New system to monitor teachers

2013-02-11 10:03

Durban - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced at the weekend her department’s plan to do away with time books and introduce an electronic system to monitor teacher attendance at schools.

“We want to remove the paper system and replace it with technology. It’s a normal standard thing which most companies use when their employees report for duty,” Motshekga said on Saturday.

Motshekga was in the Tongaat with ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa for the handing over of a nearly R1m Grade R facility built at Mbonisweni Primary School with funding from Ramaphosa’s Shanduka Foundation.

The facility boasts two classrooms, a sick bay, ablution facilities, jungle gyms and a kitchen to benefit 150 5-year-olds enrolled for the foundation phase.

Sign in and sign out

Motshekga said if the electronic system is introduced, teachers, like other workers in factories, would use their fingers to sign in and also sign out at schools.

“This is what we are to introduce nationally. We have to improve our monitoring system,” she told thousands of pupils and parents.

The minister later told The Witness that no deadline is set for the implementation of the system pending a study and the sourcing of a budget.

She said in some schools in the Western Cape and Northern Cape the model was operating. “We will announce it when we put it up, but for now it is an intention,” Motshekga told The Witness.

“Currently we don’t monitor our employees effectively whereas if you have the electronic system, you can monitor them with ease,” she added.

Teacher unions said on Sunday they heard about the electronic system for the first time.

President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa), Basil Manuel, said in principle, there could be nothing wrong with the monitoring system since there was a regulation making provision for that through the time books.

“With the development of technology there are schools that use that technology,” he said.

Manuel also said the initiative may have positive effect and deal with late coming and non-attendance at schools.

“We know in certain area, it is a problem where there are issues of late coming and non-attendance,” he said, adding that Naptosa would like to see the proposal and engage on the matter with the department.

Thobile Ntola, president of SA Democratic Teachers’ Union, said his union was part of a campaign geared towards quality learning and teaching.

“We committed to support teachers going to school on time. Sadtu would be open to persuasion on the minister’s proposal. We are open for discussions to take the country forward,” Ntola said.

The monitoring system comes as the ANC is battling to explain its move to have education declared “an essential service”.

ANC president Jacob Zuma had long called on teachers to be at school on time to teach pupils.

Motshekga entered the fray on declaring education an “essential service”, saying it sought to ensure everyone prioritised and protected education. “I think people took it in terms of labour relations. It is really saying we have to prioritise education. It does not say teachers won’t strike,” she said.

  • john.silver.3572846 - 2013-02-11 10:08

    Great idea... but can anyone else smell a LARGE tender.. sniff, sniff, sniff.

      angelanair3 - 2013-02-11 10:19

      I DO, I DO! I smell tenderpreneurs lurking around... The Minister (?) of Education should go back to basics! Education worked before they changed what worked! Self enrichment?

      kathleencatto.turner - 2013-02-11 10:25

      ....and a very big kickback for someone!!!

      Amandlawhereto - 2013-02-11 10:36

      Tenders and kickbacks aside, I am pretty sure that a few consultants were very well paid for this idea, lets be honest, I don't think Angie could have come up with this plan, or any plan for that matter, by herself!

      JohnEritas - 2013-02-11 11:15


      ohbizz.chabata - 2013-02-11 15:23

      As I was reading the article I couldnt decide if the system would flop because it would malfunction from the day it is installed or if there simply will be nothing installed but payments still made anyway. In this day and age you have to think out the box...u cant just take everything as you are told

  • Desilusionada - 2013-02-11 10:14

    And who is going to get the contract for installing these attendance systems? "We want to remove the paper system and replace it with technology." The people who are supposed to use this apparently need to be monitored as a result of their poor work attendance ethic. The same people who must teach our children work ethics, morality and good citizenship.......

  • kevin.kramer111 - 2013-02-11 10:19

    Only in Africa....the teachers have to be policed...

      susan.pretorius.31 - 2013-02-11 11:03

      Yes, and how long will these systems work before they are f d up?

      anikenvader - 2013-02-11 11:51

      have you tried to put your finger on a finger-print machine that was JUST used by a kfc-eater??? DISCGUSTING..!

      melanie.kuschke.10 - 2013-02-14 20:56

      Sorry to disappoint you.... Have you researched other countries? Best you do so!

  • kathleencatto.turner - 2013-02-11 10:26

    now all these schools will need is electricty and phone lines?

  • irvin.mkhari - 2013-02-11 10:33

    nonsense,it will not change the fact that SA education system is poor and useless.if i was the minister i will increase the number of subject in public schools to ensure that learner have more advantage in universities,create laboratries and each learner must learn computer skills in any major subject and public school as a basic skill

      melanie.kuschke.10 - 2013-02-14 20:50

      If I was the minister I would make sure there is one properly qualified teacher for every 15 children, enough support for special needs learner's and teachers paid "top dollar" with all the support infrastructure every teacher needs in every school across South Africa..... Then we can talk!

  • paul.kershaw.18 - 2013-02-11 10:37

    Please can I tender for this system. I'll be 100 Million Under the other companies.....

      ohbizz.chabata - 2013-02-11 15:27

      I dont know why but something tells me you wouldnt be given the job even if you asked to do it for free. You see, once you say things like I will charge LESS...then the tender committee already knows u arent cANCer...such things arent in their vocabulary

  • flynn.govender - 2013-02-11 10:42

    There is a way to beat the system, Angie. These teachers can all come on time to school, sign in with their Access Cards or Biometric, thereafter go home and return just before school close to enroll on the system. This will still give the teacher's a full day pay. I would put in a Biometric System in each and every single classroom to monitor attendance from the children & teachers for each and every subject. This will cost a huge amount of money though - government will spend this money as most of the money will be looted in anyway

      Saamprater - 2013-02-11 11:35

      One would think she knows that being at work, or "clocked in" doesn't mean the person actually works. No trade off to inspectors to monitor actual work done and progress. Why is the anc scared of the unions?

      allstar.scotts - 2013-02-11 11:58

      Thats why Principals should be appointed on merit! There's the Boss!!

  • womba.wonder - 2013-02-11 10:47

    "It does not say teachers won’t strike,” she said." If it declared an essential service it DOES say that teachers are forbidden from striking and that they can be summarily dismissed if they dare to. Be honest, Angie. Don't play ducks and drakes with words.

      anikenvader - 2013-02-11 11:52

      she can't spell "honest"! They can only spell one thing right: KFC

  • gary.desousa.5 - 2013-02-11 10:48

    Tenders and kickbacks. NOW those new procedures for all the fraudulant teachers, so for 18 yrs they have been defrauding the people?

  • Khomotso D Maake - 2013-02-11 10:49

    @kevin.kramer, don't lie to us. You are anti-African development. If the system to be used was developed by a Chinese or German in their country, for what purpose did it serve there? Let me help you, you moron monitor and manage attendance at a workplace, idiot. U seem to know much about civil servants, especially the teachers. I wonder how far u have gone with formal education at a school level. for your information, not all teachers are bad. In fact the majority of the teachers go beyond the call of their duty to do their best under bad conditions, you swine!

      tony.bakkie - 2013-02-11 10:53

      W.T.F That time of the month?

      allstar.scotts - 2013-02-11 11:53

      You raise some fair points, but the way you presented it, killed them.

      anikenvader - 2013-02-11 12:12

      khomotso - your lingo spells your hate of white people..! Why call him racist? The fact that the systems were built in China or Germany, does not mean that they will work for our school education improvements! They are built to monitor ATTENDANCE. And what the guy is saying is that attendance alone does NOT contribute at all to better education. And if you say that the MAJORITY of teachers (your words) go beyond the call of duty, then SURELY they would not have been needing such systems to track their attendance. or am I missing something??? They are OBVIOUSLY not doing what you so upbeatly try to sell to us. Face it - you guys do not know how to run a system properly, and instead of understanding the issues at hand, you choose to blame the past (like it happens in many instances), then you blame the white people and their education (which by now one would hope it is realised that it is FAR superior than anything in africa), and then you start calling people racists..! But you won't look at yourself as the cause for these failures, you are too proud for that...

      anikenvader - 2013-02-11 12:25

      there are no fair points in what Khomotoso said - it is very simple Khomotoso!!! You say that the MAJORITY of teachers go beyond the call of duty right? If THAT was the case, then we would not be talking of a system to monitor their attendance?? The fact that the systems were built in Germany or China, means nothing! They are built to monitor with SOME degree of success (not 100%), the ATTENDANCE! It will NOT IMPROVE MARKS..!!!! The marks are improved by the quality of teachers, the level of support the gov gives to the schools..! So please stop blaming, the past (like others do), or the white man, or what not! Start looking at who you are voting in power that stuff up otherwise peoprly working systems..! Oh and lastly, STO Pcalling other r@c1sts because it does not fit with YOUR narrow point of view...! Go to school, learn what r@c1sm means..!

