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Basic Education Department briefs Portfolio Committee on State of Readiness for 2019 School Year, 20 November 2018

The Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty led a team of senior officials from the Department to brief the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education regarding the state of readiness for 2019 school year. He told the Portfolio Committee members that the Department had made significant progress in preparing schools for next year.

Learner Admissions

The Deputy Director-General for Planning and Delivery Oversight, Mrs Palesa Tyobeka told the Committee that learner admissions is one of the tests for school readiness.

She said unpreparedness for the placement of learners in time has a negative effect on the start of the schooling programme.

Tyobeka said the 2019 admission preparations in all provinces have improved because admissions are conducted in line with the HEDCOM and CEM approved Business Process for Learner Admissions, and the majority of learners have already been placed.

The final placement lists should be finalised by the end of November in terms of the Business Process. The Northern Cape has introduced some elements of an electronic system to manage placement of learners in schools.

Challenges that affect the finalisation of the placement of learners in addition to some schools attracting more applications than others, include: parents not responding on time when requested to accept placement, duplications caused by parents applying to more than one school and not cancelling applications after learners have been placed in a school, and parents refusing to accept second choices when preferred schools are declared full.

The uniform timelines are captured as follows:

•Advocacy for the admissions of learners should commence during the first term (February to March) of the school calendar;

•Admission should commence on the first day of the second term (April) of the school calendar;

•Admission should close at the end of August;

•Placement of learners should be completed by the end of September; and

•The placement of unplaced learners should be finalised between October and November of each year.

Textbooks, works books and stationery

The packaging process of stationery and textbooks is underway and the delivery to schools has been  scheduled for between 15 October to 30 November 2018.

School furniture

Most provinces report that funding is a challenge as the demand for school furniture always exceeds supply. KZN for instance has no allocation for school furniture and schools purchase furniture from their allocations.

Most of the needs identified are for replacement of furniture. The uptake on the programme to rehabilitate  old furniture by  provinces is very low. In addressing this, guidelines have been finalised to guide the provision of school furniture, including repair and rehabilitation.


At the provincial level 1557 sanitation projects are at an implementation stage and 653 have reached practical completion. At ASIDI, 942 Sanitation projects are being implemented and 632 have reached practical completion.

o    All pit toilets and demolitions are set to be addressed in by the end of 2019/20 financial year;

o    Re-organisation of funding has taken place to address sanitation challenges, especially for the Education Infrastructure Grant;

o    PEDs to reprioritise infrastructure plans to address sanitation;

Infrastructure implementation plans are in place and projects are at different stages of implementation;

o    Mobile classrooms to be provided to respond to demographic shifts and population movements;

o    Plans to respond to storm damage and related incidents are in place to ensure that learning and teaching is not affected when schools reopen;

o    Campaigns on cleaning of schools prior to reopening of schools will be undertaken.

o    Piloting social franchising for operation and maintenance of sanitation facilities in schools;

o    Extend the pilot project with the Water Research Commission on cleanliness of toilets to 3 000 schools.

Teacher provisioning

The provision of teachers for each class and each subject remains a challenge in some of the persistently problematic areas:

o    Shortage of teachers for critical subjects particularly at FET level;

o    Shortage of adequately qualified/trained teachers in the Foundation Phase;

o    Inability to attract quality teachers for schools in rural and farm areas;

o    Failure to attract and deploy quality teachers for the Senior Phase despite challenges of quality in Graduates.

The matching and placement of Funza Lushaka graduates in posts should be finalised by the end of December 2018. Provisional lists were provided to all PEDs in September 2018 to expedite the matching and placement in identified vacancies; and PEDs have reported that they are ready to provisionally place the graduates by December 2018.

Learners without Identity Documents

A number of learners do not have IDs even though a number of provinces are reporting a decline in the phenomenon. Engagements with the Department of Home Affairs already initiated in provinces and in the DBE need to be strengthened and focus quite strongly on learners of parents who are in the country illegally. These learners can only be provisionally registered and after three months principals have to release them to avoid prosecution.

Media Enquiries:    Elijah Mhlanga– 083 580 8275 |  Troy Martens – 079 899 3070                        






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Written By: DBE Webmaster
Date Posted: 11/21/2018
Number of Views: 2900

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