Province of the Eastern Cape Department of Education Budget and Policy Speech 2009 by MEC Mahlubandile Qwase
18 Jun 2009
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker Honourable Premier Members of the Provincial Legislature Delegates of the National Council of Provinces Traditional Leaders, religious leaders and representatives of civil society Dignitaries and Distinguished Guests Departmental Officials Ladies and gentlemen
Molweni, Goeie Dag, Dumelang, Good Day.
The presentation of this budget and policy speech comes at a very crucial time for our country, and indeed our province. Two months ago our people entrusted us with an unequivocal fresh mandate that enjoined us to take forward our stated goal of achieving fundamental transformation and improvement in their quality of life.
Even as we went from door to door during our election campaign, we undertook to accelerate the pace of our delivery, buttressed by our considered goals encapsulated in our elections manifesto. Time and time again education was the foremost preoccupation, with people from all walks of life expressing opinions on what it is that they would want to see unfolding over this next five year planning cycle.
As I spell out our response to those aspirations, I want to assure you that we have taken to heart all the education specific injunctions spelt out in the President’s State of the Nation address delivered on the 3 June 2009, and the State of Province address so eloquently and delivered by Honourable Premier last Friday.
President Zuma indicated that “education will be a key priority for the next five years” and is one of the 10 priority areas which form part of the Medium Term Strategic Framework for 2009 to 2014. We are firmly committed to ‘implement with speed and determination’ all our flagship interventions that are so crucial for the turnaround of our education system. As Honourable Premier indicated, our provincial priorities are fully aligned to the national framework and include an endeavour to ‘strengthening education, and building a skills and human resource base’.
The January 2009 snap survey confirmed that just over 2 million children in this Province are enrolled as learners in more than 5,900 schools. We are indebted to our children to improve the quality of teaching and learning .
The Learner Attainment Improvement Strategy (LAIS), is a plan to improve teaching and learning across the system. The success of the learners through strengthening this campaign will allow our learning society to be integrated and participate in the mainstream economy as full citizens.
1. Overview and Reflection on the Departmental Landscape
Looking back on our performance during the past term, and the last academic year in particular, it is important that we reflect on the key indicator for the Department entrusted with the critical responsibility of delivering quality teaching and learning and addressing the major skills gap experienced by our developing economy.
As we undertake that exercise, it is necessary that we acknowledge the key challenge we face in order to improve learner performance and achievement across the system with special reference to Grade 12. The challenging education environment has not deterred our Department from commendable performance on a number of areas. With the resources that have been availed by government, an improvement has been seen.
Amongst others are:
In the embattled School Nutrition Programme, there has been an overall improvement in the operational systems, leading to increased target and output
The department increased learner per capita expenditure for ‘no-fee’ schools in quintiles 1 and 2 from R554 to R775 and thus met the national norms and thresholds.
The endeavour to decentralize more of our core delivery closer to schools is on track as recruitment of personnel has reduced vacancy rate leading to improved service delivery.
There has been a significant improvement in labour relations with ongoing rapprochement and goodwill for the leadership of the Department playing an important role.
Infrastructure and resourcing for schools have been accelerated significantly with the Department building 12 model schools in rural areas in order to stem the educational urban migration.
The delivery of learner and teacher support materials has also been a highlight for the past year as it showed unprecedented improvement.
Challenges in the delivery of school furniture have been largely unblocked with resumption in delivery and the FET Colleges refurbishment initiative has been a great success.
The above improvements create a fertile ground for the new administration to fastrack education service delivery.The principles that underpin our strategy for service delivery improvement plan, emphasises easy access to education, equity and redress to address the imbalances of the past with skewed resourcing biased in favour of rural areas and the poor.
2. National Curriculum Statement (NCS) and Implementation
The fundamental objective of our existence is to ensure that learners are taught, assessed and succeed towards full citizenship. The implementation of NCS is the key to successful classroom practices. In 2009 the Department of Education will provide planning, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and support for implementation of NCS from Grade R to 12.
This policy requires the transformation of teaching, learning and assessment throughout the entire schooling system. The training of educators for 2009 will be prioritized to increase their knowledge base and confidence in the classroom. Budget allocation of R34 524 966 shall be directed for the professional development of curriculum advisors and teachers in the GET and FET bands. A further R33, 696,745 has been allocated for technology education, which encompasses e-learning, library resources and Maths Science and Technology.
The challenges of the NCS amongst others, is the workload created in the process of planning and determination of assessment tools of equitable standard. Therefore lesson plans for each subject are being developed as a measure to standardise and reduce teacher workload.
A budget of R17, 594,283 has been allocated to the Districts for professional development of 15,628 FET educators. In the Foundation Phase, Literacy and Numeracy have been identified as areas of need and will be vigorously addressed during this year.As part of strengthening ECD as a priority, Grade R and Grade 1 will each be provided with 4,200 Mathematics Kits.
As part of the implementation of effective classroom practices10 100 GET teachers and 36 700 FET teachers will be targeted for on-site school support in 2009/10.
For the first time in 2009, learners will write General Education Certificate with the intention to allow them either to join FET or continue with the general stream of education.The key to success in the implementation of NCS is to build confidence to our teachers to attend school every day, teach and assess learners progressively towards full citizenship.
The enormous challenge confronting the province in providing professional development and support to teachers for effective curriculum implementation is worsened by the employment of large numbers of under/unqualified teachers, particularly in the ECD Sector. Of the 8,435 underqualified teachers identified by the Foundation Trust in 2001, some 8,240 have graduated up to 2008.
However, the reality is that there are currently large numbers of unqualified teachers in the system and this need has to be addressed progressively from 2009 onwards. A target of 703 teachers for the National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE) and 338 for the Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) in MST has been set.
An additional R67,438 million will be utilised for the following: to target 3,010 under-qualified educators participating in the NPDE programme at a cost of R19, 585; B.Ed Learnership with special emphasis on training Maths and Science educators in the amount of R14,440; 240 principals participating in ACE for School Leadership at a cost of R2,880; 1,800 educator bursaries costing R15 290 million.
A budget ofR8,986 million has been allocated to the Education Leadership Institute for skills development for educators.
Promotion of Maths, Science and Technology Education (MSTE)
The manifesto of the governing party has identified MSTE as a priority. As a response, a budget of R8,446 00 has been allocated for the improvement of the knowledge and content of MSTE educators. Before the end of 2009, an MSTE Academy will be established to provide training and development for educators, in order to encourage them to become Maths and Science educators. This also includes in-service training for the already employed educators. 270 and 198 teachers are involved in the mentoring and problem solving programmes respectively.
3. Creating Access to Schooling
The past regime has created huge imbalances of which some have affected attendance of school by children. This has largely affected learners from poor communities including rural and township schools.
It is our belief that to comply with the constitutional obligations to provide education for all learners, the Department of education develops programs and projects to facilitate access to schooling. These include provisioning of scholar transport, school nutrition program, no-fee payments, facilities and infrastructure provisioning.
3.1 Scholar Transport
The programme aims to increase access to schooling by increasing the number of deserving learners to attend schooling every day.114,374 Learners are being transported on the various routes at a total projected cost of R256 million. With the challenges that the programme has faced from its inception, a memorandum of agreement will be signed with the Department of Transport to collaborate in the improvement of the programme.
3.2 School Nutrition Programme
The National School Nutrition Programme is implemented to enhance learning capacity through school feeding, promote and support the implementation of food production initiatives in schools in order to improve household food security and to strengthen school nutrition education for school communities. The main focus for the year is to ensure that the programme is in full compliance with the national norm with respect to these aspects, viz:
All participating schools provide a nutritious cooked meal to all targeted learners. All primary school learners in the first three quintiles benefit in the programme, and is expanded to cover 174 105 learners in 183 quintile 1 secondary schools in 2009 at a cost of R20,1 million.
A budget of R486 million is allocated to cater for 1,076 learners in the primary schools. This programme also plays an important role in poverty alleviation amongst communities.
The communities participate through establishment of 1211 school community gardens, with 133 SMMEs providing additional resources and 7356 employed as meal-servers. The Department will focus on the improvement of timeous payment of meal servers.
3.3 No Fee Schooling
The manifesto of the governing party declares 60% of learners to become no-fee schools in 2009. Already quintile 1 and 2 schools have been declared as no-fee schools in the past years.
In 2009, Quintile 3 schools are being declared as no-fee schools which increases benefiting learners from 1,209, 460 to 1,657,427 which constitute 81,6% of the total number of learners. This has resulted in the increase in the budget allocated for Norms and Standards for funding from R1, 115,772 billion in 2008/09 financial year to R1,3 billion in 2009/10.
3.4 Learner and Teacher Support Materials (LTSM)
The provisioning of LTSM has become so important that the state takes responsibility to relieve parents from purchasing stationery, textbooks, school furniture and computers for teaching and learning. All learners are entitled to free stationery and textbooks from Grade R to 12.
