Discussion of Documents was held on the 17th August 2015 for the Policy Framework for Education and Training.
I took a copy of this from the ANC website as many South Africans are unaware of the change in the Education system. My next article will be surrounding the new system. I believe this is a good read.
A Policy Framework for Education and Training
30 January 1994
PART 1: STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE
PART 2: A NEW STRUCTURE AND ORGANISATION FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
PART 3: MOBILISING FINANCIAL RESOURCES FOR EDUCATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION
PART 4: A NEW POLICY FOR TEACHERS
PART 5: RESOURCES FOR LEARNING
PART 6: THE SECTORS
PART 7: CONCLUSION
The education and training system under apartheid has been characterised by three key features. First, the system is fragmented along racial and ethnic lines, and has been saturated with the racial ideology and educational doctrines of apartheid. Second, there is lack of access or unequal access to education and training at all levels of the system. Vast disparities exist between black and white provision and large numbers of people, in particular, adults, out-of-school youth and children of pre-school age, have little or no access to education and training. Third, there is a lack of democratic control within the education and training system. Students, teachers, parents, and workers have been excluded from decision-making processes.
The fragmented, unequal and undemocratic nature of the education and training system has had profound effects on the development of the economy and society. It has resulted in the destruction, distortion or neglect of the human potential of our country, with devastating consequences for social and economic development. The latter is evident in the lack of skilled and trained labour and the adverse effects of this on productivity and the international competitiveness of the economy. And more importantly, apartheid education and its aftermath of resistance has destroyed the culture of learning within large sections of our communities, leading in the worst-affected areas to a virtual breakdown of schooling and conditions of anarchy in relations between students, teachers, principals, and the education authorities.
The challenge that we face at the dawning of a democratic society is to create an education and training system that will ensure that the human resources and potential in our society are developed to the full. It is the challenge posed by the vision of the Freedom Charter: ‘to open the doors of learning and culture to all’.
GOALS AND VALUES
We believe that education and training are basic human rights. It follows that:
These goals to which we are committed are underpinned by the following values:
The principles that inform our education and training framework flow from the vision expressed in the goals and values outlined above. These principles are:
The goals, values and principles that inform our policy framework are not the sole property of the ANC. They are the product of social, educational and political struggles against apartheid and represent the collective vision and wisdom of the mass democratic movement. Indeed the values and principles outlined above are similar in all essential respects to those framed by the National Education Conference (NEC) at Broederstroom in March 1992.
Our proposed policy framework for education and training below builds on the guidelines adopted by the ANC Policy Conference in May 1992, and contained in the document Ready to Govern.
We present our policy framework for education and training for discussion not only in our organisational structures but also within the mass democratic movement and the country as a whole
We are committed to an open and publicly accountable process for policy development. Indeed the democratisation of the policy process and of the education and training system as a whole lies at the heart of our policy framework. In this respect, the framework builds on processes already under way which point to the democratisation of the system. We note, in particular, the establishment of the National Education and Training Forum (NETF) as a consensus-seeking mechanism for addressing the crisis in education, and for creating stable conditions for the restructuring of education and training into a single national system. The National Training Board Task Team on a National Training Strategy Initiative is another important example of participatory, consensus-building policy development from which we have learned much.
COMMITMENTS AND TASKS
This document offers a vision for a reconstructed and democratic system, capable of delivering quality lifelong learning to all citizens. We believe it is realistic and attainable, but we do not present detailed proposals for implementation. The document is not a plan, though a plan is required and one will be prepared once the policy framework has been agreed and adopted.
The only promise this document can make with certainty is that the ANC in government will strive to the utmost to translate this vision into reality. The policy proposals we present should be read as an agenda for a massive, sustained national effort requiring our best intellects, professional experience and imagination, unflagging discipline, capacity for negotiation, partnership and co-operation, and willingness to learn both from our mistakes and from the successes of others, whether in our region or internationally. In other words, our proposals represent the tasks before us.
The journey we are embarking on is long and hard. The educational problems of our country run deep and there are no easy or quick-fix solutions. But this framework maps a way toward the transformation and reconstruction of the education and training system and the opening of access to lifelong learning for all South Africans. We need to walk this path together in confidence and hope.
SOME THOUGHTS ON POLICY
Government policies are statements that describe what governments expect to do, or believe they are doing, and the reasons for such actions or proposed actions. They indicate a government’s intentions.
The ANC is not yet in government, but its policy documents represent what the ANC expects to undertake and accomplish when it has been elected. This draft policy discussion document proposes a line of action for the ANC in government in the education and training sector, at both the national and the provincial levels.
Policy statements may be judged on many grounds. For example: is a policy based on accurate knowledge? is it based on acceptable principles? is it aiming to achieve acceptable objectives? how has the policy been arrived at? who has been involved in the process of policy advice and development? have reasonable means been chosen to reach the policy objectives? The proposals in this document should be tested against such criteria.
Policy documents often omit two important items: how their proposals are going to be implemented (and by whom), and under what conditions they can be implemented successfully. In their absence, policy statements may seem to be no more than hopes and dreams.
It is a common error for policy documents to give the impression that policies are matters for governments only, both to determine and to execute. In democratic systems of government, policies must be arrived at through open social and political processes which involve all major stakeholders and interest groups, and which citizens feel free to influence, for example through the media. Implementation has to be steered by the public service or statutory bodies, but can only succeed if the affected organs of civil society feel that they are partners with a stake in the outcome.
The present circumstances in our country make it difficult to propose detailed implementation procedures with confidence, or to judge what pre-conditions are likely to be required for successfully translating policy ideas into reality. Some proposals in the document may need to be re-assessed once the provisions in the interim constitution for the allocation of powers to national, provincial and local governments have been subject to broad debate, and interpreted in action.
