Minister details intervention in Eastern Cape education

2011-03-03 14:17

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga today provided details of the national government’s intervention in the Eastern Cape education department.

Following consultations with Premier Noxolo Kiviet, education MEC Mandla Makupula, and the ruling party, coupled with a visit to the province on January 27, all parties agreed that an intervention was required to resolve the situation faced by the department, she told a media briefing in East London.

“During our visit here last month, we received reports on the termination of temporary educators’ contracts, suspension of scholar transport, non-delivery of textbooks and stationery, as well as the poor implementation of the school nutrition programme.

“We agreed that a resolution of the problems in these areas be fast-tracked to ensure that learners and educators are not disadvantaged,” Motshekga said.

Following her meeting with Kiviet earlier today, progress made to improve service delivery in these critical areas had been noted.

“Our aim is to ensure that this progress is further accelerated through our intervention.”

It had become clear that the conditions in education in the province amounted to a serious problem in terms of compliance with national policy, minimum norms and standards for education service delivery, the obligations arising from the Constitution, the National Education Policy Act, the SA Schools Act, and relevant regulations formulated in terms of these statutes.

“In view of the seriousness of these challenges I am obliged, in terms of my statutory obligations as the minister of basic education, to take the steps required to ensure a sustainable turnaround of basic education in the province,” she said.

Motshekga said the province remained the key pillar of service provision and the intervention was not intended to displace this sphere of government.

The intervention would be for the benefit of the people of the province, be a collaborative approach, and provide support and direction to the provincial governance structures.

The legal basis for the intervention was Section 100(b) of the Constitution.

“We remain convinced that our intervention must result in the creation of long-term capacity in the department and a sustainable turnaround of education service delivery in the province.”

This should include creating positive and sustainable changes at a systemic level to achieve efficiency and stability in the department.

“We are hopeful that these decisions now pave the way for an immediate resolution to all pressing matters. The composition of a team that would work with the provincial leadership to pave the way for quality education through this intervention would be announced soon.”

The ministry, premier and MEC would oversee and monitor progress in terms of the intervention, Motshekga said.

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