|WCED Home page | Close and return to previous page|
EDUCATION BUDGET VOTE – THURSDAY 22 MAY 2008, 14h15,
A quality learning home for all
Budget Vote of Western Cape MEC for Education,
Four years ago I presented my first budget to the house. The amount allocated for that year was R5.47 billion, which represented 29.21% of the total provincial budget. Today we table a budget of R9.02 billion, which represents 36.2% of the total provincial budget. This increases the education proportion of the provincial budget by a full 7% since 2004, and represents an increase of 60.6% overall in rands. The total education outlay over the period from 2004 to date was R26.96 billion.
The questions I must answer today are: “What do we have to show for the provincial outlay to date?” and “What are we going to do with the money allocated for this year?”
This address has three parts: I want to take you through the legacies which have been notched up over the past 4 years, present the details of the budget for this financial year, and then show some highlights of the year ahead.
I will anchor my speech in the Polokwane resolutions, taken at the ANC’s 52nd national conference, and in an argument for quality and accountability. I will show how we are responding to the guiding principles of “business unusual” as articulated by President Mbeki.
I remain committed to social transformation through community empowerment, partnerships and social cohesion and to my 6 monitoring priorities - literacy and numeracy; FET expansion; infrastructure; the redesign of the WCED; safety and social capital.
We operate in terms of the shape given to our work by the Human Capital Development Strategy, which was adopted in 2006: improving the conditions of education; improving the educational environment; improving the quality of education and expanding the skills and qualifications base through supporting the Micro-economic Development Strategy.
Our commitment as the WCED to the provincial vision of a “Home for All” and the “Ikapa Elihlumayo” (Provincial Growth and Development Strategy) is resolute.
The impact of the education system is felt from the cradle to the grave.
THE LEGACIES SO FAR
Mr Speaker, a good systems’ barometer is the answer to the question: “Are we managing to keep more learners at school?”
The Western Cape population cohort remains fairly constant at about 80,000 learners in any year, apart from in-migration phenomena. We have almost universal enrolment, and retain our total enrolment of around 80,000 per cohort through to the start of Grade 10 i.e. there is solid throughput overall. This is a proud statistic.
What is promising, Mr Speaker, is that we have had a year-on-year steady growth in the enrolments in Grades 11 and 12. From 2004 to the present the Grade 11 enrolment growth is 13% and in Grade 12 it’s a 9.6% increase in enrolment. Once our learner tracking system extends to the FET Colleges we will know better to what extent the colleges are ensuring lifelong learning for our province. Their huge expansion from 4,444 graduating students in 2004 to 22,621 in 2007 is a significant indicator that we are making real progress in growing the pool of learners who complete further education both in our schools and in our colleges.
I start this review with the “cradle”, so to speak:
In 2004, the “spend” on ECD was R60.135m but this has risen to R226.792m for the 2008/09 financial year. For the period 2004-8 inclusive, the investment was R616.403m.
The Grade R subsidy has increased to up to R9 - with an R8 average per capita across all quintiles - from the start of 2008. In 2004 it was R3 per day per child. The rate has thus nearly trebled in the period under discussion.
We have provided 2800 learnerships, as part of the integrated ECD strategy with the Department of Social Development. We now have 1804 registered sites and 51,698 learners enrolled.
I am convinced that the impact of this investment in ECD is already being felt, and that it will pave the way for qualitative improvement in our primary schools in the future. As our ECD teachers become more skilled, the cognitive development of our learners will increase in leaps and bounds.
Next we move to primary schools:
There has been intensive literacy and numeracy support in schools where results are below par, with 100 officials and 450 Learning Support teachers deployed since the start of 2007, after the launch of the first combined “Literacy and Numeracy” Strategy in mid-2006.
The ongoing, province-wide, improvement in Literacy results - of just over 12% over 3 testing cycles - is very pleasing, and a testimony to much hard work. The Numeracy results are proving harder to shift and we are intensifying efforts in that regard.
There is continued deployment of 510 teaching assistants to assist in the Foundation Phase – this is an innovation started in this province. There is a strong Family Literacy pilot where our teaching assistants are working with 280 families.
The Language Transformation Plan was awarded the PANSALB “Multilingualism and Nation-building Provincial Government Department of the Decade” in February 2008. The Project schools which wrote their Grade 6 WCED tests through the medium of isiXhosa have multiplied their literacy scores by between three-fold and five-fold, and shown signs of progress in almost all Numeracy topics too. Since this was the first year of inception of the plan, such progress is remarkably encouraging.
These schools, and others which have shown progress, will be recognised tonight at the first ever Award Ceremony for those primary schools that are making remarkable strides in regard to Literacy and Numeracy. I trust that these awards will inspire all our schools to redouble their efforts to lay the best possible foundations for learning.
The main measure for the education system in high schools is the Senior Certificate examination. The matric class of 2007 achieved a pass rate of 80.6%. A total of 69,310 full-time and part-time candidates registered. A total of 10,300 full-time candidates obtained matriculation endorsements.
The number of candidates sitting for the Senior Certificate has grown by a huge 8.2% since 2004. In 2007, numbers increased by 2,078 over 2006, thus registering the largest annual increase over the past 5 years. 471 more candidates passed in 2007.