After the elections, what the ANC in government can accomplish depends on the balance of political forces in the Interim Government of National Unity and the provincial governments.
Once elected, the ANC will be duty-bound to review its policy programme from the perspective of government, in the light of the prevailing political, economic and social realities.
In the end, a policy is judged in the court of real life: did it win sufficient support? has it proved capable of implementation? has it succeeded in achieving its objectives? what benefit has it brought to society?
MANAGING EDUCATIONAL CHANGE
Education and training systems are very complex and highly dynamic, and they involve very many people. In South Africa millions of men and women, young people and children, a cross-section of the entire population, are in the education and training systems. Millions more have interests in education and training in one way or another, as parents, workers and employers, for example. All these people bring a diversity of experience, interests, expectations, and energies to the enterprise of education and training. Education and training systems are above all human and social institutions, with all their capabilities and limitations. They have to be worked with, not dictated to. They are not machines which can be programmed for certain outcomes and then set to run by themselves.
For a policy to have a chance of success, sufficient people must be persuaded that it is right, necessary and implementable. Almost any education and training policy will come to grief in practice if it does not win the support of two essential constituencies: those who are expected to benefit from it, and those who are expected to implement it.
Coercion is a recipe for disaster. South Africans know this by bitter experience, and we ignore the lessons of our educational history at our peril.
This implies that the groundwork of education and training policy must be very carefully prepared, if the policy is to find broad public acceptance and win the wholehearted support of education and training managers and practitioners. The process of policy-making in education and training must therefore be as open and participatory as possible. Policy-makers need to practice the arts of consultation, listening, reasoning, and persuasion, as well as offering vision and leadership.
The ANC is committed to both a negotiated political transition to democratic government and the search for maximum consensus on a programme for economic and social reconstruction and development. Ready to Govern highlights the strong relationship between the creation of political democracy and social and economic transformation. It also insists that South Africans ‘honestly face up to the extent of the problems facing our country. They are not going to be solved overnight and there are no easy or quick solutions. The problems run deep and resources are limited.’
The possibilities for rapid reconstruction and transformation in areas like housing, electrification, agriculture, industry, health, or education are likely to vary considerably from sector to sector, depending on the characteristics of the sector and the extent to which apartheid structures and practices have already disintegrated. The education and training sector is still structured almost totally on apartheid lines, so that transformation will begin from a very low base.
To make matters more difficult, it is in the nature of education and training systems that fundamental changes in policy and practice take time. Even when educational changes enjoy wide support they necessarily take several years to work their way through the system because educational cycles tend to be very long. In the meantime, the circumstances to which such changes were addressed may alter both within the education and training systems and in the economy and society. In other words, many variables in the process of change are either unknown or cannot be controlled.
For all these reasons, education and training systems tend to change less rapidly than policy-makers hope for, and they often change in unexpected ways, whatever the intentions of governments. It follows that flexible and adaptable policies are likely to be the most successful. Rigid and dogmatic policies will be brittle and easily broken.
The ANC in government will need to maximise the possibilities for successful change in the areas of greatest need, where the distortions of past policies have inflicted most damage. Above all, the ANC in government must manage educational change in a purposeful way, through a responsive and participatory consultative process, involving all the main stakeholders, working within an agreed framework of principles and objectives, and with a sense of urgency which fits the magnitude of the task.
This chapter provides a brief overview of the major policy initiatives that are likely to be taken over the next five year period. The policy initiatives described in this section do not constitute an implementation plan. The aim is merely to highlight the areas in which major initiatives are likely, and to outline the policy initiatives in very broad terms. All the policy initiatives referred to in this section are described in greater detail further on in the document.
RECONSTRUCTING THE BUREAUCRACY, GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
Our success in rebuilding and expanding education and training provision will depend largely on having an effective, efficient and responsive organisation to manage the change. The education and training bureaucracy will be reorganised through the establishment of a single national ministry for education and training, responsible for national policy, norms and standards, planning, the provision of budgetary resources and the management of higher education development; and provincial departments responsible for planning and managing all aspects of education and training provision other than higher education.
In addition, statutory bodies and structures of institutional governance based on the appropriate democratic representation of stakeholders, will be established to advise on policy and assist in governance. Affirmative action principles will be observed in appointments to positions of responsibility and leadership, and comprehensive orientation and management development programmes will be mounted in order to equip the new ministry and departments with the outlook and professional resources required for democratic reconstruction in education and training.
THE INTEGRATION OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The separation of education and training has contributed significantly to the situation where most of our people are under-educated, under-skilled, and under-prepared for full participation in social, economic and civic life. Most of the unemployed lack the basic education on which to build, and many of those in work are locked into low skilled and low paying jobs. A vast proportion of students leaving the school system, either before or after completing the final year, do so largely unprepared for the rest of their lives. In order to begin addressing this legacy, urgent attention will be given to the development of a national qualifications framework through which a much closer integration of education and training can be achieved.
A nationally integrated system will link one level of learning to another and enable learners to progress to higher levels from any starting point in the education and training system. Learning and skills which people have acquired through experience and informal training will be formally assessed and credited towards qualifications. The establishment of a national South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) will be a priority to underpin and develop the progressive integration and qualitative improvement of the education and training systems.
RESTRUCTURING SCHOOL EDUCATION
Over the next five years, the most important aim in restructuring the school system will be to start the process that will enable us to provide quality general education for all. The absolute priority will thus be the introduction of ten years of free and compulsory general education. This new compulsory general education phase will be of a high quality, starting with a reception year, and proceeding for a further nine years to what is now Standard 7.
