A well-educated, skilled and highly developed citizenry

Senzo Mchunu, MEC for Education in Kwazulu-Natal

Senzo Mchunu, MEC for Education in Kwazulu-Natal

Note that […] indicates where cuts have been made.

The communities of South Africa […] are all in the Education Mood. The majority of children of school-going age in KwaZulu-Natal are in school and/or want to be in school with the intent to learn. The majority of teachers with their unions are ready and prepared to teach. The majority of parents in KwaZulu-Natal want to see their children in school being taught and learning. And most importantly, the Government of the Republic of South Africa has made education an apex priority. […]

The strategic role of education today is echoed in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2009 – 2014 which “…recognise(s) the importance of skills and education to enable every member of society to realise her or his potential. Which in turn will ensure that all participate effectively in social and economic life – thus contributing to the reduction of unemployment and inequality in our society…”

It is in line with this MTSF strategic role, that this Department has captured its vision of creating “a well educated, skilled and highly developed citizenry”. This vision will be achieved through the provisioning of equitable access to quality education for the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

1. Our core business and performance : the critical ingredient
National Senior Certificate (NSC)
It is now firmly established that learner attainment has improved both qualitatively and quantitatively. The results show that the province has been gradually moving towards the high performance bracket. The number of schools that fall within the 0-29% bracket has dropped from 344 in 2008 to 46 in 2011, which translates to a 21.3% reduction (sic). The number of under-performing schools between 0-60% dropped from 952 in 2008 to 629 in 2011, which is a 23% reduction. […]

The Department will continue with provincial intervention programmes in an effort to improve on the quality in the NSC outputs. Our objective this year is to do what we missed in 2011, that is, to improve on our 2010 Matric results by achieving more than 70.7%, moving on to 80% by 2014. As a province we have set ourselves the following targets with regards to the matric passes for 2012:
Categories    2012 Targets
Bachelors         33 000
Maths             37 094 out of 64 868
Science             26 947 out of 44 689

[…] At the beginning of the year, the MEC, Senior Officials of the Department and the Provincial Intervention Team dedicated a whole week to visiting non-performing schools in Umkhanyakude and later engaged local leaders including Amakhosi, local councils and the community about the performance of these schools.
As a Department, we have developed a bold Matric Intervention Plan (MIP) which provides an approach to ensure that all sections of the system are mobilised to contribute to enhanced performance in 2012. The four pillars of the MIP are as follows:

  • Interventions to improve learner performance
  • Assessment
  • Learner supplementary materials, and
  • Supplementary tuition

Annual National Assessment (ANA)
Annual National Assessment (ANA) is a compulsory assessment for all public primary schools in South Africa. It assesses performance levels in Numeracy and Literacy at Foundation Phase, Mathematics and Language in Intermediate Phase.  […] The main focus of these tests is on Grades 3, 6 and 9. In 2012, 1 642 902 learners in 5 591 schools will be writing these tests.

[…] With [a number of] extra measures, the Department expects to achieve at least an average 5% improvement in all ANA learning areas in 2012. These interventions will help to ensure that schools, districts and the province achieve the set targets of 60% by 2014.

2. Improvement of the curriculum
Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS)
As part of curriculum improvement in our schools, the Department introduced CAPS in the Foundation Phase and in Grade 10 in 2012. […] We have completed our training for CAPS with a total of 7 144 Grade 10 teachers and 13 111 Foundation Phase teachers undergoing training for the implementation of CAPS.  Teachers will also receive training for implementation of CAPS in the Intermediate Phase and Grade 11 for 2013. […] A budget allocation of R20-million has been set aside for this initiative.

Learning and Teaching Support Materials (LTSM)
Provision of quality textbooks and other learner and teacher support materials remain the primary focus of this Department in ensuring the delivery of quality education. As such, the Department allocation for LTSM has increased substantially to R1.036-billion for 2012/13 for all public ordinary schools. The Department has purchased 3.1-million units of CAPS material for its implementation at a cost of R199-million for the current year. […] We have developed a management plan that will ensure that all 2013 LTSM is in schools by the end of 2012.

A total of 11.7-million numeracy and literacy workbooks have been distributed to 5 929 schools for the 2012/2013 academic year. […] District officials, principals and SMTs have been directed to monitor the delivery and daily use in class of literacy and numeracy workbooks in all schools in Grades 1 to 6, in conjunction with Foundation for Learning Programmes in Grades 4 to 6.