  • stanley.mabunda.5 - 2013-02-11 10:49

    why only teachers,all the civil servants including u.......

  • antionette.leroux - 2013-02-11 10:55

    When are we getting a new system to monitor the government officials hmmmm?

  • lekat1 - 2013-02-11 10:57

    Lets hope this new system will reach Limpopo and Eastern Cape rural schools

      anikenvader - 2013-02-11 11:53

      if anything goes by example, you will see the system being dumped under the bridges of zimpopo where denial runs...

  • Richard - 2013-02-11 11:06

    Yip one huge tender coming up. Payment will be made and the stuff will not be delivered. Surely all that is required is that that Principal actually knows what is going on. Never needed time machines in the past. If you come late without a good reason you get fired.

  • djgmaestro - 2013-02-11 11:08

    This article doesn't say anything about textbooks being delivered on time. I mean who is going to monitor you Angie?

  • psalm.proverb.3 - 2013-02-11 11:12

    RIGHT Angie! This electronic system is going to work wonderfully at our mud schools and tree schools, don't ya think???? I mean, they just have an oversupply of electronic systems!! I'm so sick and tired of being governed by the idiotic ANC

  • 5ihl3 - 2013-02-11 11:15

    This is very encouraging....this is the stuff the ANC led government should be pushing. Not Protection of Information Bill and other dodgy legislations.

      anikenvader - 2013-02-11 11:58

      since they do not have a good track record in ANYTHING they do, I am NOT excited with ANYTHING that comes out of their mouths...! As a matter of fact, to roll-out such a project COUNTRY-WIDE, it takes months of preparations, tender processes (we all know how THOSE go), budgets (have any meetings been done yet to get these budgets publicly and approved by SOMEONE???), support centers, technicians, etc etc..! This person called angie is talking NONSENSE and UNPREPARED...! This is only 2014-related talk... and to be seen as she is performing some sort of action. What is sad is that the LEAST they could do is to supply these darn textbooks and just by doing so their track record would have gone up by 500%..! sob

  • john.thelps - 2013-02-11 11:16

    If only I had a friend in the Government Business...Joshua Door...Jushua Door

  • raymond.kok3 - 2013-02-11 11:24

    halleluja finally she wakes up but i will only believe it when i see it implemented nationally ,one problem what aboiut the neglegted schools in the Eastern cape and Limpopo where there is no electricity .

  • Saamprater - 2013-02-11 11:30

    I see a fat tender coming up. What happened to trusted system of school inspectors? Now just because the unions moan about them does not mean it is bad, on the contrarary

  • keith.recore - 2013-02-11 11:33

    spend more money implementing this system, yet how many schools still don't have libraries, running water, proper toilets, not enough classrooms, teachers and very little technology. I ask, which is a priority??

  • elmine.durandt - 2013-02-11 11:37

    Did you say two class rooms for a 150 kids? Fabulous start.

  • Klaas Mabunda - 2013-02-11 11:45

    the Department of Education should stop with this looting strategies, the same teachers they plan to monitor with a machine arent given adequate training, most schools in the land are without teacher, schools are dilapidated and owe municipalities millions of rands, hence no water and electricity in majority of our schools, learners arent provided with sufficient support materials, teachers are underpaid. the money intended to fund the system should be redirected to resolving educational existing challenges in order to motivate teachers, installing a tracking device would not replace the facts surrounding education, instead the department is fueling arrogance and resistance which will be at our expense as tax payers. the minister must be objective and realistic against hallucinations

  • nhlapop - 2013-02-11 11:52

    How about introducing a new system that will monitor Government tenders, those who use tax payers money for their own benefit.

  • sisie.indola - 2013-02-11 11:52

    Yes sure that will work - you can't even put a simple tick next to a name and now you want to go digital - i smell a tender to install such devices and they will work for all of a week after much pomp and ceremony and don't forget the big party.

  • wayne.faulds - 2013-02-11 13:17

    Welcome to the 21st century Angie.

  • ANASKA - 2013-02-11 13:59

    Oh dear, the policing of teachers.......who will be next??

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