Achieving ten years of quality general education for all children will require a major investment in additional facilities and teachers, as well as a re-thinking of structure, curriculum and certification in terms of the proposed new national qualifications system. The three-year post-compulsory stage (up to the present Standard 10) will need to be substantially redesigned in order to provide for a variety of tracks leading to the award of a Further Education Certificate (replacing the present Senior Certificate).
CHANGING THE CURRICULUM
The reconstruction of the curriculum for schooling and for other contexts will be essential in order to rid the education and training system of the legacy of racism, dogmatism and outmoded teaching practices. Since curriculum change is always a lengthy process, it will be crucial that strategic entry points be found so that progressive transformation can commence in 1994. Institutes for curriculum development, associated with the South African Qualifications Authority, will be established at national and provincial levels in order to manage the development and approval of new curricula. The maximum participation of teachers and trainers in the design and trialing of new curricula will be crucial.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCARE
The care and development of infants and young children must be the foundation of our new society and the starting point for our human resource development strategy. General access to early childhood educare will constitute an important step towards life-long learning and the emancipation of women. Provision will be expanded by supporting an increase in both private and public funding, and by establishing divisions within the national ministry and the provincial departments. They will be responsible for liaison with other sectors like health and welfare, for raising national awareness, building partnerships and channelling public resources appropriately.
ADULT BASIC EDUCATION
The establishment of a national system of Adult Basic Education provision will represent a key step in the process of national reconstruction and development. Divisions responsible for strengthening programmatic work in this sector will be established within the national ministry and the provincial departments. These divisions will be expected to work closely with labour, employers, local communities and donors in support of developing a national ABE programme. They will also be responsible for intersectoral co-operation, consultation with representative ABE bodies, raising national awareness and channelling public resources appropriately.
Correcting the massive and scandalous neglect of the learning needs of children and adults with physical or other disabilities and impairments must constitute an urgent priority in a reconstruction programme committed to the development of all our human resources. Special Education will be put on the national agenda by establishing the appropriate divisions at national and provincial level, liaising intersectorally, mounting a national advocacy campaign to raise awareness around the issues, ensuring that existing facilities are optimally used, and by making public funds available to redress current deficits and imbalances urgently.
The demand for new teachers is likely to increase sharply as a result of a number of policy initiatives proposed in this document. These include the introduction of a reception class for beginners, reducing class size to 40, the introduction of compulsory education and the consequent enrolment of out-of-school children, as well as the development of systems of provision for Adult Basic Education, Early Childhood Educare and Special Education. This increase in demand is likely to lead to major changes in the ways in which the preparation and development of teachers and other educators is structured. Distance education is likely to play a much bigger role in teacher development, and training courses are likely to include more extended periods of off-campus, in-classroom preparation and development.
Urgent attention will be given to a review of industrial relations legislation for the education and training sector in order to ensure that effective mechanisms for collective bargaining and dispute resolution are in place. The systems of teacher management and support, including the systems through which teachers are appraised, evaluated and supervised will also be revised.
The higher education system represents a major resource for national reconstruction and development and for our capacity to contribute to the world-wide advance in knowledge and skills. However, its present structure and capacity are seriously distorted, its governance systems are outmoded and its funding arrangements have led to serious crises for both students and institutions. After consultation, a representative higher education commission will be appointed to investigate and report on, inter alia, the role of the sector in reconstruction and development; its structure; the role of open learning and distance education; institutional governance and governance of the system; capacity building and affirmative action; and on the resource base for higher education and the system of student finance.
BUILDINGS AND PHYSICAL RESOURCES
The need for more and better school buildings and other education and training facilities will also need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. This will be achieved through the optimal usage of existing facilities, and the systematic rehabilitation of schools and institutions which have been damaged by violence, vandalism or neglect. A national audit of school buildings and physical plant will be conducted in order to inform planning, and to identify physical structures that could serve as community learning centres. In addition, an extensive building programme will be launched to progressively meet the backlog of provision. A viable system of school maintenance will need to be developed and funded. Rehabilitation, new school construction and the development of maintenance systems will be undertaken only in consultation with communities, who need to be empowered to take responsibility for the care and protection of their institutions, through the appropriate governance structures.
TARGETS AND PRIORITIES
In taking forward these initiatives, the ANC in government will prioritise those most neglected and disadvantaged under apartheid. The historical marginalisation of women will be corrected through curriculum reconstruction, mechanisms for redress in enrolments throughout the education and training system and the reviewing of gender representation in positions of responsibility and leadership. The education of people in rural areas will be prioritised in ECE and ABE programmes, and in the redress of provision and access to general education and further education. Youth who have suffered the loss of educational opportunities will be targeted through second-chance opportunities in national youth development initiatives.
A NEW STRUCTURE AND ORGANISATION FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Education and training have a crucial role to play in contributing to social and economic development through empowering individuals to actively participate in all aspects of society, as citizens in the democratic process, and in the economy. The latter requires that the education and training system addresses three issues: first, the need for equity and redress; second, the need to continually upgrade skill levels in line with the rapidly changing and dynamic nature of the world economy and universal knowledge base; third, to recognise the validity and interdependence of all forms of knowledge and the value of prior learning and experience by integrating the education and training systems (or general and vocational systems) under a single national credit-based qualifications framework.
The transformation and re-shaping of the system so that it can play this role, will require an investment of energy, commitment and time. It is essential to start this process and put in place the mechanisms which will permit it to develop. These include capacity building in the design of learning, assessment, and accreditation processes, and systems for quality assurance and institutional improvement in all places of learning.
South Africa will have a national system of education and training which enables citizens to become progressively qualified in a lifelong process. By integrating education and training in one system with a credit-based qualifications framework, all citizens’ chances to develop their capacities will be radically increased, whether they are in full-time or part-time study, employed or unemployed, in general education or in occupational preparation. The system will be learner-centred and achievement-led.
