CALL FOR COMMENT ON EDUCATION BILL: THE HERALD

THE Basic Education Department is calling on all education roleplayers – including teachers, non-profit organisations, educational experts and members of the public – to comment on the National Education Evaluation and Development Unit Bill.

Education stakeholders have until the end of this week to make comments on the bill, which was published for comment in the Government Gazette in December.

The bill will serve to observe and assess the daily goings on in all public schools and education departments.

It has so far been well received by some education role-players, who feel it is what the Education Department needs, as it would be handled by a body independent of the department.

The Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools (Fedsas) – which represents governing bodies of more than 1 100 schools nationally – was instrumental in the development of the bill.

Fedsas chief executive Paul Colditz said his organisation supported the bill fully and was glad it was close to becoming law.

“This will evaluate and monitor not only schools, but the department and its officials as well because it looks at the entire system of education,” he said.

DA education spokesman Edmund van Vuuren called the bill a brilliant policy, but said it needed to be implemented properly to achieve its objectives.

“In essence, it brings back the idea of inspectors as we had in the past,” he said.

“We can only hope that it is implemented properly, because with all the brilliant education policies we have, we should have an excellent education system, but poor implementation gets the better of us.” Once the bill is in place, it will: ý Evaluate the way in which provincial education departments monitor and evaluate schools;

ý Evaluate the support given to schools by district and provincial offices;

ý Root out the things that inhibit improvement in schools; and

ý Analyse and identify necessary interventions and strategies for the provision of quality education.

The general state of the country’s schools will also be evaluated, in particular the quality of school leadership, teaching and learning. Reports on these aspects will be published to reflect the state of the education system.