Even though the overall matric pass rate has decreased by 3.1% over the 4 year period, this profile matches the national grid. Our place as the top-performing province remains unchallenged. On the national schools’ scorecard, the Western Cape has the top scores for overall matric pass, matric endorsements, passes in Mathematics and passes in Physical Science.
At the same time, I want to refer this house to every speech that I have made at the matric announcements - in which the performance of our learners from former DET and HOR schools in relation to those from the former model C schools has been highlighted. This significant inequality is the starkest reminder of how far we still have to travel towards quality in all our schools.
Focus and Dinaledi schools are bringing extra opportunity to disadvantaged learners. We are happy to report that there has been a 32% increase in the number of candidates writing Maths and Physical Science HG in these schools over the past 3 years and steady improvement in matric results in the new specialist courses offered in the 28 Focus schools, established in 2006.
I am happy to report that during the period 2002 to 2007, African learners in the Western Cape across all Dinaledi schools have benefited the most from this programme. This is true for both female and male learners. 467% more African female learners and 333% more African males passed Maths HG. Once again this is a significant development. Although 5 years is a short period of time, these results suggest merit in the concept of Dinaledi schools, which really took off only in 2005/06.
The expansion in the FET College sector is remarkable. We both have to provide career opportunities and respond to the demands of the economy. The investment footprint in colleges, which includes the recapitalization grant, has been R894.733m across the 4 years.
As already noted: in 2004 there were 4,444 college students who successfully completed full qualifications, while the 2007 figure is 22,661. Students enrolled on FET College-based learnerships have increased from 648 to 4525 and numbers of new industry-related programmes have grown from 13 to 24.
Student numbers of those graduating from short courses have grown from 965 to a massive 10,062. We have expanded our industry-related programmes from 13 to 36 and grown partnerships from 54 in 2004 to 73 in 2008/09.
Using Ikapa funding we have had 40 Programmes developed and infrastructure provided. We have established a Welding Centre of Excellence at West Coast College and a Toolmaking Centre of Excellence at Northlink. There are SETA Centres of Excellence at College of Cape Town (for ECD and for jewellery) and at South Cape College (for ECD).
Adult education and training:
In 2005, there were 16,574 ABET learners who obtained their Senior Certificates. This total rose to 23,378 by 2007. Over the four years to date we have invested R93.797m into ABET. The department’s 267 Community Learning Centres offered the opportunity to 40,100 adults last year to improve or complete their schooling and 1,573 adults participated in short skills programmes, an option which did not exist in 2004.
Quality through Investment in people:
Investment in teacher training has resulted in 6,451 teachers being given substantial upskilling through long courses at the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute (2004 - present) at an outlay of R12m. There are 2,800 graduates of leadership training courses at the CTLI at an outlay of R4.105m.
700 teachers have been trained in career guidance across that period, impacting on 150 000 learners. 22,099 teachers have had formal training in HIV/AIDS matters and are supported in 138 high schools by the 9 529 peer-educators (trained over 3 years) and in 200 primary schools by Soul Buddz clubs.
The most profound indicator of the impact of our work in schools in this regard is that the Annual percentage HIV prevalence levels amongst youths 15 -19 years in this province is moving down, in contrast to indicators elsewhere, from 7.2% in 2005 to 6.6% in 2006 and to 5.3% in 2007.
In the period 2004 - 2006 we provided 227 bursaries for educators at a cost of R1.933m. This expanded to R7.8m in a single year in 2007 and increases further to R16.5m in 2008/09, to accommodate 1082 teachers in training. There is no debate about the centrality of the role of teachers in quality education. This investment is one that no-one will challenge.
R24 million was invested this year in the area of teacher bursaries through the National Teacher Bursary Programme, Fundza Lushaka. The process involved excellent collaboration between the four universities and the Western Cape Education Department.
Universities have reported higher quality applicants and a substantial increase in the number of teachers that have applied. This includes 145 teachers at Stellenbosch, 40 at UCT, 150 at UWC and 334 at CPUT.
The critical areas that require an intervention include Languages, Maths and Science and the Foundation Phase.
The increase in numbers and the quality of applications suggests an interest in teacher education.
A progressive increase in the number of teaching posts contributed significantly to improving the teacher-learner ratio, which is critical to the delivery of quality education. In 2008 the additional basket of posts was expanded by 747 posts, increasing the total number of posts to 31,619. That brings to just under 2000 the total number of additional teaching posts in the period under discussion. For the first time the learner: teacher ratio in our primary schools is down to under 38:1.
A representative senior management echelon, which sets the standard for the filling of the rest of the new posts approved under the redesign of the WCED, has been installed. When I took over in 2004 the senior management of our department did not adequately represent the demographics of the Western Cape.
This first set of appointments has significantly shifted that position, so that we now have 26% white, 25% african, 45% coloured senior managers instead of the previous inappropriate imbalance where we had, for example, 46% white and only 10% african members. The gender ratio has shifted from 89% males to 68% males. ! am confident that this more representative and highly skilled team will deepen the skills’ set needed to lead this province into being truly a quality learning home for all.
Quality through investment in systems:
Our Directorate for Quality Assurance is driving the programme for increased school-based accountability with the expanded model whereby schools, through their School Improvement Plans, take hold of their own turnaround programmes.
