Report of Commission 1: Education, Health, Science and Technology
Presenter: Cde Angie Motshekga, NEC member
ANC NEC Subcommittee on Education and Health
4th National General Council
Date: Sunday, 11 October 2015
Venue: Gallagher Estate, Midrand, Gauteng
Approach to work of the Commission and desired outcomes
The Commission focused on:
- An assessment of the work of various sectors, including priorities;
- Identifying policy gaps that impede delivery; and
- Proposing steps to be taken to increase the speed of delivery to ensure that the ANC and government complete their mandate.
Structures and institutions assessed
The report provided members and stakeholders an account of progress made by the following:
1 ANC Subcommittees and structures:
1.1 ANC NEC Subcommittee on Education and Health.
1.2 ANC Subcommittees on Education and Health at the level of the PEC, REC and Branches.
2. ANC deployees in government:
2.1 ANC in various legislatures, namely ANC Study Groups and Portfolio Committees in Parliament, Provincial legislatures and Local Government.
2.2 Government departments: Basic Education, Higher Education and Training, Health and Science and Technology.
Questions which were considered:
- Have all members of the Commission reviewed and understood resolutions of the 53rd ANC National Conference which are policy?
- Do members of the Commission agree with the assessment that is in the official documents of the ANC that is the subject of discussion in this Commission? If not, could those areas that are identified as inaccurate be listed and highlighted by members of the Commission?
- Has enough work being done in ANC structures and in communities?
- What was implemented and what were the main reasons for success?
- What were the main reason and challenges for non-implementation?
- Was the deployment of resources, e.g. financial and human, appropriate?
- What were policy gaps that made implementation difficult or unsuccessful and what changes are you proposing?
- What must be done to speed up the pace of delivery?
- Is the ANC ready for the 2016 Local Government Elections?
The Commission adopted the report which is contained in the Umrabulo Special Edition: NGC 2015. The report is an account to the NGC of progress made by sectors of ANC Subcommittees on Education and Health and an assessment of performance of each sector against resolutions of the ANC taken at the 53rd National Conference in Mangaung in 2012.
Members of the Commission incorporated, for the purpose of enriching our discussions, important observations and directives that are contained in the Political Report by our President and the Organisational Report by our Secretary General; plus the inputs made by Cde Jeff Radebe and Cde Nathi Mthethwa at Plenary at the start of this NGC.
The Commission also noted that:
- Since 2012, the ANC NEC has taken additional important policy decisions that have sought to speed up the pace of delivery, e.g. the introduction of Operation Phakisa.
- Important decisions that we have to consider have also been taken at a global level, e.g. the end of the era of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the introduction of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
REMINDER TO ALL IN THE COMMISSION
As the governing party, the ANC relies on the strength of its branches and their ability to work among the people, mass participation of communities in programs of the ANC and those of government, and its ability to use state power to advance speedily its goal of realizing the ANC’s historic mission.
MATTERS OF EMPHASIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE COMMISSION
ANC BRANCH, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL SUBCOMMITTEES
RECOMMENDATIONS TO NGC
- Reaffirm the centrality of the ANC branches in community mobilisation around the NHI
- ANC branches must identify members with relevant skills for deployment in School Governing Bodies, clinic committees and hospital boards
RECOMMENDATIONS TO NGC
- The ANC and government must intensify the implementation of programmes to curb the scourge of teenage pregnancy
- Programmes targeted at addressing teenage pregnancy must focus on both the boy and girl child.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE NGC
On School Governing Bodies
- The Commission noted that amendments to the South African School Act (SASA) are ready for presentation to the Subcommittee.
- The DBE must expedite the review of powers of the SGBs.
- Fast track the policy of introducing inspectors. Build more schools in villages and township, especially special schools.
On Annual National Assessments
- The Commission expressed overwhelming support for the ANA.
- The challenges relating to its implementation must be resolved.
- The current process of review of ANA that has been initiated by the DBE must continue and all stakeholders must participate and contribute.
- Fast track the policy of introducing inspectors.
- Build more schools in villages and township, especially special schools.
On ICT in Schools
- The Commission welcomed the launch of Operation Phakisa on ICT in education.