Recapitalisation of Technical High Schools
As part of improving curriculum delivery in the province, the Department is in the process of refurbishing 93 workshops at 32 technical high schools. Furthermore, we are constructing 15 new workshops at six technical high schools. This is a multi-year conditional grant of which R20-million rand will be spent in the current financial year. We will be also be supplying and installing equipment, tools and machinery at 113 workshops for Engineering Graphics and Design, Electrical, Mechanical and Civil Technology.  [A total of] 198 teachers will also be trained in practical methodologies in all aforementioned subjects.

Dinaledi Schools
The Dinaledi grant aims to promote the teaching and learning of maths and physical science. There are 88 secondary and 200 primary feeder schools that are benefiting from this grant in KZN. Through this grant, schools are supplied with mathematics and science kits, laboratories and consumables, study guides and they are further provided with broadband connectivity complete with e-content. The budget allocation for the Dinaledi grant is R17.5-million

Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign (QLTC)
The QLTC is a national intervention seeking to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools. The 2012 Programme of Action for QLTC mobilises all stakeholders at all levels, within and outside education, to contribute to the intentions of the non-negotiables and QLTC principles.

We wish to congratulate our parent community for the success and smooth running of the School Governing Body elections in March this year. Of the 5 954 schools in the province, 5 944 successfully conducted their SGB elections. The remaining 10 schools will have elected their SGBs by June 23 2012. So far 20 901 principals, parents, educators and learners serving on SGBs have gone through an induction programme. […]

We wish to make a call to various communities and parents in our province to avoid violent conflict […] when there are problems. Sitting around the table is still the best and most progressive way of resolving school problems.

Teacher Development
A series of in-service training workshops will be held to uplift the level of understanding and teaching for those teachers who are challenged in learning areas, mainly Mathematics and Physical Science. A budget of R60-million has been set aside for these initiatives.

Furthermore, 12 000 educators will be engaged in Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) advocacy and teacher signup will be done with SACE for purposes of professional development activities in order to earn professional development points with a budget of R5-million allocated. […]

The Department will also invest R2-million in 1 000 educators who will be conducting action research seminars in 2012/13. Moreover, another R3-million will be used for developing 6 000 educators on English First Additional Language (EFAL) and a further 4 000 teachers on Language Proficiency Across the Curriculum (LPAC).

The Department will conduct capacity building workshops for 6 000 educators on Educator Professionalism […and the…] same cohort will receive training on the Code of Professional Ethics for Educators on a budget of R5-million.

The Department will ensure that development and support on the policies, processes and procedures for managing performance information, strategy formulation and strategy implementation will be provided to office-based educators including ward and circuit managers, Deputy Chief Education Specialist, Deputy Directors and other officials. A budget of R5-million will be used for this initiative.

3. Resilient fault lines of the past
The destruction of education in the past for black people in South Africa, particularly, that of indigenous Africans, produced a poisonous and unworkable systems, practices and tendencies that we now have to confront and remove. […]

Districts and Circuit Management
In order to ensure improved curriculum delivery in our schools, the Department is in the process of implementing the new organisational structure. There is now sharper focus on districts and circuit management, as these are at the coalface of education delivery. This arrangement should assist the Department in dealing with the fault-lines of the past. […]

Classification of Schools
Part of management problems stem from the categorisation of schools in a way that does not follow policies of the Department of Education, which states that public ordinary schools are divided into primary and secondary schools. According to the National Education Policy Act of 1996 and subsequent education guidelines, public ordinary schools are classified into two types viz: primary and secondary schools. […] We will be taking initiatives to review the status quo on a number of these issues including some school names.

Curriculum Delivery in Schools
Our focus on districts and circuits should enable the Department to curb tendencies that are inherent in the system. Some of these tendencies include failure to effectively manage late-coming and absenteeism of both teachers and learners, sluggishness in dealing with problems before they escalate to crises, poor performance as well as lack of effective curriculum management at school level. We are therefore determined to fight these head-on, particularly late-coming and absenteeism.

The core business of the Department of Education is curriculum management and delivery in schools. Unless we have an undivided focus on improving teaching and learning in schools, the targets we have set ourselves will remain a pipe-dream. Teachers must thoroughly prepare their lesson plans, assess at the correct level while SMTs must manage curriculum delivery effectively. Curriculum management also involves ensuring that teachers teach according to work schedules; that they cover the syllabi in time; that they give adequate class-work and homework; and that they mark workbooks and corrections. Subject advisors are expected to continuously give adequate support to teachers.