The number of public ordinary schools attaining Section 21 (of the South African Schools Act, 1996) status increased to 996 (2007/08). The Department continues to offer ongoing support for the remaining 456 schools to capacitate them to become Section 21 Schools.
A major systems’ legacy is around improved efficiencies: the provincial Learner Tracking System was a ground-breaking enterprise in improved data management. The WCED testing of learners at various grade levels has given us invaluable data about our own functionality. We also then feed this data through to schools so that they, in turn, can examine, and improve upon, their own practices. We have introduced electronic registration for examinations. The range of functionalities of the Central Education Management Information System has set us up as a 21st century organisation.
Quality through investment in conditions:
Through the years we have expanded the Safe schools programme, which has grown from including 23.8% of all schools in 2004 to supporting 34.5% in 2007. The R73.696m outlay over the 4 years has helped us to set up a model which has been noted as an example of best practice in the recently released report of the Human Rights Commission. I will talk to our plans to intensify our programme in a moment.
We now have Nutrition programmes supporting 233,420 learners in 992 schools daily. The outlay on this expanding programme has been R184.570m over the 4 year period. Only 145,596 learners were benefiting from the programme at the time that it was transferred to the Western Cape Education Department on 1 April 2004.
We have set up 653 “no-fee” schools, which provide for 346 000 learners or 38.05% of enrolled learners. This is funded by an allocation of R549.390m, which is provided for the implementation of the amended national norms and funding for public ordinary schools.
There is the QIDS-UP investment in 405 schools (expanding to 653 this year) bringing quality improvements to 159,000 primary school learners and 37,263 high school learners in national quintiles 1 and 2. This investment totals R74.083m to date for equipment / libraries, maintenance and training.
We have built 42 new schools and also added 1509 new classrooms over the last 4 years to existing schools. We put in 1333 new toilets or ablution facilities and built 39 halls.
Part of this vastly speeded-up programme of building, costing us R1.193 billion in total, was financed by a borrowing from the outer year of the MTEF.
A key aspect of delivery is a programmes of SGB-managed minor works (upgrading, rehabilitation, beautifying, etc) at schools, which enhance community ownership of schools and provide economic benefit for those communities. School Governing Bodies have been empowered to undertake infrastructure projects (additional classrooms and halls) at their schools,under supervision of professional consultants.
A total of 31 schools have been involved in the building of 175 classrooms on this particular model, over the last two years. Four halls have already been completed in this way and two are still under construction. As part of the Buildings Facilities Maintenance Programme 5,103 jobs were created to date of which 202 were filled by male youth, 484 by female youth, 995 by males and 3,422 by females.
It is clear that, in order to maintain the momentum of infrastructure delivery, we will have to approach the provincial Treasury to advance a portion of next year’s allocation for utilisation in this financial year.
There are 681 new computer labs (2004 - present) impacting on 399,343 learners. The Khanya project has so far won 12 major awards for impact and innovation. Our Khanya outlay from 2004 - 2007 was R230.189m.
We have had a number of special projects to supply Learning and Teaching Support Material to schools. Over and above the annual procurement of LTSM, material to the value of R20m was purchased for the Foundation Phase in 2004. In 2006, R52m was set aside to purchase identified LTSM for Grades 7 and 10. In 2007 there were 5 special projects with a total value of R138.447m. A proud track record is the history of delivery of 100% of material in time for the opening of schools.
That was our summary account of delivery to date, Mr Speaker.
THE BUDGET 2008/09
It’s time to turn our attention to the budget for 2008/09. Education grows by R1.3 billion (17.4 %) year-on-year to over R9 billion in 2008/09, and totalling R29.9 billion over the next three years. 36.2 per cent of the total Provincial Budget is allocated to Education.
The expenditure on education in the province has grown by, on average, 12.2 % per annum in nominal terms since 2004/05. Although education receives the bulk of the provincial budget, its share has declined from 37.1% for 2007/08 to 36.2 % for 2008/09. The majority of the increased funding was provided for the national Education Sector priorities, as approved by the Council of Education Ministers (CEM).
By far the greatest portion of the budget goes to the primary and secondary school system, including schools for LSEN. In the school system, personnel are allocated in terms of the post provisioning norms according to reported learner numbers, community poverty rankings and subjects offered. The process of reviewing this model at national level must be prioritised as this could become a much stronger tool to effect redress. 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.
Non-conditional and non-earmarked non-personnel expenditure represents 13% of total expenditure for the 2008/09 financial year. Non-personnel expenditure includes funds for norms and standards funding for public ordinary primary and secondary schools, learner transport schemes and infrastructure, as well as for transfer payments to independent schools, public special schools, FET colleges, ABET centres and ECD schools and sites.
Capital expenditure has decreased from 2.7% of the expenditure in 2004/05 to 2.2% of the estimated expenditure for 2008/09. This includes mainly provision for infrastructure projects as well as for computers and equipment for the Khanya Project. The reason for the decrease is due to the funding provided in 2005/06 and 2006/07 financial years from the Asset Financing Reserve (AFR) for the accelerated capital infrastructure delivery programme. These allocations were not repeated again in 2007/08 onwards.