A budget of R271 million for section 20 schools has been allocated to provide stationary and textbooks for learners. The delivery model for stationery and textbooks is being reviewed to include designated groups in line with the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act.
For successful learning to take place, the department is providing school furniture at a budget of R43 043 000. Included in the provisioning of school furniture, FET colleges have been engaged to refurbish school desks as part of learning practice for students.
A budget of R16,912,495 has been allocated to e-Learning and R4, 250,000 to resource centres and Libraries. Computer equipment will be provided to 240 schools for teaching and learning and to 1,115 schools for administration purposes.E-Learning equipment (software) for teaching and learning will also be provided in 650 Secondary Schools and 475 schools are to receive donated connectivity from Internet Service Providers. The budget allocated for this purpose is R75,3 million.
As part of the strategy to effect redress to the most disadvantaged rural primary schools, the Department is making targeted interventions to provide basic minimum resource packages to 894 schools across the rural districts through the QUDS-UP.The intention of this programme is to contribute towards the Foundations for Learning Campaign and R9,2 million has been set aside for this purpose.
3.5 Facilities and Infrastructure
The school building programme has become a priority to eradicate 860 mud schools over a period of three years.For 2009/10 the school building programme is allocated R981 837 000 to complete multi-year projects. A number of projects will be completed in the 2009/10 financial year while others will still be under construction.
In 2009, a massive infrastructure programme is underway with the intention of completing a number of schools.316 schools are under construction and 258 of these will be completed in 2009 and handed over to communities.
It is important Honourable speaker to emphasise that amongst these schools, 12 are model schools of excellence built in the rural and township areas. These 12 schools will be used as exemplars for expansion of curriculum where the historically exclusive subjects will be introduced for the benefit of rural children.
It is my plan that the eradication of mud schools must be fast-tracked by utilising alternative infrastructure technologies in the 2010/11financial year.
As part of recapitalising the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme, 91 ECD centres will be completed in 2009, including newly built schools.To improve the school health environment, 233 schools are being supplied with water and sanitation in collaboration with the Department of Water Affairs.454 schools are being supplied with grid and non grid electricity.
As part of disaster management, 112 renovated schools will be handed over to communities, rehabilitated after having been struck by tornadoes, torrential rains and other unavoidable natural calamities.
Honourable Speaker, the demands of school infrastructure have proved to be more than the resources at our disposal.This necessitates appropriate planning which will enable us to wipe out the scourge of unsightly mud schools.The planning session for school infrastructure delivery will be organized before the end of the second term of the financial year.
4. School Safety and Security and Enrichment
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the South African Constitution all recognise children’s rights for respect of their human dignity, physical integrity and equal protection under the law, hence the need for an integrated approach to promoting school safety within the broader framework of crime prevention strategy.
Working together with other departments like Safety and Liaison, Social Development, Department of Health and Correctional Services, the department has set aside R6,5 million to continue with the following programs:
School-based anti-drug campaign and testing in 350 schools targeted.
Prevention and Management of Learner pregnancy with targeted intervention to 230 schools.
Youth camps for leadership skills and patriotism through Peace Education etc.
School Enrichment Programmes remain a powerful vehicle for promoting positive values and attitudes toward our learners by encouraging mass participation in sport, art, culture and choral music. R47,034 million has been set aside for this purpose. Autumn, spring, summer and winter games including music and other heritage activities form part of the programme.
In addition the department is playing an active role toward the preparation for 2010 World Cup.R2,5 million has been set aside for programmes like:
showcasing 2010 through musical instruments MARIMBA and Brass Bands
cultural activities build up to school mass mobilisation and awareness for 2010 World Cup
performing art, visual art, essays and poetry about 2010
my 2010 School Adventure where provincial schools under 13 boys and girls and under 17 boys and girls participated in interprovincial soccer games representing the different countries. Eastern Cape assumed the identity of SPAIN and won the bronze medal.
5. School Governance, Management and Administration
In so far as governance is concerned, 2009 is a School Governing Bodies (SGB) election year.R8,225 million has been set aside for the election process, the induction and training of the newly appointed SGBs in line with the agenda for democratisation of our institutions and as part of the process of social transformation.
The training of School Management Teams remains one of the critical priorities of the Department of Education. There is empirical evidence to the fact that there is a direct relationship between dysfunctional schools and ineffective leadership.
The department will continue with the training of the targeted 2,490 school principals. The mentoring and coaching programme which has already been implemented for all Education Development Officers (EDOs) or Circuit Managers will enable each EDO to develop a portfolio of evidence for the type of support, mentoring and coaching that is given to all school principals that need the support in conjunction with all District Based Support Teams (DBSTs) at district level.
In addition to short courses that will be given on an ongoing basis, 240 principals are participating in an Advanced Certificate in Education Leadership and Management which is offered in collaboration with the local Higher Education Institutions.
The Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) remains a powerful management tool for the appraisal of educators in order to identify weaknesses and strengths that will lead to identification of proper development programmes, the evaluation of individual educators for qualification to incentives and the evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the schooling system. A budget of R8,4 million has been set aside for this purpose. The department will also pay particular focus to the implementation of PMDS and management of Performance agreements.
6. Early Childhood Development
In line with the national priority of universal Grade R in 2010 the department has incrementally increased access to ECD services and that is evidenced by the increase in budget allocation from R270,067 in 2008/09 to R367,316m in 2009/10.
The total budget for Pre, Grade R is R23,504 million with R9,541 million going towards training; R5,850 million for stipend and R8,113 million for resources.
Enrolment for Grade R has increased from 132,599 in 2008/09 to 141,181 in 2009.4,785 Grade R practitioners receive stipend which has increased from R3 200 in 2008/09 to R3 300 in 2009/10.
R13 million of the Grade R allocation is earmarked for training of 557 Grade R practitioners for the Level 4 and 200 for Level 5 qualification. R26,099 million is earmarked to provide resources to Grade R centres and R102,250 million is earmarked for the provisioning of Grade R facilities, consisting of a classroom, a toilet, a sick room and outdoor playing equipment
Adult Basic Education and Training
Adult basic Education and training is the Government initiative with the mandate of alleviating poverty, building society that is illiterate through out the Province and providing skills that meet the needs of the economy and the labour market.
ABET has priorities and target of 50,000 illiterate and unskilled adults in the province. 35,000 learners are enrolled at ABET Centres representing a large increase from the previous year. The priority is to improve ABET educators’ qualification through learnerships provided by Sector Education and training Authorities (SETAs). In order to achieve this, the Department has provided computer skills in 23 Centres in the province.
The department will prioritise the creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods by targeting newly appointed ABET educators and supervisors throughout the province.
The educators are trained in Adult Education Methodology. 23 ABET Centres will have well trained Centre Governing Bodies by 2010. These 23 Centres are going to pilot Norms and Standards for Funding Adult Learning Centres (NSF- ALC). Centre Governing Bodies will be trained on the management and administration of a centre just like SGBs in schools.
For all these targets and priorities to succeed, the Department is working together with the stakeholders for example, the Office of the Premier, Traditional, Religious leaders and other sister departments.
As a strategy for increasing access in ABET, Provincial Literacy Programme has been implemented. This necessitated that the number of centres be increased from 297 to 333, and the number of supervisors and educators from 4,835 to 6,735.
7. Special and Inclusive Education
This programme caters for support of learners who experience barriers to learning due to disability and other socio-economic factors.
The following key priorities form the focus for the planning period: For the first time a school that caters for learners in conflict with the law will be completed by end August 2009 at a cost of R267 million.
All affected learners will be transferred to Bisho Youth Care Centre in compliance with law. To strengthen implementation of inclusive, four schools will be completed and will be handed over in 2009 and the other four schools are under major renovations and maintenance and will be completed before the end of 2009.
8. Recapitalisation of FET Colleges
The role of FET Colleges cannot be overemphasized in the implementation of human resource development strategy (HRD) as dictated by the National Human Resource Development Strategy and the PGDP. In the Eastern Cape Province, 8 FET Colleges have been established and recapitalized to strengthen skills development programs.
By the end of the current financial year, training for Colleges Council members shall have been completed. This is in line with developing Human Resource capacity in line with the National Human Resource Development Strategy and revised Provincial Growth and Development (PGDP).
The capital budget for the 2009/10 financial year has been increased from R88 million to R140 million. All colleges will benefit from this increase. Colleges are expected to utilise these funds for the completion of 2008/09 projects as well as to start new projects for the current financial year.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between four piloting colleges Viz: King Sabatha Dalindyebo, Lovedale, King Hintsa and Buffalo City FET Colleges with Harvard University. This memorandum of understanding focuses on promoting HIV and AIDS awareness programmes for learners in these four piloting colleges. The training of learners in peer education has already started. This partnership is a strategy geared at enhancing the services of FET Colleges.
The implementation of the new National Curriculum: Vocational (NCV) in our eight colleges has taken off smoothly and the National Education Department (NATED) programmes are being phased out. This year only the N4 to 6 modules are continuing and are also progressively phased out. The current year is the final year for NCV students who started the new curriculum in 2007.