Teacher Supply and Capacity
There is no substitute for a good teacher in a classroom. The fact that teachers’ salaries come from programme 2 which has the highest budget allocation of R29.526-billion in the Department clearly illustrates the importance of the teacher. […] We are currently looking at potential sites where teacher training could commence in 2014. There is a commitment by schools of education attached to universities to increase uptake in teacher training for gateway subjects such as Maths and Science.

In 2012 the Department has only been able to recruit a total of 747 newly qualified teachers into the system. This number is a far cry compared to the annual attrition rate of over 4 000. The Department aims to increase the PGCE intake to 600 in 2012/13. Furthermore, the Department will embark on recruitment and monitoring campaign targeted at students with Bachelor’s Degrees from the Higher Education Institutions in KZN. The aim of recruitment and monitoring is to get 800 students with Bachelor’s Degrees to take up teaching by registering for PGCE in 2013.

This initiative is expected to cost the Department R16.2-million. Further, 400 BEd students will be provided with bursaries to the value of R20-million. To enhance the quality of teachers, a further 600 more teachers from our current teaching corps will be enrolled in the ACE specialisation programmes at a cost of R19.4-million, as well as capacitate 300 principals on ACE leadership which is expected to cost in the region of R18-million.  

Equipment in the Classroom
[…] For the current financial year, the Department has embarked on road shows in order to obtain the concurrence of the School Governing Body Associations, under the banner of Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign, to consolidate the buying power of schools with a view to procuring classroom equipment.  The focus in the current year will be on3 785 schools with a view of rolling out in the future years.

The basic equipment includes a white board, high-end laptop, a high-end personal computer and a projector. An additional budget allocation has been made available to cater for laboratory consumables, Maths and Science dictionaries as well as wall charts for all Foundation Phase classrooms. The availability of textbooks and stationery at schools on the first day remains our priority in this regard.

The allocation for infrastructure has increased from R2.2-billion in the 2011/12 to R2.4-billion for the current financial year. For the first time, the Department is consolidating the various elements of infrastructure strategy into a single document.

This document hopes to address the contextual factors in the prioritisation, planning and delivery of school infrastructural needs. It must be remembered that while the Department is addressing current needs, there are historical backlogs that must still be attended to. In this regard, we continue with the provision of more classrooms, water and sanitation (toilets), computer rooms, laboratories and media centres at existing schools.

All new and existing primary schools that are now constructed and/or upgraded have ECD classrooms built as part of their scope. Infrastructure maintenance and storm damage budget for schools will be devolved from Head Office to districts. This is in line with the Department’s aim to improve district functionality and also to ensure that schools receive timeous support from districts.

New Schools
The continued existence of dilapidated and improper structures is a contradiction in our quest for quality education. In 2012/13, 17 new schools will be built which includes replacing some of the existing old and improper ones. Most of these schools are found in rural and under-developed parts of KZN, which is why Indumo Comprehensive High School in Umkhanyakude District will be one of our flagship projects. These will feature all the special rooms needed for effective teaching and learning. There is also an attempt to ensure there are sporting facilities in all new schools. 

Management at all Levels of the Department
The main task of all office-based officials, including the HOD and MEC, is to manage and ensure effective and efficient management at all levels; and in all aspects of the Department. For now our level of management in some cases is exhibiting stress.

Our management has to deliver stability and progress among all stakeholders in education, in individual schools and satisfaction among our employees in particular.

4. Finance
The Department has worked very hard to reverse the adverse opinion of the Auditor-General in the past financial year. This included working with our Treasury in particular, ensuring control over our expenditure. […] We need to assure the House that there is good capacity in the Department to ensure proper financial accountability. We are aware however, that we need to improve in various aspects, including increasing personnel because of the size of our budget.

5. Policy review
Our policies are once more in the dock, with earnest discussions very much underway in the country. It is impossible to guess the outcome but we would really like to see the review of quintiles, criteria for grade progression, labour-related matters, to name but a few. The debate is open; let us engage for the good of our education system in the country. 