Programme 2: Public ordinary school education continues to be the main focus of the department’s funding. 80.6% of the budget for 2008/09 is allocated to this Programme. 56.8% of the Programme’s budget is allocated to primary schools and 37.9% to secondary schools.
Funding for Early Childhood Development including Grade R increases by 37.6% to R226.792 million in order to expand enrolment and improve quality.
Under the national banner of inclusive education, the Department will also expand the number of places for learners with disabilities in both public ordinary schools and public special schools. The budget for Special School Education in 2008/09 increases by 18.1% since last year, while R63.2 million goes to expanding inclusive education over the 2008 MTEF.
Additions of R82.8 million over the MTEF go to the National School Nutrition Programme Grant, and in the main ensure that every vulnerable primary school child receives a quality meal during every school day.
To ensure that our learners have the best chance of succeeding an additional R69.8 million has been allocated over the MTEF for the provision of revised learner support materials.
Overall, R973 million over the MTEF goes to construction, upgrading and maintenance of school infrastructure. Of the latter, R209 million is specifically reserved for maintenance alone.
Included in the 2008/09 Budget are the following earmarked allocations:
Mr Speaker, it’s my duty to explain to the house how these funds will add value and lead to enhanced output. Earlier I gave a short roundup of the delivery highlights of this administration to date. The legacy that we leave extends from the cradle to the grave.
I want to preface my overview of our plans for 2008 with some remarks on “quality”. Quality Education is a non-negotiable. Now how do we make sure that we are achieving it?
Quality is basically a set of interdependencies. In our case we could quote the hours spent on the job by teachers putting together their work; we could refer to training and learning programmes; we could show statistics about support by officials and quantify the workshops offered.
But quality isn’t just hours on the job. We can’t point at simplistic indicators of “input”. We can’t just talk about money spent. We have to look at output. We have to look at outcomes and fundamentally the impact of our work.
We must find the evidence of output in scores on tests, in performances of all kinds. We must analyse retention rates, analyse throughput. We must identify levers for success and build on them. We must eradicate weaknesses and deal strongly and unequivocally with any threat to the quality education that every single one of our children deserves.
The 52nd African National Congress conference in Polokwane signaled a major new national direction that must not pass unnoticed. It resolved to emphasise quality education and health as core elements of social transformation.
The resolution reads “This is a task that necessarily requires a longer view. Education must be elevated from being a departmental issue, or even a government issue, to a societal issue - one that occupies the attention and energy of all our people”. Critically the statement ends off by urging us all to become activists for education.
This passion, and fact that education and health are number one on the national agenda, is very good news, Mr Speaker.
Quality and accountability walk hand in hand. I need to tell the house today that the budget I table today comes to us with conditions attached.
I quote my colleague MEC Brown as follows: “As endorsed by Cabinet, the substantial additional allocation to Education comes with strings attached: that there is a dire need for a concerted drive to systematically improve educational outcomes per municipal district … I appeal to the House that it calls the Department to account on progress towards this goal”.
In this part of my speech I will make clear commitments about quality deliverables from the side of government and this department.
In turn, in keeping with the Polokwane resolution, I will be calling teachers to account.
I quote further from the ANC January 8th statement “Teachers are the critical element in our important task of ensuring quality education for all children. When our people faced the oppressive impact of Bantu Education, it was teachers who stood up and ensured that we confounded the architects of apartheid by producing doctors, lawyers and engineers. Now that we are free, we need a similar resolute commitment. Our teachers must commit to a set of non-negotiables - to be in school, in class, on time, teaching, no abuse of learners and no neglect of duty”.
Mr Speaker, I am taking a tough line. We are including the deliverables that you will hear about today into the Performance Agreements of our Head of Department, our Deputy Directors General and so on down.
We will, and I say this with firmness, be accountable from the top down.
We make a sober appeal for accountability at all levels of the system: for accountable principals, accountable teachers, accountable learners, accountable parents, accountable communities.
I said that we are making an appeal for accountability. That is so.
If, however, there are teachers or officials, principals or learners who step out of line, who do not respond to the appeal, then we must be ready to act firmly. We must, and will, take a hard line. We have already demonstrated this by appointing caretaker principals at certain of our under-performing schools.
Our President, Thabo Mbeki, in the State of the Nation Address pointed out unequivocally that this is a year of “business unusual”, indicating that “we speak of Business Unusual not referring to any changes in our established policies but with regard to the speedy, efficient and effective implementation of these policies and programmes, so that the lives of our people should change for the better, sooner rather than later”.
Premier Ebrahim Rasool picked up this theme in his state of the province address by pointing out that when the ANC assumed leadership in the Province for the first time in 2004, we were forced to 'apply unexpected solutions'. I quote: “We had to deliver while transforming the state. We had to look to the future while healing the past. We had to affirm diverse identities while uniting in a Home for All. We had to grow the economy and share its benefits”.
As this administration enters its final year we are determined to pool and converge efforts to accelerate outputs and outcomes. This administration has matured and must invest its accumulated wisdom into the system.
I want first to highlight ten high-impact “business unusual” deliverables which have been identified by us as addressing major aspects of access, redress, efficiency and quality. They have been signed off by cabinet as key outputs for this department in 2008/9 and beyond.
Firstly we are focusing on our ECD expansion programme in this year’s budget of R226.79m. On the basis of an audit of Community Sites we are entering into a period of expansion, on an unprecented scale, of building of 111 Grade R classrooms onto existing primary schools and supplying them with equipment kits.
300 kits at R25 000 each, consisting of equipment for indoor and outdoor learning, will be issued to public primary schools across the Western Cape. Each Grade R practitioner at these schools will receive training in the use of the equipment.
24 Model Grade R classes at public primary schools will be established across the Western Cape. Each will receive indoor and outdoor equipment. These sites will be used to demonstrate best practice and will be used for in-service training.
6000 new learners will be phased into Grade R classes. Teachers will come from our growing pool of trained practitioners.
The first group of 900 ECD practitioners who will be completing their learnerships will be offered an opportunity to continue to the next level. 83 practitioners have already been certified competent. The practitioners completing Level 1 and Level 4 will be offered the opportunity to continue to the next level.
A new intake of Level 1 practitioners is training at FET Colleges – Boland (344), Cape Town (999), False Bay (153), Northlink (418), Southern Cape (735). There are 681 at Level 1; 1093 at Level 4 and 973 at Level 5 - bringing the grand total to 2747.
The WCED is investigating the viability of establishing an ECD Internship Centre at a successful WCED ECD site. This will take place in partnership with appropriate FET Colleges.
All registered community schools will receive training in business skills.
These are major developments, Mr Speaker, and are laying even more of a foundation for improved academic performance in the long run, particularly when linked with our growing Family Literacy Project.
2. Learner transport expansion
Secondly, and linked to the first point, - and this is a major announcement, Mr Speaker - I am happy to announce that we are investigating routes, contracts and feasibilities in order to adapt our Learner Transport Policy and expand it to include Grade R learners from January 2009.
3. Project Quality Turnaround
Thirdly - another major announcement - I announce today the inception of “Project Quality Turnaround”. Under this banner we are bringing together our Grade 12 intervention programme for struggling schools and our Literacy and Numeracy Intervention programme into one single high-intensity, high-impact programme for school turnaround.
I underline the use of the word “Quality” in the name of this programme. I remind you that successful implementation of these programmes is being written into the Performance Agreements of our Superintendent General, of our DDGs, Chief Directors, Directors and so on, down the chain.
The Project Quality Turnaround initiative will work with the 54 NSLAS schools and 30% of the worst-performing schools on the Literacy and Numeracy diagnostic tests. We will keep close track on the impact of all interventions.
We know the onus is on us to convert failing schools into winning ones. It is quite shocking that we have schools that are failing their learners to such an extent. Our programme must have the right mix of instruction, motivation and support. I see it as a multifaceted and no-nonsense programme. The stakes are high so the energies must be high as well.
Central to our interventions will be the school improvement plans, whole school evaluation and the direct support to the leadership and management of these schools. This work will be the single-minded focus of our new circuit teams which will be set up in this financial year.
This work will help move us towards scoping the next 5 year plan for the department which needs to be constructed in the course of this year.
The Polokwane resolution refers to teacher training as a critical quality factor. We regard teacher excellence and school leadership as the cornerstones of all that happens in the system.
Project Quality Turnaround will also focus tightly on school management and here the Cape Teaching Institute – now called the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute in recognition of the vital impact of leadership on quality – will play a substantial role.
The budget for the CTLI doubles from R3m in 2007 for teacher training for 2000 teachers to R6m for 4900 teachers. The R1.07m which trained 750 school leaders in 2007 grows to R2.105m in 2008/9 with a target of 2400 school leaders.
The WCED has allocated R1.905m for 107 bursaries to teacher education students in the priority areas of Mathematics and Science to support and strengthen our Numeracy Turnaround.
It is quite possible that some of the most dramatic “turnarounds” will emerge after our Language Transformation Plan goes to scale. I am delighted to announce today that, in 2009, one teacher from each of the remaining 134 primary/combined schools in the province at which Xhosa is one of the mediums will be enrolled for a 2 year ACE in Language Education - with an outlay of about R2.278m over 2 years.
The Literacy and Numeracy Strategy has 3 strategic levers: I’ve touched so far on Teacher Training and the Language Transformation Plan.
The third one is Family Literacy. We have a team currently working on an integrated Family Literacy Programme, based on the learnings of our range of existing pilots, which we are taking to a workshop with local experts in the next few weeks.
We will launch a major radio campaign in July and August, to reach parents in poor communities. We plan to broadcast more than 800 thirty-second advertisements on 10 radio stations over a six-week period on tips for practising literacy and numeracy in the home. The advocacy programme includes also a video, booklet and other measures.
I will shortly call for nominations for the Steering Committee of the “Foundations for Learning” Programme, as initiated by the national minister and gazetted accordingly. This will also lend support to Project Quality Turnaround.
My fourth major announcement is in regard to the FET College sector.
We are very excited to be able to announce two significant new Centres of Excellence.
False Bay College is to open an “Academy of Boatbuilding” at a cost of R3m to further develop its profile in this field.
In a ground-breaking step, the Cape Town College is to become a Centre of Excellence for the Creative Arts. An initial investment of R3m in a computer platform towards design and animation will put this college in an ideal place to help fill the gap in the skills’ network.
This initiative comes after a joint study supported by the departments of Education, Economic Development and Culture, Arts and Sport and serves, we believe, as a model for further Skills’ Development plans to support the sector priorities of the Micro Economic Development Strategy.
In direct response to this Integrated Creative Arts Development initiative, the province is to host all interested FET colleges from around the country next week with a view to putting Creative Arts’ qualifications on the NCV lists. We also host an international conference on “Innovations in the FET sector” in June.
5. Adult Education and Training
A fifth major announcement – this is a very joyful one - we will be opening 2 full-time Adult Education Centres in this year – one in Elsies River and one in Khayelitsha, at a cost of R1.565m. These are pilot centres and we will be occupying existing facilities. We look forward to working with the communities while we put the right courses into place and do our best to make an impact in these deserving areas.
To support the most needy in our province - we are foregrounding our Nutrition Project with an increased budget of R82.8 million over the MTEF.
I am delighted to announce that the funds have enabled us to add 30,000 new learners to this scheme. 922 schools are on the nutrition programme and a total of 233 420 learners.
The balance of the enhanced budget for 2008/09 will be used to contain the effects of steeply rising prices and fuel costs in this year.
The seventh “business unusual” emphasis – QIDS-UP - will extend to national Quintile 3 schools in 2008/09. The expansion of the QIDS-UP programme carries a budget of R154.246m for 2008. This is more than double the 2007 QIDS-UP budget of R71.442m.
We are currently conducting a school-by-school audit of needs. The programme will focus on repairs and maintenance to schools; library resources; Physical Science equipment and consumables; Life Sciences equipment & consumables; GIS software; Life Orientation equipment (for the Foundation phase); ECD equipment (Jungle Gyms and fenced off areas); extra-mural programmes; computer equipment, software and furniture; whole school evaluation; teacher training in Library Administration; 190 teachers trained in Library Management and Administration and the training of teachers and officials in the use of Science equipment.
8. Intensified Safe Schools Project
We announce a focused and intensified Safe Schools Project to introduce a set of deliberate measures in targeted high risk schools in the province [109 schools] with a budget of R14.9 million. This will include CCTV Installations at 60 high risk schools; 75 Safety Resource Officers/ Learner Support Officers deployed to identified circuits; a pilot search and seizure communication and training plan, implemented in collaboration with SAPS; the initiation of the drug testing communication plan and targeted interventions at schools in support of drug testing. Bambanani volunteers will be deployed to 165 schools in all. All of these will come on top of existing holistic programmes and be linked to the special Education Plan for the 21 priority areas identified by the Premier, to which I will refer shortly. Our approach continues to be informed by our view that schools need to be nodes of care and the hub of our communities – centres of excellence which every community values and protects. Schools need to be used morning, noon and night and over weekends.
9. Redesigned for service delivery
Our eyes will be fixed on enhanced service delivery. The implementation of the WCED Redesign process – at an outlay of R160m in total, over 3 years - will incrementally provide focussed service delivery closer to our learning institutions.
There is already significant remodelling of directorates and components at head 0ffice and a new branch for planning, co-ordination and strategy. Our representativity at Senior Management level has shifted dramatically already, with, for example, the number of women growing from 3 to 15.
The initiation of the model of Circuit teams to take delivery closer to schools, smaller circuits, closer links with local government and the addition of a new district is part of a plan to enhance delivery and improve educational outcomes “on the ground”. 70% of the budgeted outlay goes to direct strengthening of the circuit teams. It’s a massive quality improvement model.
10. Education plan in 21 + 6 Areas
The tenth and final emphasis under “Business Unusual” is the Education Plan in the 21 + 6 Areas identified by the Premier’s Office. This branded social transformation programme will involve a programme of deliverables, via links with Social Transformation Intermediary structures.
Our involvement in the plan will include:
I am convinced that real change will only come through mobilized communities, involved and enskilled parents and through inter-governmental and inter-sectoral partnerships. It is for this reason that Social Capital projects have been high on the agenda I have been driving.
The major social capital initiatives that we are pursuing are:
You will find further documents referring to these in your bags.
We had an embryonic Provincial Representative Council of Learners in 2006, but struggled to maintain that momentum because of funding and other issues. I am happy to announce today that we have secured R3m in this financial year for training of teacher liaison officers and R1.2m for development of RCLs at district level, which will lead towards a representative conference for RCLs later in the year.
Part of social transformation is nation-building. In the context of Africa Day, the terrible outburst of violence in Gauteng and incidents of racism in our schools in the last year, we have to redouble efforts around being a caring society, around values and around our initiative “Schools as Nodes of Care”, which has been playing a lead role in the provincial jamboree process.
I must take a moment to indicate here, and in this formal setting, that we will be providing schools with a lesson plan resource pack to support language and life orientation teachers in tackling issues of xenophobia, racism and bullying as a high-priority, short-term intervention.
A serious contribution to nation-building and language development in the province is the publication of the Western Cape School Songbook. This multilingual compilation of songs will help in the development of cultural awareness, the sharing of indigenous knowledge and in uniting people through song.
The outreach intention of the songbook is complemented by the inception of the next nation-building phase of our Language Transformation Plan to encourage all learners in the province to be trilingual. A working team of teachers has helped develop the publication of a unique booklet with an isiXhosa Second Additional Language Learning Programme for the GET Band. A similar process for a learning programme in Afrikaans will take place in this financial year.