The national learning system will be based on the following principles:
The governance of the education and training system is covered in more detail in chapter 5 of this document: Democratic Governance. The governance structures relating directly to the national learning system for the integration of education and training in a framework of lifelong learning are outlined briefly below.
A single, national Ministry of Education and Training and Provincial Education and Training Authorities will be responsible for the development and implementation of all aspects of education and training policy.
Statutory councils at national and provincial levels will be established to enable stakeholders to participate in the formulation and development of education and training policy. Four national councils will be established:
Sub-committees or Boards of the statutory councils will be established to formulate and develop policy relating to different areas of education and training within the ambit of each statutory council.
The General Education and Training Council will have four sub-committees or Boards:
The Further Education and Training Council will have two sub-committees or Boards:
The Higher Education Council will have two sub-committees or Boards:
A South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) will be established with responsibility for accreditation, certification and the maintenance of national standards.
A National Institute for Curriculum Development (NICD) will be established with responsibility for the development of curriculum policy, frameworks, syllabi norms, assessment systems, and research.
Stakeholders will participate in SAQA and the NICD through the representation of the NETCC and its sub-councils on SAQA and the NICD.
There will be a single, national qualifications and certification structure for all levels of the education and training system with multiple entry and exit points. The latter will increase access to the education and training system as well as allow learners to acquire credits based on their specific needs. The accumulation of sufficient credits would enable learners to achieve a national qualification.
The national qualifications structure will have three major certificated levels or exit points:
In the case of Adult Basic Education (ABE), to allow recognition for attainable targets there will be three certificated attainment levels prior to the GEC. These levels will be:
To ensure flexible access to different levels of the education and training system in line with the specific needs of learners, entry requirements will be based on a limited number of minimum prerequisites. In this respect the recognition of prior learning and experience will be a key component in defining minimum prerequisites.
To ensure flexible access at the Higher Education level:
There will be a national core curriculum based on the integration of academic and vocational skills at the pre-Higher Education levels of the education and training system.
Mechanisms will be established to ensure the articulation and equivalence of the curriculum between different learning contexts. Curriculum articulation and equivalence will not necessarily mean that the content of the curriculum, the time frame or the teaching methods used will be the same across different learning contexts.
Access to information and appropriate career guidance for all learners will be integral to the national learning system. This aspect of policy will be further developed through investigation and consultation.
A racially and ethnically based system of governance has been at the heart of apartheid education. Nineteen operating departments, under 14 different cabinets, implement their own regulations in terms of at least 12 Education Acts. There are 17 different authorities which employ teachers. This fragmentation and complexity has resulted in a wasteful duplication of functions and has led to the growth of a large, top-heavy, and badly co-ordinated bureaucracy. The consequence and underlying motivation has been to ensure unequal education and strong political control over education.
There is a high degree of centralisation and authoritarianism in all of the parallel sub-systems which lack mechanisms, particularly at the lower levels, for responding to challenges and concerns from outside of the bureaucracies. The non-consultative, opaque and top-down style of these bureaucracies has restricted wider participation in policy formulation and ensured political control by the top echelons of the bureaucracy.
At the school level there is at present a variety of systems of institutional governance which relate to financing models. These vary greatly in terms of the representation of parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders, as well as their powers and responsibilities.
Governance structures which fail to achieve effective community support, have limited parent participation, and exclude teachers and students, have contributed to poor school administration. This in turn is one of the most significant factors causing inferior schooling for Blacks in South Africa.
The disproportionately small number of women (particularly in relation to the gender composition of the teaching force) in positions of authority such as secondary school principals, the inspectorate and in the educational bureaucracy is indicative of the gross gender bias in the teaching and administrative hierarchy.
This system of governance, and its fundamental illegitimacy, has been the chief target of political contestation at every level through the years of resistance to apartheid education. Consistent demands of the democratic movement have been for a unitary education system and democratic systems of governance that facilitate the participation of all legitimate interest groups. This has been accompanied by attempts to institute alternative forms of institutional governance which have been expressed mainly through campaigns for the establishment and recognition of Parent Teacher Students Associations (PTSAs) at school level, for elected student representative bodies and democratic governance of institutions of higher learning, and the widespread discrediting of official governance structures.
The ANC believes that democratic governance is the key to the transformation of apartheid education.
Governance at all levels of the integrated national system of education and training will maximise democratic participation of stakeholders, including the broader community, and will be orientated towards equity, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability, and the sharing of responsibility.
There will be a single national education and training system with four levels of governance:
Education is to be a concurrent function of central government and the Provinces, which accordingly will share responsibility for ensuring that education policy formulation and the provision of education is fair, efficient and directed towards the promotion of human development in all its aspects. Local governance and management structures have an important role in planning and co-ordinating education at district or local level, but the form, role and powers of such structures, and their relationship to local government, if any, have still to be clarified through further investigation and consultation.
Institutional governance within the school system has been one of the weakest and least coherent aspects of education. It will require investments of time and energy from all concerned in order to design and strengthen institutional governance to be the participatory and efficient support that it needs to be.
The Ministry of Education and Training will be accountable, through the Minister of Education and Training, to the National Assembly. It will be responsible for overall co-ordination of education financing, including equitable systems of budgetary provision, grants, subsidies and intra-governmental transfers for educational and training purposes. Its responsibilities will also cover:
The key responsibilities of the national Ministry, subject to parliamentary authority, are the establishment of policy frameworks, standards, norms and quality assurance systems, and the information systems to back them up, and the provision of financial resources which will make possible the implementation of policy and the attainment of national standards and planning targets. These responsibilities will involve the development of infrastructural capacity for effective administration of education and training across the nation.