National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 4 students are the pride of our department, as they are the first group to reach the final year. The department will continue to prepare colleges for the new curriculum through site visits, workshops and establishment of focus groups.
The department is also exploring the establishment of in-service training centre for FET College lecturers.
The implementation of Recapitalization Programme has enabled colleges to be effective and responsive to the needs of the economy. 67 classrooms, 18 workshops, 3 resources centres, 60 ablution facilities for students and staff and 1 administration centre have been built, through Recapitalisation Programme.
9. Improving Organisational Efficiency and Effectiveness
The Department of Education has adopted two strategic levers to turn around the performance of the education system as a whole: these are the improvement of learner outcomes and achievement through the Learner Attainment and Improvement Strategy.
These will be strengthened by intensifying the implementation of the National Quality Teaching and Learning Campaign that we launched in April 2009 in our province.The functionality of schooling must be characterised by effective school attendance by both teachers and learners, coupled with effective school management.
The 2008 Survey refers to three critical indicators that underpin perennial distortion in national performance:
High drop-out rate
High repetition rate, and
High learner pregnancy in specific areas of our province.
Higher promotion rate at GET vs lower promotion rate at FET levels
Special programmes will be customised for specific districts as informed by the survey, to deal with the above challenges.
In pursuit of improvement in learner outcomes, we will be required to improve reading, writing and counting as a basis for better results at the upper levels.The Foundation for Learning Campaign will be strengthened so as to ensure better outcomes and achievement by learners.
Honourable Speaker, the department will continue to mobilise stakeholders through District Education Fora, Bargaining Chambers, and other fora, to effectively participate in the school improvement campaigns.The Provincial Education Advisory Council has been launched and already undergone induction and therefore, at that level, work has already started.
The second strategic lever of turnaround agenda is the improvement of the audit outcomes.The whole department requires realignment in line with models of district development.The current organogram is being reviewed with a targeted August 2009 completion date; this is geared at responding to the new demands of government.
The Audit Intervention Plan has been developed and implemented at Head Office and in the District Offices, as a specific and pointed endeavour aimed at improved audit outcomes. The department will work closely with the provincial treasury and Auditor General to improve this situation.
Honourable Speaker, a worrying factor in the system is the morale and motivation of our workforce.Studies suggest that the majority of our personnel suffer from stress, anxiety and depression, resulting in continuous absence from work. Our Wellness Programme will be intensified in 2009/10, across the system with full participation of stakeholders.
It is also true that customer satisfaction is becoming a key aspect of service delivery.Our blooming Customer Care programme, guided and informed by the principles of Batho Pele will also be expanded further as we build a positive organisational culture
10. 2009/10 Budget Allocation
It is my pleasure to present the following budget for 2009/10 to you today:
The challenge remains to manage the available resources more effectively and efficiently, and to work towards a more acceptable ratio between personnel and non-personnel expenditure. Again we shall work closely with Provincial Treasury in dealing with inefficiencies in the system that leads to duplication of services and wastage.
The people of the Eastern Cape are ravaged by poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment. Education as a sector is central in the improvement of the lives of our people.
The more we improve teaching and learning in our education institutions, the more improvement in illiteracy, poverty and unemployment.The majority of our learners come from rural areas, we have a responsibility and duty to improve the provisioning of education specifically in such areas, and we commit ourselves to do exactly that.
I want to thank the people of the Eastern Cape for their contribution in shaping and communicating their expectations through the highly successful Education Summit that was held earlier in the year. We commit the department to implement all the resolutions with the resources available to government.
In acknowledgement of the wishes and goodwill of the people of the Eastern Cape, I have no doubt that through the leadership and guidance of our Honourable Premier, and a dedicated and collegial Executive Council, we will strive to work hard to put our people first, as we seek to unleash the undoubted potential of this beautiful province.
Furthermore, I extend a word of appreciation and thanks to the acting Head of Department, Prof Ramedzi Harry Nengwekhulu and his team, for making the Department’s numerous achievements possible this past year. Much hard work and dedication will still be required of us all in the next few years before the department turns the corner.The hard work and contributions of all Education stakeholders, but more so that of the thousands of dedicated educators and learners in our schools must be acknowledged with sincere gratitude since some of them achieve the impossible under very difficult circumstances.
Last but not least, I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude to my family, for standing by me, enduring my numerous absences that come with the territory, and for being my pillar of strength through the joys and challenges of political life. Their support remains the one enduring beacon that keeps me going.