I refer back again to the Polokwane resolution about the need for community involvement in education turnarounds. Now is the time for serious energy behind the development of the notion of the school as community hub, in partnership with sister departments and community structures.
That completes the list of ten.
I have some further remarks to make under elements of the Human Capital Development Strategy.
Improving the conditions of education:
An ongoing concern in regard to quality learning, beyond the issues of teacher quality and infrastructure are issues of class size, teacher load and aspects of discipline.
1. There is light at the end of the tunnel for schools battling with overcrowding.
In addressing the controversial issue as to: “when is a school full?”, the Educations Laws Amendment Act 31 of 2007, provides that the Minister of Education is obliged to promulgate regulations to determine the norms and standards of a school insofar as infrastructure, capacity of schools and learning and teaching support materials is required at a school.
The regulations will regulate the issue of capacity of schools in terms of the following: the number of teachers and class sizes; classroom sizes; quality of performance of a school; curriculum and extra curriculum; and the utilization of available classrooms.
These regulations should be promulgated by the end of 2008 and will become applicable thereafter.
2. I am happy to announce that we have just been notified that SAQA has approved our Further Education and Training Certificate: School Business Administration at NQF Level 4. This is the output of a ground-breaking international partnership. A pilot for 150 students, to be launched this year, will secure data on which to base future plans.
This qualification is intended to equip present and potential School Business Administrators to fulfil a range of roles previously undertaken by the school principal and/or senior members of teaching staff. It will offer training in leadership, administratiion , infrastructure, ICT and financial management capacity.
3. I must stress the need to work with and for our most critical players – our teachers and school leaders. The Polokwane statement puts it like this - this is just after the part calling on teachers to pledge to work hard etc - “Similarly, we commit to restore, uphold and promote the status of teachers by remunerating them as professionals and improving the conditions in which they work”.
I want to put in a word here about the Occupation Specific Dispensation: the framework for the OSD for educators was accepted by way of the ELRC Collective Agreement Number 1 of 2008. It is foreseen that the bulk of educators will receive the back pay flowing from the OSD by the end of May 2008. The national Department of Education is presently attending to this. The salary improvement amounts to between 4% and 9.9%, with an average of 5.5%. This is over and above the 7.5% increase of last year.
The OSD framework speaks to: recruitment and retention of educators; career-path development for educators; performance assessment and rewarding of good and outstanding performance; the creation of education management system for school- and office-based educators; and enhancing quality education. The possibility of teachers obtaining 6% accelerated progression every two years and the agreement that learner performance should be a factor in considering the performance of teachers (with due consideration for context) are massive advances for quality teaching and learning.
The national department and the unions represented in the national Education Labour Relations Council must still attend to the finer details and measures of the OSD, but I am confident that the OSD begins to address the needs of our most valuable resource in education, namely our educators, and will improve the quality of education.
The policy on Incentives for educators has also been signed and gazetted. The WCED was allocated an amount of R41, 05m in respect of incentives for educators. The incentives coupled to the incentivised posts will be R11 528 per annum per post. The WCED will roll out these incentives according to the guidelines for the implementation of the Incentives for Educators as issued by the national Department of Education.
These performance-based incentives will be payable in respect of posts attached to remote schools (hard to reach schools) and/or schools in difficult urban zones (hard to teach schools) and/or schools that may experience a chronic shortage of educators in certain subjects/learning areas.
Improving the educational environment
I must return to the nagging question of Infrastructure shortages: The WCED approved 2006 Infrastructure Plan indicated a backlog of 104 new schools, of which 34 have been completed to date, between then and 2007/08. For this current year, 4 schools are under construction, 6 schools have been advertised, and 5 are in the planning stage.
The planning of a further 6 schools will start shortly for 2009/10. The 11 schools in planning will be completed over the next 5 years.
The expansion and development of some areas, as well as the migration of learners into certain areas of the province, will lead to continuous growth in learner numbers and an ongoing demand for extra classrooms.
Building projects have been identified, prioritised and planned until 2014. Our Physical Infrastructure Provisioning Strategy will consider new school designs and pursue the mobilisation of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to fast-track delivery. The replacement of prefabricated structures with permanent structures is part of the infrastructure provisioning plan.
We have dedicated ourselves to trying to raise monies for our schools and to developing partnerships. The partnerships are too many to list here. Our prominent donors are Mittal Steel (R8m); PetroSA (R48m); Garden Cities/Archway (R24.3m to date); Xenex (R30m); Global Fund (R30.5m for HIV AIDS prevention).
Together with other donations - including R24m raised by school communities themselves to match donor funding of R21m on the Khanya project - we can point to a substantial total of over R190m in donor money over the 4 year period to date – with some commitments in hand for the current financial year.
Mr Speaker, our province alone needs over R5 billion to make up its infrastructure backlog. If current funding patterns continue it will take us 30 years to eradicate this backlog.
I would like to open a debate by suggesting that that the best way to decisively deal with these backlogs is for our national government to introduce a once-off education levy, similar to a transition levy, on taxpayers, to raise the monies needed, countrywide, to provide all schools with halls, to eradicate prefabricated buildings, to supply laboratories, and conducive learning spaces.
