President Zuma appoints committee to strengthen EC education

06 July 2011

President Jacob Zuma has appointed a Joint Task Team comprising members of Cabinet and the Provincial Executive Council to support work aimed at strengthening education in the Eastern Cape Province.

The team is mandated to deal with matters pertaining to the application of Section 100 (1) (b) on the Eastern Cape Department of Education. This is part of measures implemented by the President following his visit to the province to assess the state of education.

The move taken by The Presidency is intended to supplement and strengthen the work of the Department of Basic Education to intervene in the areas of financial management as well as human resource management and planning in order to improve educational outcomes in the province. The team appointed by the President will provide political support to the process which is led by the Ministry of Basic Education.

The team comprises:

Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga.
Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Mr Jeff Radebe
Minister of Higher Education, Dr Blade Nzimande
Minister of Public Service and Administration, Mr Richard Baloyi
MEC for Provincial Planning and Finance, Mr Phumulo Masualle
MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Ms Xoliswa Tom
MEC Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr Mcebisi Jonas
MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs Mr Mlibo Qhoboshiyane
MEC for Education, Mr Mandla Makupula.

Due to the urgency of the matter at hand, the Task Team has already met and agreed to work closely together to deal with the challenges that had led to the intervention.

These include a number of administrative challenges such as dealing with the general administrative shortcomings which had led to the termination of the services of over four thousand temporary teachers, resulting in many schools facing shortages of teachers.  There is a problem of scores of teachers that are additional to the establishment. In addition, the learner and teacher support materials had not been adequately delivered, the school nutrition programme had collapsed and scholar transport had come to a total halt in many areas. The province was facing a crisis of learning and teaching collapse.

Progress being made following the President’s visit includes a learner support programme which started running from Monday, 27 June 2011. This programme is intended to assist Grade 12 learners to catch up on lost learning opportunities during the first quarter of the academic year when termination of temporary teachers’ contracts left many of them without teachers. This programme will run for the whole year until learners finish writing the end of the year examinations.

Enquiries: Zizi Kodwa, on 082 330 4910 or on behalf of the Ministry of Basic Education, Panyaza Lesufi on 082 529 4801.

Issued by: The Presidency

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