MECs brief select committee on Education and Recreation

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

The Select Committee on Education and Recreation was briefed by Education MECs on matric results, the centralised Learner Teaching Support Material (LTSM) procurement systems and the national school nutrition programme.

Committee Chairperson, Ms Lungelwa Zwane, said the meeting follows oversight visits where the committee picked up a number of problems.

“During the oversight we did not find space in our programme to verify and attend to the issues, hence the meeting to get a report on what provinces are doing on matric results, the centralised LTSM procurement systems and the national school nutrition programme.” she said

“We are sitting with provinces that are not performing well with regard to their matric results, we need plans and mechanisms on how provinces will move forward in addressing the challenges the committee has identified during the oversight,” added Ms Zwane.

The committee said “it is concerning at times when we converge in meetings we get glossy reports from provinces but when we are on the ground it’s not going well”.

“We implore provinces to be honest with us in what is happening on the ground,” said Ms Zwane.

The committee welcomed the teaching of African languages in Gauteng. The committee called on other provinces to use Gauteng as a benchmark and learn from their success methodology as it is performing well.

The committee commended Limpopo on the improved results notwithstanding the challenges the province was faced with. The committee said provinces need to reignite agriculture and geography at schools.

“The country is going through a process of public hearings on land expropriation, it is important that the subject is inculcated at schools,” said Ms Zwane.

Monitoring and evaluation is key in the success of schools. The committee is of the view that provinces that are struggling need to strengthen their monitoring mechanisms at district levels in order to address and meet its set targets.

Responding to the presentations, the committee noted that the challenges among the provinces are almost similar in areas of school nutrition and LTSM.

Regarding the North West and Western Cape, the committee said the two provinces need further engagement in order to zoom in to certain areas of concern. With regard to the Western Cape, the committee said it needs to conduct an oversight and zoom in to schools located in the townships.

In its input the Department of Basic Education said the engagement has revealed that there are embedded challenges that provinces have identified, these are major challenges but they cannot be resolved in a year, it will take time to resolve them.

On teachers that are not coping with content and are struggling in the North West, the committee said proper support and training needs to be put in place to capacitate the teachers with capacity building programmes and professional development methodology based on technology.

“Learners need to be taught and be technologically advanced as we are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Ms Zwane.