In carrying out these responsibilities, the Ministry of Education and Training will work in close co-operation with the Statutory Councils and Boards established at national and provincial levels (see chapter 4) and the Provincial Education and Training Authorities. In order to ensure maximum democratic participation in governance, these councils and boards will include, at all levels, representation of stakeholders such as organisations of teachers, students, parents, organised labour, business, and disabled people amongst others, which will be mandated by, and accountable to, their respective constituencies.
The provincial governments will have important powers and responsibilities for education in terms of the Interim Constitution. The relationship between the national and provincial governments in exercising their concurrent powers is bound to be complex and at times difficult. A co-ordinating structure of Provincial Education and Training Authorities needs to be envisaged, in order to facilitate the sharing of experience across the provincial administrations and as a means of communication between the collective provincial authorities and the national ministry. This coordinating body (replacing the current Committee of Heads of Education) should advise the Minister on national education and training policy and the national education and training budget, including equalisation across provinces.
Provincial Education and Training Authorities will be accountable to the provincial legislatures in respect of their responsibilities regarding the administration of education and training in the province, and for funds allocated from the provincial fiscus. Under the Interim Constitution, they will observe national policy in respect of: the national qualifications system, the national curriculum framework, policy frameworks and guidelines, norms and standards, planning and financing processes, including fiscal equalisation, conditions of service of education personnel, industrial relations in education and training (public employees only), management information systems, and a national quality assurance system, including the monitoring of redress.
Within these national frameworks, the Provincial Education and Training Authorities will be responsible for all education and training (excluding Higher Education, but including Early Childhood Educare, Special Education, Adult Basic Education and Library and Information Service), and the maintenance of appropriate performance evaluation systems, in respect of:
In carrying out these responsibilities, the Provincial Education and Training Authorities will work in close co-operation with the Statutory Councils and Boards established at provincial level. This will include consultation on:
The responsibilities, if any, of elected local governments in the sphere of education and training are not yet clear. However, there is scope for a local tier of management, if only by delegation from the provincial governments and under the supervision of the Provincial Education and Training Authorities. This tier of management could be made responsible for:
In carrying out these responsibilities, the local tiers of management will work in close co-operation with relevant stakeholders.
Policy for institutional governance in the education and training system must take into account the extreme complexity of the existing formal situation and the virtual absence of effective participatory governance in Black schools. A major task lies ahead for the national and provincial governments and local management authorities to create a functioning, democratically based governance system for South African schools. The principles or norms of institutional governance could be established by the national Ministry of Education and Training on the advice of the relevant Board and Council. The councils established at provincial level will advise on school board legislation for each province.
In principle, the governance structures of all schools should include parents, teachers and students (the latter at the secondary school level) as the elected representatives of the constituent groupings, together with representatives of the wider community served by the school. These structures could be known as School Boards. The principal would be an ex officio member of the board.
The powers and functions of School Boards need to be carefully drawn after a full process of consultation. Democratic participation in school governance must be distinguished from the responsibilities for the management and administration of the school which are vested in school principals. The relationship between the principal and the school board is extremely important for the well-being of the school community and the implementation of the school mission within provincial and national policies. It is essential to establish this relationship on a clear legal footing, so that lines of accountability between the principal, the school board, and the Provincial Education and Training Authority (or its local office) are understood by all concerned and function in a transparent manner.
A process of induction and in-service training for school board members will be essential to ensure that they develop the capacity to exercise their responsibilities to the full.
The role of the school principal has become extremely contested in parts of the Black education system. Under a democratic government, with a participatory structure of governance in the education and training system, the vital role of the school principal as a leader in educational transformation must be clearly established. Their relationships with teachers and students, in particular their responsibilities for building or re-building the culture of teaching and learning within a democratic school environment, and working productively with the school community and its school board, must be supported by an adequate programme of orientation and training, and effective support services from the Provincial Education and Training Authorities.
Private schools embrace a very diverse range of institutions, which have been established by a variety of sponsors (including religious bodies) to serve both affluent and poor communities. They operate under an equally diverse range of governance structures and funding systems. Most private institutions currently receive subsidies from public funds. The state’s relations with this sector and the obligations of private schools with respect to national and provincial government will be brought under review through a process of consultation. The terms under which such schools, or organised groups of such schools, might become state-aided, will be included in this investigation.
The Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Africa makes provision for the rights of communities to establish, where practicable, educational institutions based on common culture, language or religion provided there shall be no discrimination on the grounds of race and colour. Such schools will be required to comply with the national qualifications framework. There is no obligation on the state to provide funding for such schools.
The Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Africa requires that bona fide negotiations take place, and that due notice of implementation be given, before the rights, powers, and functions of the governing bodies or management councils of departmental, community managed or state-aided primary or secondary schools or of the controlling bodies of universities and technikons are altered by law.
One of the first responsibilities of the new Ministry of Education and Training will be to establish the procedures for bona fide negotiations which will result in the powers and functions of educational institutions, where necessary, being brought within national policy guidelines.
MOBILISING FINANCIAL RESOURCES FOR EDUCATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION
Our education and training policy is an integral part of our national reconstruction and development programme. The provision of opportunities for people to develop themselves in order to enhance the quality of their own lives and the standard of living of their communities is a central objective of the programme, alongside ensuring that basic needs are met, the democratisation of the society, and the growth of the economy. The economy must be restructured to meet the needs of all our people on a sustained basis within a highly competitive world market. The creation of meaningful jobs and the qualitative upgrading of the education and training system are crucially important strategies to achieve these goals.
In particular, education and training are fundamental levers through which we can change the structure of the labour market and thus achieve the highest levels of participation by citizens in the productive life of our society.
