Education reform needed in the Eastern Cape: DA

JANUARY 8, 2016

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape says it believes that a fresh political leadership, "who are willing to make the tough calls and adopt best practices and guidance is needed to turn around education in the Eastern Cape".

According to Edmund van Vuuren, the DA's Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Education; "If this ship is to be turned around, the MEC for Education must objectively consider the following:

  1. The re-introduction of school inspectors must be fast-tracked.
  2. The roll-out of access to Information Technology to all schools.
  3. Consolidate the 23 districts: there are too many dysfunctional and underperforming districts that have no impact on the educational outcomes. This will create a more streamlined and effective district system.
  4. Increase district support to schools, especially those who are under-performing. Assistance by departmental officials to schools should be monitored – current monitoring is not done at the scale expected.
  5. The methodology of appointing principals should be reviewed. Too many are appointed that don’t have the appropriate capacity.
  6. Implement a more coordinated system for the development of our teachers in order for them to be confident on subject-related matters and become knowledgeable as to the subject content. Remove the content gap systematically and programmatically.
  7. Task-on-time by teachers should be non-negotiable and time frames should be adhered to with respect to curriculum delivery and completion.
  8. Inefficiencies such as timeous filling substantive vacant posts and the provision of resources must be addressed urgently.
  9. Teachers need to be evaluated and assessed within the classroom by the department to determine the effectiveness of curriculum delivery and the quality of the lesson presented.
  10. Leave registers must be managed more effectively and absenteeism must be nipped in the bud.
  11. For years and years, the portfolio committee on education and expert alike have spoken, but little ever changes. The recommendations of the portfolio committee must be implemented."

He said that the best way to fight the legacy of the past is education.

"Education is the ticket out of the poverty cycle, but the dreams and hope for opportunities for our learners are being destroyed by a dysfunctional system."