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Statement of the ANC NEC Subcommittee on Education, Health, Science and Technology on the outcome of discussions at the 4th ANC National Policy Conference, which took place from 30 June 2017 to 05 July 2017 at NASREC, Johannesburg.

10 July 2017

INTRODUCTION

This is a consolidated report of two commissions which were on Education, Health; and Science, Technology and Innovation. Both commissions, which comprised about eight hundred people, comprehensively discussed all issues and recommendations that were presented to them, including those that emanated from reports from branches, regions and provincial workshops and councils.
The conference focused on:

  • An assessment of policies and the work of various sectors of the Subcommittee on Education, Health, Science and Technology in the ANC and in government, including priorities;
  • Identifying policy gaps that impede delivery; and
  •  Draft policy proposals and recommendations or draft resolutions presented to the 5th ANC National Policy Conference, including reports and policy proposals from all provinces.

Delegates endorsed most of the proposals and recommendations that were tabled to the National Policy Conference in the official discussion document. Specific amendments were proposed and recommendations noted and incorporated into the report of the policy conference.

ANC SUBCOMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, HEALTH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Recommendations:

  •  The recommendation that the policy cycle be at least ten (10) years instead of five (5) years was endorsed; but that there must be regular reviews of policy implementation, in other words there must be evaluation of progress every five (5) years and review of policy only after ten (10) years.
  • The ANC should increase its policy, monitoring and evaluation capacities.
  • The ANC must ensure that there are subcommittees on education and science and technology and health at branch level; with the ANC NEC creating a separate health subcommittee.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Conference recommended that:

  • The ANC must ensure coordination between departments and harmonization of policies and incentives to encourage and support innovation and ensure the take up of locally produced goods and technologies.
  • Improve the use of STI within and across the public sector as an enabler of service delivery.
  • The public engagement on and promotion of science, technology and innovation must be be intensified.
  • Grassroots and social innovation must be encouraged in order to develop innovative products, services and technologies.
  •  The ANC must ensure that professions in science and technology are careers of choice and that public educational institutions are resourced to advance this ideal.
  • The ANC must lead society to think more positively about ourselves and our innovation capabilities; and publicise advances that have been made by South African scientists and innovators.
  • Create Wi-Fi spots in rural areas.
  •  Science literacy programmes should include a focus on village and township communities.
  • All sectors must account on progress being made in using science, technology and innovation; working with institutions such as the CSIR.
  •  Invest in digital economy as it has the potential to create new jobs in the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
  • Accelerate beneficiation of minerals.
  • Prioritise learners with disability for science and technology training.
  •  STI must be used to accelerate service delivery and to improve systems at local and provincial government levels.

BASIC EDUCATION

Conference recommended:

  •  That the Basic Education sector working with Higher Education & Training and Treasury must by the end of this term ensure that a comprehensive review of the education and training system has been conducted to ensure that it responds to the demands and imperatives of the radical socio-economic transformation and the 4th Industrial Revolution by preparing young people for life, higher education and training programmes; technical, vocational and occupational skills; and the world of work.
  • That, having achieved commendable targets pertaining to access, redress and equity, the ANC must further ensure that there is strategic alignment and repositioning of the basic education sector by prioritising policies and strategies targeting the provision of quality of teaching and learning outcomes, enhancing the skills and competencies of educators, especially the school management team comprising the school principal, deputy principal, and subject heads; and enhancing accountability systems to ensure the achievement of quality outcomes and the efficiency in the basic education sector.
  • All relevant departments must work together on ICT to ensure the implementation of the Education Phakisa decisions.
  • The ANC takes full responsibility of leading society in protecting public facilities such as schools, libraries, colleges, universities, hospitals and clinics.
  • That the ANC must direct government and its relevant clusters to work together in developing strategic programmes and skills and education interventions specifically geared towards the young people who are not in employment, nor in education and training (NEETs) to be active participants and beneficiaries of the radical socio-economic transformation in general, a changing world and the 4th Industrial Revolution in particular.
  •  That the ANC must ensure that there is systematic relocation of Early Childhood Development (ECD) and pre-school programmes from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education with a view of achieving the goals of universal quality access to ECD as envisioned in the NDP.
  • The ANC must deal decisively with challenges of inequity between rural and urban education by ensuring that there is adequate resourcing of village and township schools through the provision of quality, efficient, innovative, and inclusive education and training programmes and solutions. Incentives, through which teachers can be attracted and retained in rural and farm communities, must be explored and sustainably implemented and monitored.
  •  That the ANC and its alliance partners maintain and sustain labour relations within the basic education sector in order to minimise conflicts which may lead to labour unrest, loss of teaching and learning time, and potential damage to property and educational resources.
  •  That the ANC must promulgate a legislative framework to guide in addressing executive, management and administrative lapses in the system, which result in interventions in terms of section 100 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
  • That the ANC directs the Departments of Basic Education, Arts and Culture, as well as Sport and Recreation to develop, implement and monitor transformed, strategic and sustainable recreational sport, arts and culture programmes which are intended to promote the democratic values of Ubuntu and social cohesion among South African schools and learners.

HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Conference therefore recommends that:

  • We reaffirm that education remains an apex priority of Government's pro-poor policies and that it is a central pillar of our fight against the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment as outlined in the National Development Plan Vision 2030 and that failure to accelerate inclusive access to higher education and training directly threatens the achievability of this key objective.
  •  The ANC must continue to strengthen measures that will improve access to higher education with the ultimate goal of achieving free higher education for the poor and "missing middle". This should not be limited to the role that NFSAS play but should also include the role of private sector in this regard.
  •  In line with the resolutions of the 52nd and 53rd Conferences of the ANC, the ANC government accelerates the implementation of a new financial support model to ensure that academically capable poor, working class and middle strata students are supported to access higher education, and receive fully subsidised free higher education and training by 2018, subject to availability of funds.
  •  The programme of realignment of the SETA landscape should serve to improve the work of under-performing SETAs. The role of both state and private sector by granting access to the workplace for experiential learners remains critical for the success of the work of the SETAs.
  • Steps should be taken to expand the TVET and Community College sector and to ensure that it is adequately funded.
  •  The programmes of TVET colleges must respond to skills needs and unemployment.
  •  TVET colleges must foster partnerships with various industries for work experience for both lecturers and students.
  • The provision of digital programmes must be expanded.
  •  The Human Settlement budget must include support for increased student accommodation.
  •  The legislation on institutional autonomy and increased administrative oversight for universities must be enforced.
  • The ANC must discuss and be a thought leader on the broader ideological and political issue of decolonisation which is captured in People's Education for People's Power.
  •  In order to achieve its intended access and success rates, fully subsidized cost of study will include tuition fees, accommodation, meals, transport and essential study materials or learning resources, and a stipend to cover meals and other essential living needs - that is the full cost of study fees. No poor or working class student should be partially funded, depending on the availability of resource;
  •  All students receiving grants and loans from the state to access higher education should receive additional academic and psycho-social support to increase their chances of success;
  • The ANC and government pledge to fund commitments that are stated in the NDP 2030.

HEALTH

Conference recommended that:

  • The ANC should ensure that the implementation of the NHI remain a priority of government.
  • The ANC must ensure that legislative framework on the NHI must be finalized by end of the current term.
  •  In implementing the NHI specific emphasis must be given to Primary Health Care as the first and most important port of call.
  •  The ANC must pay special attention to the four major issues that bedevil the public health system, namely human resources, procurement and supply chain systems, financial management and infrastructure maintenance.
  •  The post-apartheid medical school in Limpopo should be supported both in terms of financial and human resources.
  •  That the Provincial District and Local structures of Traditional Health Practitioners must be supported and strengthened. This should include coordination and prioritization of traditional medicine research in liaison with universities.
  • The ANC must ensure that all structures of government; including municipalities, must provide requisite amenities in communities which will encourage healthy lifestyle and improve the quality of health of our people.
  • The ANC supports the policy proposal by the health sector to use the money allocated to tax rebates to medical aids to fund the NHI.
  •  School health services must be strengthened and nurses should be deployed to schools to implement health plans.
  • Litigation and medico-legal hazards must be decreased through improving clinical care, introducing mediation and the use of legal tools.
  • The health sector must intensify health promotion programmes such as regular examinations and tests especially the big five, cervical, prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers.

It should be noted that these recommendations will be submitted to branches and all structures of the ANC for further discussions from now on up to just before the 54th ANC National Conference. The ANC will, in line with its culture of broad consultation, arrange further engagements with stakeholders and society at large.
The ANC is certain that its members, supporters and members of all communities will embrace the spirit of constructive engagement and enthusiasm that characterised discussions at the 5th ANC National Policy Conference to assist the ANC to further refine its recommendations.
Issued by
Naledi Pandor,
Chairperson of the ANC NEC Subcommittee on Education and Health On behalf of the African National Congress

Enquiries:
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National Spokesperson
Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707
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