The apartheid economy has been characterised by:
Unless the types and levels of knowledge and skills available to our society are transformed, the apartheid labour market will continue to exist. For education and training to play such a role, they need to be seen as an integrated whole. Until now, the two have been strictly separated, since education has been seen primarily as an academic activity, and training has been seen primarily as a vocational activity. As is increasingly recognised here and abroad, this is a false dichotomy which does not correspond to the structure of knowledge, the needs of the workplace, or the requirements of ordinary life in society. The education and training system must develop in an integrated way in order to:
Comprehensive human resource development is the key to raising our country out of its economic crisis. It is in this light that we must consider the resources needed for educational reconstruction.
The real rate of growth of the South African economy (that is, its growth after taking account of inflation) has been declining for most of the past thirty years, from around six per cent per year in the early 1960s to around one per cent by the beginning of the 1990s. Since the population has been increasing at about 2,6 per cent per year, per capita economic growth has been negative since 1982.
The growth in the number of jobs has also declined in line with the long-term economic trend. But since the population has continued to increase, the gap between the growth of employment and that of the labour force has widened substantially, so unemployment has increased rapidly. Almost one quarter of the labour force does not have a job. All communities and most families have been affected, but unemployment is concentrated among the Black population, and, disproportionately, amongst women and young people.
The weak economy and widespread joblessness aggravate the deeper problems facing the South African people. Inequality is still deeply entrenched in pay levels, access to jobs, educational opportunity, and other public services.
The causes of the economic decline are complex. In the 1980s, excess capacity increased, and productivity fell in each of the major exporting sectors of agriculture, mining and manufacturing. Public and parastatal sector investments declined from 1980 onwards, and halved over the years 1986-92. Private investment has tended to shadow public sector investment. As public spending nose-dived in the mid-1980s, private sector investment in productive activity and the creation of new jobs declined drastically. Since then, business confidence has remained weak. Investment by the public sector and government in order to create a greater demand for goods and services is therefore likely to be important over the short to medium-term. However, it will need to be carefully managed in the light of the balance-of-payments problems, the large public sector deficit (recently as much as 8 per cent of GDP), and the high levels of domestic inflation which have emerged.
It is clear that an additional important cause of poor economic performance has been the huge inequality in skills which exists across different parts of the labour force. These, in turn, are a result of the historic inequities which of economic and social policies. Employers and the government have failed to invest meaningfully in the development of broad skills and knowledge and this is the primary cause of the low levels of labour productivity in the country. The occupational structure of Black and white workers is highly unequal. Further, although the white labour force has reasonably high levels of formal education, the labour force as a whole is relatively uneducated compared with other countries at similar stages of development. Labour productivity has been severely impeded by this educational deficit. Skill shortages have been endemic for many years, particularly during the brief periods of economic recovery which have occurred. Thus a strategy which affords education and training a central place is needed if sustained growth is to be secured.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING PRIORITIES FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Basic education will be given particular importance. This is necessary to make education and training available to as many people as possible in order to secure improvements in access to higher levels of education, to increase access to jobs and thus to improvements in the distribution of incomes. But it will also bring more general economic benefits. It is well known that widely spread education and training are important causes of economic growth. Countries with already well-developed education systems grew faster in the 20th century than those which delayed educational development. More recently it has been shown that the rapid growth of the Asian newly industrialising countries has been centrally influenced by their large stocks of relatively well educated labour. Thus a strategy which emphasises the acquisition of a good quality basic education and training by all South Africans is needed to underpin medium-term growth, diversification of the economy, and export success. This basic programme will comprise ten years of schooling which will be both compulsory for all children and free.
The need to secure a reassertion of economic growth in the short-term also places early priority upon achieving improved and expanded supplies of skilled labour. This is required to ease upward pressure on wages as the economy moves back towards full capacity, and will have positive effects upon productivity, and on the growth of national output and employment (including the employment of the unskilled). A dual strategy is needed. Firstly, mechanisms to secure and accelerate the upgrading of skills amongst those already employed will be introduced as a matter of urgency. The private sector will be expected to undertake substantially more training of employees than has been the case hitherto. The balance of incentives and sanctions affecting the private sector will be re-designed to ensure that this takes place.
Secondly, the structure and financing of post-compulsory education and training will be reformed. Outputs from colleges, technikons and universities will be increased gradually over the next ten years. More rapid changes to the structure of enrolments, however, will be made. On the one hand, enrolments will shift more in favour of the previously disadvantaged population groups in South Africa. On the other, the enrolment structure will shift more towards technical, scientific and professionally-based programmes than has been the case in the past. Given the urgent priority for increases in public expenditure on the school system, and the overall budgetary constraints which are likely to be faced, the present methods of financing higher education will need to be reformed, either by passing more of the costs of higher education to its direct beneficiaries, or to their subsequent employers.
ENHANCING QUALITY AND MINIMISING EXPENDITURE
There will undoubtedly be a need for net additional public expenditures on the school system over the next few years. These will be required in order to secure qualitative improvements in those parts of the system which have been historically under-financed, to remove the backlog of school classrooms, to enrol the 15-20 per cent of children who are currently not at primary school but who are of an age to attend, and to cater for the needs of the growing population.
Some of these improvements can be financed from efficiency savings generated elsewhere in the system in the following ways:
The above measures can do much to reduce costs in ways which do not damage school quality. However, the additional expenditures will not be able to be financed from savings alone. It can be expected that the additional costs of schooling arising from normal population growth will be financed from increments to budgetary resources arising from economic growth. Equally, public sector investment spending will increase considerably in real terms over the first few years of the new administration, for reasons mentioned earlier. This investment programme will include the school construction needed to address the backlog of classrooms. However, since education already accounts for more than one-fifth of public expenditures, the scope for additional recurrent financing, beyond these amounts, is likely to be limited and it is for this reason that transfers of resources from elsewhere in the education vote, towards the school system, are likely to be required.