We need better facilities and I pledge myself to doing all I can to sensitise decision-makers to this kind of option. I am sure that the majority of South Africans would support such a levy.
Improving the quality of education
I need to note that, even in times of Business Unusual there is Business Usual, with a flair, as well: as we head for the first year of the National Senior Certificate and continue with the consolidation of the new GET Curriculum.
1. In GET/FET we continue with the upskilling and reskilling of teachers; the provision of sophisticated programmes in the Focus and Dinaledi schools; “Artists in Residence” Projects in each art form in all Arts and Culture focus schools; planning, support and monitoring of projects with Higher Education Institutions, Public Private Partnerships and NGEOs to support teaching and learning; ‘Advise and Refer’ career guidance training for Grade 10 – 12 teachers; mini conferences bringing together stakeholders ; professional development for officials in the integration of ICT in teaching; pace setters for Grades 10 – 12; standard setting for Grade 12 for the first National Senior Certificate (this includes model exam papers provided to schools already).
2. We continue to expand on our Inclusion programme and full service schools as follows, amongst other systemic interventions:
3. Mr Speaker, we need to do all we can to make sure that we give our children quality teaching. I acknowledge the merits of a national Education Evaluation and Development Unit as tabled by the national minister last week. It is clear that quality in many schools has suffered since the cessation of the inspectorate in 1987.
Expanding the skills and qualifications base through supporting the Micro-economic Development Strategy (MEDS).
In conjunction with Pace Careers and Standard Bank, all colleges will be offering free placement and career assessments to all learners at school who wish to study at an FET College, during the Learning Cape Festival for the period 6 August to 6 September 2008. The assessments will be conducted at community centres, college campuses and schools. All colleges will have open days at all their campuses on 6 September 2008.
We are watching the debates being raised by the national minister about strengthening the Technical High Schools with interest as we know the challenges around specialist staffing, and the need to keep feeding through learners with high-level Maths, Science and Technology skills into the universities of technology to provide the innovators and teachers of the future.
I would be failing my duty if I did not express my concern about the state of school sport. I fully support the call by colleague MEC Jacobs that we convene an assessment summit on school sport in June. Although we have an MOU between our two departments and have set up the PROCOC structure, challenges remain.
I have seen the impact of the JAG Mighty Metres programme, where over 25 000 primary school learners are currently involved. A school principal from Bonteheuwel has testified to the dramatic reduction in conflict amongst learners since the programme was introduced at his school, Rosewood. The expansion of integrated wellness initiative that we promoted in 2007 with our “For the sake of our lives” mass participation programme must form part of the summit.
A quality school is one where learners can not only develop their academic potential, but their ability in sport, arts and culture.I appeal to our provincial sports federations to help us in this regard.
Against the background of all of the above, and informed by the drive for access, redress, equity, efficiency, quality and outputs, the WCED commits itself to shaping and managing improved achievement of learning outcomes through target-setting and accountability.
It commits itself to enhanced specific/targeted and strategic support of teachers to develop both expertise (effectiveness) and job satisfaction (affective aspects). This implies a need for programmes, for improved systems and for better communication. It commits itself to filling provincial policy and policy implementation gaps. It commits itself to giving full effect to the policies of the national department.
To quote our ex-President, Nelson Mandela, “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living”. I am very conscious of the burden on me to give all of our people the chance to have the best possible quality learning so that each one can “play big”.
If we go back to the Polokwane call for education activism and remember my other mantra of “Each one teach one, together building a home for all”, then it should not be too hard to mobilise around the battle cry of quality for all in 2008/09.
We need to have teachers teaching, learners learning and parents and communities doing all they can to support this.
With that, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to thank the Superintendent-General and the staff in his office, the DDGs, Chief Directors, Directors and all of the rest of the staff in the WCED Head Office and Districts – for all their hard work in the face of huge challenges. Your support, despite my sometimes difficult demands, over these four years, has kept me going. Thank you.
I also want to thank our school principals; the dedicated teachers; the staffs at FET colleges, at ABET Centres and ECD sites; all of whom are making a difference in the lives of our learners – both young and old.
In her absence I want to thank Minister Naledi Pandor, for her continued wisdom, vision and leadership of this enormous portfolio. I want to acknowledge the role of the Standing Committee on Education and, in particular, the Chairperson, Mrs Joyce Witbooi.
A special and big thank you to all of the loyal and hard-working staff members in my own office, who selflessly work very long hours in the service of others. I refer to Nazeema Hendricks, my Head of Office, to Gert Witbooi, Charlotte Heynes, Chris Gqogqa, Japie Lewin, Shadrack Nenzani, Armien White, Unathi Tshotswane and Denise Alcock; and to those who left in the course of the past year: Archie Lewis, Josie Malesela, Anne Schlebusch, Lydia Wabani and Avril Johnson.
Thank you to my colleagues in the Executive Council and to the ANC for your support; to my friends and family; to my parents and particularly to my wife, Melanie, and daughters, Aleya and Jenna. I know my family has born a heavy burden. I can’t thank them enough.
I thank you for the opportunity to present this Budget to you today. I look forward to engaging with you and building on its positive framework.
return to: WCED Home page | Previous page
|© 2008 WCED|