the Teaching Assistant Project and the Curriculum ICT/Knowledge Management Unit.
All the projects entered showed creativity, dedication and a commitment to service delivery. The winning project illustrates what can be achieved with passion and the setting of measurable objectives with limited resources.
We are all aware of the impact of social pathologies in our classrooms, and the burdens these add to our teachers. I want to salute those teachers who prepare their lessons and inspire our children every day. I salute those officials and SGB members who work in our schools daily giving support, guidance and strength to our schools. Schools like Hector Peterson and Langa High that quietly opened their academic year a week early; or iQhayiya High, which converted a 38% pass rate to 94% in one year, are shining examples of good leadership.
As we enter the last phase of curriculum transformation and as we enter the new era of a transformed WCED all of us must intensify our efforts to build quality education for our learners. By doing this we will inspire hope amongst our young people that they have a role to play in fighting poverty and creating work. The challenges are formidable but I believe that with the resources in this budget coupled with strong partnerships with our communities, we will succeed.
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