These circumstances imply that everything possible must be done to seek enhanced school quality whilst minimising its impact upon costs. Upgrading the professional skills of teachers, for example, is critically important for many schools, but ways of doing this must be sought without adding significantly to unit costs. Usually, however, additional expenditures will be inescapable:
In each of these ways the costs which must be met by the government will inevitably rise.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTNERSHIP
In other areas of the education system opportunities for cost-sharing will be pursued. Both Adult Basic Education and Early Childhood Education are priority areas for development. Each of them bring high benefits, for both individuals and society, at lower levels of cost than other parts of the formal system. Some of these services are responsibilities which will be shared with other branches of government, and thus will not represent an exclusive charge to the education budget. In addition, other partners – including business and employers, local government, community organisations, NGOs, donors, as well as (depending on their means) some individual households – will be expected to contribute both financial and human resources to ensure their effective and widespread provision.
Finally, the new government will inherit a fundamentally inappropriate planning infrastructure. Early priority will be assigned to establishing new information systems and statistics which can provide a proper basis for policy design and implementation. As the old departments are dismantled and new provincial areas are defined, a new system of national statistics will be needed – covering schools, teachers, students, performance and expenditures – which will be designed in the light of national, rather than merely provincial, policies and priorities. On this basis, old systems and procedures can be substituted by new ones, designed adequately to address the educational needs of all the population.
The present education financing system has the following main features:
Several general shortcomings in the present system must be addressed in the design of a new education financing framework.
A new education financing system, framed within the parameters of a new Interim Constitution, will reflect the commitment of the ANC in government to:
In addition to satisfying key general principles such as these, education financing arrangements must accommodate the diverse needs, abilities, aspirations, interests and choices of learners of all ages and make their full contribution to educational redress, reconstruction and development.
A democratic government must strive to achieve greater coherence between education and training and must provide the financing framework to achieve this. This means that it will also assume the responsibility for co-ordinating the mechanisms and strategies necessary for an integrated approach to education and training as well as co-ordinating the resources strategies and mechanisms necessary to give effect to a national adult basic education system.
A partnership between central and provincial governments, local communities, organised labour, employers, non-governmental organisations, parents and students must be the foundation of the education financing system.
The terms of this partnership will reflect the various responsibilities of the key parties:
As the education and training system is restructured under the new Interim Constitution a set of appropriate management and financing models for schools, colleges and other educational institutions must evolve which fully reflect the partnership of all stakeholders and their respective responsibilities.
We propose that the development of new financing arrangements for education and training should support the goals of educational reconstruction, along the following lines:
FISCAL CONSTRAINTS AND EDUCATION EXPENDITURE
Education competes for resources with other developmental requirements. Increased state spending on education needs to be kept in balance with public spending on other aspects of human development, including employment creation, income redistribution and household welfare. Responsible management of education financing must play its part in overall fiscal discipline, so that expansion of education in the longer term can be financed through economic development rather than an increasing debt burden.
It follows that government must continually seek to deliver improved education services while curbing the rate at which expenditure grows. Reallocating funds from less productive to more productive applications, encouraging managerial competence and efficiency at all levels of educational administration, and stimulating effective deployment of private and non-governmental resources for education will all play their parts in overall financial management.
Government education expenditure currently takes up 24 per cent of government expenditure (net of interest payments) and over 7 per cent of Gross National Product. Total expenditure on education and training, including fees and other private contributions to the costs of schooling, tertiary education and training activities, comprises about 10 per cent of Gross National Product. Such levels of resource allocations to human development are high by international standards, and represent a substantial public and private commitment to underwrite future growth and development. We are committed to such high expenditure on education and training because of its crucial importance to the process of development and reconstruction.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT IN EDUCATION PROVISION
Mindful of this commitment, government must seek to manage and finance educational institutions and programmes soundly, fairly and cost-effectively. The regulations and procedures though which institutions are governed and funded must provide incentives to learners, educators and administrators which encourage the pursuit of excellence in the content and quality of programmes, creative and efficient use of resources and responsible management of facilities.
Current South African practices fall short of this requirement in several respects.
In addressing these deficiencies in education financing and management, South Africa will need to draw on international and local experience. Key principles of financial management in education will include the following.
WASTAGE, INEFFICIENCY, MALADMINISTRATION AND CORRUPTION
The cost-efficient and effective use of educational resources is central to the goal of improving the quality and availability of education and training opportunities.
South Africa’s education system is seriously inefficient and wasteful. It is characterised by:
The training system is also inefficient, under-resourced and does not deal with the needs of the broad majority of adults. Millions of rands are spent in a fragmented and uncoordinated way on useless programmes for the unemployed and poor quality adult education.
IMPROVING QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Planning for education and training, policy co-ordination, budgetary procedures, administrative control and departmental advisory and decision-making structures have important roles to play in reducing these costs and in improving the efficiency of education and training provision. Appropriate pricing is needed where there are substantial private benefits of education or training. Clear allocations of financial responsibilities in respect of all education and training services must be devised.
In developing more cost-effective delivery of schooling and other educational activities, priority in public spending allocations must be given to the critical quality-enhancing inputs. These include improved school administration, supply of curricular materials, in-service support for teachers and the appropriate use of the media and education technology.
Education and training financing arrangements must ensure that educational institutions and programmes are responsive to changing human development needs. The linkages between education, employment opportunities and life skills development should be strengthened. Flexibility and adaptability are needed, particularly in areas of post-basic education and training where changing needs of the work place and broader social trends imply shifts in human development challenges and priorities.