- The implementation of the framework for use of ICT in schools in a nationally coordinated manner must be speeded up .
On Scholar transport
- Speed up the provision of scholar transport and must rolled in all provinces.
Early Childhood Development
- The Commission welcomed the progress made with the universal access to Grade R.
- Collaboration with other departments in implementing the additional year for ECD was noted and welcomed.
- Steps must be taken to implement training programs for ECD practitioners and to incrementally improve their conditions of service.
- The Commission noted actions taken to implement the introduction of African languages in all schools and recommended a strengthening of this program whilst also introducing foreign languages.
On Post Provisioning Norms
- Finalise the ongoing review of Post Provision Norms.
On Quality of Education
- The resolution on ‘Teachers on time, in class and teaching’ remains a challenge especially in rural schools engagement; and SADTU confirmed that it regards this dictum as its revolutionary duty.
- The ANC must continue engagements with unions on this matter to ensure that this resolution is realised.
- Lack of security in some schools has led to instability.
- DBE must increase support for safer schools programmes.
- Balance the rights of learners with those of educators to improve discipline in schools.
- Schools should be provided with administrative support.
On Maths, Science and Technology
- The Commission noted the DBE’s establishment of the directorate on maths, science and technology, as well as initiatives to support schools to improve learner outcomes in maths, science and technology.
- Support the partnership between the DBE, DST and other partners such as ESKOM, which are aimed at improving performance and participation in maths, science and technology.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE NGC
On the National Student Financial Aid Scheme
- The Commission noted the growth of NSFAS as one of the greatest achievements of our democratic government post-2009.
- The Commission also noted that the NSFAS funding model needs to be reviewed in order to ensure greater efficiency and improved support to students.
- The resolution of Polokwane on free education for the poor must be fast-tracked.
- The level of university fees is regarded as too high and options for regulating them must be considered.
On Sector Education and Training Authorities
- The Commission expressed concern at the under-achievement of some of the SETAs but noted that in the majority of cases this is due to the shortage of places for experiential learning.
- There should be partnerships between SETAs and government departments to increase capacity for experiential learning and for the enhancement of service delivery.
On TVET Colleges
- Expansion of access in TVET colleges.
- There should be a qualification mix in TVET colleges with a stronger focus on technical and vocational training.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE NGC
On National Health Insurance
- The Commission noted good progress in several of the NHI Pilot sites and urged expansion of this initiative.
- The Commission noted the imminent release of the White Paper on the NHI.
- The DoH was encouraged to fast-track the implementation of NHI and Treasury was urged to make funds available for this.
On the training of medical students
- The framework for the training of medical undergraduates must be reviewed.
- The training of medical students in Cuba and other countries must be strengthened.
On manufacturing of drugs or pharmaceuticals
- The DoH and DST were urged to continue with their work to ensure that South Africa takes the lead in drug manufacturing in line with Africa Agenda 2063.
- The practice of Remunerative Work Outside of the Public Service (RWOPs) must be reviewed.
- Dignity packs or sanitary towels must be rolled out to girl children from poor families.
- The Commission reaffirmed the resolution that directs that Community Health Workers (CHWs) be absorbed into formal government employ.
- Community Health Workers (CHWs) must be deployed to implement the anti-TB Directly Observed Treatment Strategy (DOTS).
- Successful introduction and implementation of Annual National Assessments (ANA) as a vehicle for improving the quality of education. This intervention will be strengthened and improved through stong stakeholder collaboration.
- Achieving over 800 000 learners in Grade R in 2014 and thus achieving near-universal access
- Improvement in the NSC results and the increase in the number of Bachelor level passes
- ASIDI Schools building initiative which has provided over x number of schools in the past five years
- The establishment of two new universities as well as the creation of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) through the delinking of MEDUNSA from the University of Limpopo.
- The massive expansion of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) from R224 million in 1996 to R9,6 Billion in 2015
- Success with the HIV and AIDS treatment programme and reduction in Mother-to-Child Transmission.
- Progress on SKA and the MeerKat
- An increase in the number of young people studying for Masters and PhD