The Minister of Basic Education has on Friday 20 May 2016 released the Ministerial Task Team report into the allegations of selling of posts for teachers.
The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, set up a Task Team led by Professor John Volmink following allegations in the media in 2014 that some members of teacher unions and department officials were involved in illegal activities involving the selling of educator posts.
The Minister held meetings with various stakeholders including Teacher Unions as well as the Associations of School Governing Bodies and agreed on the need for an investigation.
A total of 81 cases were investigated, 38 of which provided grounds for reasonable suspicion or wrongdoing.
Investigations into most of these have not been concluded and an extension of the forensic part of this report has been granted.The forensic part of the whole investigation will be completed in August 2016, after which, the necessary remedial action will be instituted.
There are general recommendations regarding the conduct of unions and officials in relation to their lack of adherence to their roles and responsibilities as prescribed in the applicable laws and procedures.
Report of the Ministerial Task Team on the selling of posts highlights a lack of consistency and understanding of School Governing Body members regarding appointment systems and procedures.These challenges require the Department to reform laws and regulations regarding appointments in the basic education sector.
There are allegations and specific recommendations about a number of identified individuals, who it is alleged, participated in one or other form of corruption or selling of posts.
The report, which has now become publicly available, contains findings that arise from the work of the investigating team as well as recommendations.
The key findings are that there is a need to strengthen accountability in education, with a special emphasis on short-term measures, by ensuring that –
- We take control as an employer of appointing the most suitable teachers in terms of qualifications, skills, attributes, and ability. We do this, by establishing interviewing and appointment panels that are independent, that would be vetted regularly, and that would undergo training on appointment procedures and requirements for posts in education;
- The changes to appointment procedures, require large-scale advocacy of parent and school communities, so that everyone is informed of the changes; and
- We protect the integrity of the appointment procedures by setting up a dedicated call centre, where any irregular activities can be reported with a short-term turnaround response.
A proposed legislative amendment, which is still in the process of being finalised, deals with a number of issues emanating from the Report of the Ministerial Task Team to review education legislation. Inter alia, the amendment will contain a proposal that any appointment, promotion or transfer will be the responsibility of the Heads of Provincial Education Departments, with an initial focus on promotional posts on post levels 2 to 4.
The amendment will furthermore propose that the Minister be empowered to make regulations to prescribe the manner in which this and employment practices in general will be carried out. This may include the composition of interviewing panels, vetting of panel members, and a number of other matters which could prevent the practices of selling of posts.
The Minister has paid tribute to the Task Team members for undertaking such a delicate task and doing it without fear or favour. The recommendations of the MTT will be carefully considered and implemented to ensure that the system is strengthened for a better quality education.
The report is available on www.education.gov.za
Enquiries: Elijah Mhlanga – 083 580 8275 | Troy Martens – 079 899 3070