6. Current political commitment of our government to the people of South Africa
National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP)
NSNP will in 2012 provide nutritious meals 2 171 071 learners in quintile 1, 2 and 3 primary and secondary schools. A deviation was however granted by the Department of Basic Education so that the Department may continue to feed some primary schools in quintile 4 and 5. A budget allocation of R1.151-billion has been set aside for this programme in the 2012/13 financial year.

Part of the aim of the NSNP is to help with poverty alleviation in local communities. Therefore, community-based gardening projects have been identified in all districts in the province and training of 75 members of these projects commenced in January and February 2012. As such, new initiatives for improving the income earnings of poor households through the NSNP are as follows:

  • Reduce enrolment allocation per service provider to a maximum of 5 000 learners and incrementally replace SMMEs with Local Cooperatives
  • Allocate schools with  big enrolments (i.e. 800 and above) to existing and newly established local cooperatives
  • Limit service providers to two consecutive financial years with the same school/schools
  • Advertise services locally through public notices on the local newspapers, radio, circulars and newsletters
  • Allow SGBs to recommend not less than five potential local suppliers
  • Appointment of suppliers to be done by the Department […] as opposed to schools. The evaluation committees will include district forums. […] Furthermore, the Department together with Ilembe District Municipality is piloting a model that will empower co-operatives that will supply schools with locally-produced fresh vegetables. If successful, this model will be replicated throughout the province. 

No-Fee Schools
As part of the government’s commitment to the promotion of access to education, the number of No-Fee schools has increased to 4 915 in 2012, including farm schools. The learner population that is benefiting from this programme stands at 1 872 025. This puts at nearly 80% the number of  No-Fee schools in KZN and as such,  R1.637-billion has been set aside as per the Norms and Standards to cater for all No-Fee Schools. The challenge facing the Department is whether we should go beyond the 80% mark.

Rural Education
[…The] Department, through its organisational review, created a new directorate that will focus on rural education. As such, the main focus of rural education is knowledge [as well as] physical and socio-cultural access.

The Department will ensure the delivery of academic and infrastructure programmes that are of the same quality and standards as those in urban counterparts. These directorates will further ensure that newly qualified teachers and teachers with relevant qualifications, particularly in gateway subjects such as Maths, Science and Technology will be deployed in rural schools.

We are placing special emphasis on recruitment of teachers through Fundza Lushaka Bursary Scheme. […]

KZN DoE has taken a principled decision to close down all illegal so-called satellite schools which are pervasive in rural areas. Multi-grade teaching is another area that rural education will focus on eradicating.

Early Childhood Development
A total budget allocation for 2012/13 of R771.9-million has been set aside for this programme. Of this amount R533.9-million has been allocated for schools with Grade R, R116.3-million for Grade R classes in community centres and R108.8-million to cater for the Pre-Grade R which is the 0-4 years category.  The remainder of the budget will take care of the Human Resources requirements of the programme.

We are partnering with the Department of Social Development in launching Early Childhood Education for ages 0 to 4. There is empirical evidence that children who start schooling earlier tend to perform better in formal education. We are therefore appealing to communities to establish informal learning centres to cater for the 0-4 -year-olds.  

Further Education and Training Colleges (FETs)
A total of 32 513 Nated course students while a total of 29 076 NC(V) students have been enrolled since 24th February 2012 in all FET colleges in KZN. In total, for the two mandatory programmes (Nated and NC(V), 61 589 students have been registered [of which] 32% and 42% respectively […] registered NC(V) and Nated students enrolled for Engineering. The budget available for the FET colleges in the 2012/13 financial year is R843.514-million. A further R375-million has been allocated for college student bursaries to cover both Nated and NC(V) programmes.

Adult Education and Training  (AET)
A budget of R163.881-million will cater for this programme of which R148.510-million goes towards the compensation of employees and R13.689-million goes towards goods and services. MTSF priority on Mass Literacy Campaign aims to have 50% of illiterate South Africans read and write by 2014. The Department also aims at increasing the number of AET level 4 learners who pass and qualify in progressing to (FET) Colleges by 1 000 to reach 59 000 in 2012/13.

The issue of non-certification of Level 4 learners is having a negative effect on the number of learners accessing Public Adult Learning Centres (PALCs). The matter is however receiving urgent attention from the Department in consultation with Umalusi [and at National level]. […] The programme for AET in the 2012/13 financial year will include the establishment of Learning Area Committees in all districts, development of an improved strategy for Levels 1-4 on formative and summative assessment and the development of the Information Management System.

