The Department of Basic Education (DBE) presented their school readiness monitoring report for 2017 on 29 November 2016 to the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education. The report focused on admissions and registration challenges, teacher provisioning, learning and teaching resources and basic infrastructure. Admissions challenges are most notable in so-called “hotspots” such as Gauteng and the Western Cape due to migration to the major cities. The return of textbooks by learners at the end of the school year had been 85% for the previous year so provinces are procuring top-ups at an estimated 15% rate.
The Department identified a high rate of temporary appointments and had set a guideline that temporary appointment should not exceed 10% of total educators. As of November, stationery and textbook delivery progress reports were received from all provinces except Limpopo and Free State.
The report highlighted the following:
- Gauteng faced the biggest admissions challenge with a total of 124 454 (41%) grades 1 and 8 applications still unplaced
- Northern Cape (33.4%) and North West (26.5%) have the most temporary educators with a rate far exceeding the Department of Education guideline of no more than 10%
- Northern Cape and North West reported the least progress in textbooks delivered with only 19% and 20% of procured textbooks delivered to schools
- Nationally the report identified 81 schools without water, 66 schools without sanitation and 571 schools without electricity
- Since May 2015, 217 (31%) of the 699 identified inappropriate structures have been completed
The Committee complained that they have seen many more schools with water and sanitation challenges during oversight visits. DBE said that these were the numbers reported by the provinces.
See full meeting report here and for more on the 2017 school readiness report, see infographic below: