The DA repeats its call that the Eastern Cape MEC for Education, Mandla Makupula, must resign and spare the province from another year of self-denial, failure and bumbling for one disaster to the next. The latest shocker has been the loss of R530-million of the Eastern Cape’s Education Infrastructure Grant.
Early this year, we also called for the MEC to do the right thing, after the disappointing matric results of the Eastern Cape for 2015 56.8 %, despite the MEC’s prediction of a 75 % pass rate.
It’s time for fresh political governance at the helm of this department to sort out the toxic environment where unions are in control and the bureaucracy is fraught with corruption and maladministration.
It is time that the Premier, Phumulo Masualle, shows his commitment to fighting the legacy of the past by providing a good education system. 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.
Once the right leadership is in place, this ship can be turned around by considering the following:
- The re-introduction of school inspectors must be fast-tracked.
- The roll-out of access to Information Technology to all schools.
- 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.
- 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.
- The methodology of appointing principals should be reviewed. Too many are appointed that don’t have the appropriate capacity.
- 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.
- Task-on-time by teachers should be non-negotiable and time frames should be adhered to with respect to curriculum delivery and completion.
- Inefficiencies such as timeous filling substantive vacant posts and the provision of resources must be addressed urgently.
- 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.
- Leave registers must be managed more effectively and absenteeism must be nipped in the bud.
- For years and years, the portfolio committee on education and experts alike have spoken, but little ever changes. The recommendations of the portfolio committee must be implemented.
Let’s make this province a place of rising opportunity. — Edmund van Vuuren MPL, Shadow MEC for Education