Learner Transport
Learner transport is provided in 11 districts […] and some functions of Learner Transport have been transferred to the Department of Transport, effective from
1 September 2011, with the concomitant budget. The Department has conducted a comprehensive audit of rural learners who should benefit from the learner transport programme. This study has revealed that 73 183 learners should be benefiting, however due to lack of sufficient funding the provision of learner transport in 2012/13 will be limited to 21%, which translates to 15 600 learners.

Inclusive Education
[…] The Department continues the roll-out of inclusive education. The provision of this project is provided for under Public Special Education with a total budget allocation of R1.1-billion.

To date there are 74 designated full-service schools, which means that learners with lower levels of disability can be accommodated in ordinary public schools. Thirteen special schools are resource centres that cater for moderate to high levels of support respectively and are thus able to assist schools with more needs. Progress in this regard is demonstrated by the 1 225 institution level support teams, 27 circuit-based support teams and 12 district-based support teams, throughout the province.

Notwithstanding the strides that have been made with respect to granting access to learners with disabilities, indications are that 34 964 learners with disabilities are still out-of-school. The Department is therefore working to ensure that these learners are identified and placed in schools.

To realise the vision with respect to inclusive education, an additional 50 ordinary schools have been designated as full-service schools and 26 special schools have also been designated as resource centres for the 2012/13 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). This brings to 100 the number of full-service schools in the province.
Five special schools are being built in rural areas to the value of R360-million in the districts of Umkhanyakude, Othukela, Sisonke and Uthungulu over the MTEF. A further R60-million has been allocated for special schools upgrades and renovations.

School Sports, Arts and Culture and Youth Development
A budget allocation of R28.3-million will ensure that the Department implements programmes for school sports, arts and culture as well as youth development. It is the aim of the Department to promote national identity and social cohesion through these initiatives. The programme aims to address Goal 6 in the KZN DOE Strategic Plan 2010 - 2014. The MEC for Education and MEC for Sports, Culture and Recreation, Mrs Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the near future.   
HIV/AIDS Life-skills: My Life My Future! Campaign
The funding for the HIV/Aids project will come from a conditional grant for which a budget of R46.8-million has been set aside […to assist in schools being…] used as locations to promote access among children to a full range of public health and poverty reduction interventions.

To achieve these goals, the Department has launched the “My Life My Future!” Campaign which is a holistic and integrated programme, designed to effectively bring about change of attitude and behaviour in order to arrest the social ills that negatively impact on the well-being of learners, educators and other school staff.

In keeping with good practice in community interventions with young people, this campaign will be implemented within existing family, school and school community structures. […]

  • 90 000 school community members mobilised to support and participate in “My Life My Future” (MLMF) campaign focusing on Prevention of HIV infection, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, and other social ills.
  • 6 000 SMT & SGB members trained in the development & implementation of MLMF school plans focusing on Prevention of HIV infection, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, and other social ills.
  • 3 900 educators trained in the implementation of MLMF school programmes […]
  • 10 320 learners trained as peer educators in the implementation of MLMF […]
  • 51 200 learners benefiting from care and support school programmes […]
  • 4 700 schools supplied with relevant and age appropriate Sexual Reproductive Health LTSM.

In the same vein 115 160 orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) have been identified and are being supported through the HIV and AIDS conditional grant and will benefit from an allocation of R7.2-million which will be transferred directly to schools.

7. Partnership with stakeholders
[…The Department is] in a process of establishing partnerships with private companies, business enterprises and organisations such as Shanduka and Kagiso Trust […] to build and augment infrastructure and resources at schools that persistently perform well and those with the potential to improve. The Department is currently engaged in finalising contracts with these organisations. Other business enterprises that we are partnering with include Nestlé and African Access.

We have also come up with a concept of Model Schools wherein we will identify schools that have consistently performed well and target them for upgrading and refurbishment where necessary […as…] the Department’s way of rewarding excellent performance. But the Department does not have enough money required to do this – we therefore would need to partner or request sponsorships from private companies to make this a reality. It is a strategy we think will work on a number of levels.

While addressing the backlogs that we have in the province with regards to infrastructure, it will also help encourage those well-performing schools to continue to excel. At the same time, we hope it will give under-performing schools the encouragement to aspire to do better knowing, that excellence pays in the Province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. We are therefore appealing to companies and business enterprises to partner with us in these efforts to deliver quality education for future generations and for the betterment of this country.



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