The ANC in government, whether at central or provincial level, will seek to give effect to the financial management principles proposed in these three chapters. The key concept and goal is a dynamic and effective partnership between the national government, provincial governments, local communities, organised workers, employers, non-governmental organisations, parents and learners, in mobilising and managing resources for the national learning system.
A NEW POLICY FOR TEACHERS
In this document, the term ‘preparation of teachers and trainers’ refers to the process of education combined with practice by which women and men are introduced to the roles of teaching or training, and are enabled to equip themselves with the basic knowledge, competence and commitment to do their work. This process is often called ‘initial teacher education’ or ‘pre-service education of teachers’ (PRESET).
The term ‘professional development of teachers and trainers’ refers to processes of education combined with experience by which teachers and trainers are enabled to enquire into and reflect on their work and roles, deepen their specialised knowledge, improve their effectiveness as facilitators of their students’ learning, and prepare themselves for positions of greater responsibility and leadership. These processes are often referred to as ‘in-service education of teachers’ (INSET).
In this document, the preparation and development of teachers and trainers (or INSET and PRESET) are regarded as continuous processes.
The term ‘teachers and trainers’ covers teachers or trainers working in Early Childhood Educare, schools, Adult Basic Education, workplace education and training, and colleges.
The physical infrastructure for teacher education is extensive. About 130 institutions undertake teacher education, including most universities and technikons and over 100 teachers colleges. More than one-quarter of all higher education places are taken by education students.
However, there is little unity of purpose or standards across this sector which is evident in the absence of a national policy or plan for teacher education. Apartheid policies have resulted in considerable inequity and inefficiency:
Governance and administration in teacher education are also far from uniform. Whereas colleges in the white and Indian systems and a few African colleges are governed by their own councils in association with universities, most colleges are still treated as junior institutions under strict departmental control, as part of the College/School (CS) sector. College administration thus tends to be undemocratic and authoritarian.
The formal qualifications of college lecturers have risen overall in recent years, but in the departmental systems staff members are not expected to show originality in curriculum design or teaching. The typical college curriculum is overloaded with subjects, content learning, and the official educational doctrine of ‘fundamental pedagogics’, which also dominates Vista University and the distance education courses of UNISA and Technikon RSA. Prescribed textbooks remain unchanged for years. Enquiry, critique and engagement with the realities of South African educational conditions are stifled. There is little encouragement for colleges to forge a developmental relationship with the schools and communities they serve. In particular, no programmes systematically explore the problems of rural education. College curricula are heavily weighted against mathematics, science and technology. Most college courses are not recognised by universities for credit purposes.
Colleges of education fall within the College/School sector, despite their wish to be regarded as tertiary institutions. However, only a minority of teachers colleges at present merit that status.
Initial teacher education for schools dominates the work of teacher education institutions, especially in the college sector. The preparation of teachers for Early Childhood Educare and adult educators has been almost entirely neglected or abandoned in departmental colleges. NGOs have had to step into the gap.
The strong link which the present government has established between formal academic qualifications, salary advancement and promotion for teachers has resulted in massive distortions. Teachers invest heavily in formal study which is often totally disconnected from their professional work. Upgrading teachers’ qualifications is thus de-linked from improving their professional competence.
INSET is treated as completely separate from PRESET in education colleges and is poorly developed. Creative INSET work is done by subject-specific education NGOs, most of which operate on a small scale. Each NGO or project must negotiate its niche in the system with one or more departmental authorities, and its funds with one or more donor agencies. Their work thus tends to be fragmented. Its effectiveness is seldom systematically evaluated.
The reconstruction of education and training stands or falls with the morale, commitment and capacity of the national body of teachers and trainers. The country needs a dynamic system of teacher preparation and development with a clear mission and sufficient scope to perform it.
In such a system, there would be clear national standards, national and provincial targets, a culture of enquiry, innovation and engagement with the learning needs of the society, and a supportive structure of institutional, provincial and national governance.
Teacher preparation and development would be at the cutting-edge of educational reconstruction. The suffocating grip of apartheid, departmental bureaucracy and fundamental pedagogics would be a thing of the past.
The ANC’s policy for teacher preparation and development is based on the following principles:
The planning and provision of teacher education should be targeted at:
Professional growth and development are career-long processes. PRESET and INSET should be planned accordingly, and related to the opening up of career paths for teachers and trainers.
The educational design and systems of provision of both PRESET and INSET must be flexible and cost-effective, incorporating the most appropriate experience in multi-media distance education, institution-based face-to-face instruction, self-study, monitoring, supervision, action research, and other modes of learning.
CURRICULUM AND ACCREDITATION
ACCREDITATION AND CERTIFICATION
Under apartheid educational administration, teacher management and teacher support were conceived of as two separate processes. Teacher management in reality meant the administration and control of teachers. The system of teacher appraisal has been largely inspectoral and bureaucratic. Its approach has been largely summative, in that it aimed at rewarding excellent and punishing incompetent performance, rather than formative, in the sense of helping teachers to identify and overcome their shortcomings. It shared, together with all other aspects of the education bureaucracy, a top-down, closed, hierarchical and authoritarian character. In the case of Black teachers in particular, it has been concerned with bureaucratic efficiency and social control, rather than effective and efficient management and professional development.
At the school level, supervision is oriented towards the narrow objective of improving examination results, rather than improving educational processes generally. Inspection is focused on assessing teachers with a view to monetary rewards and promotion, and it is overwhelmingly about compliance with departmental regulations rather than about engaging educators about their work. Loyalty to officials and their departments outweighs the interests and needs of teachers.
As a result of these and other problems, particularly the lack of legitimacy of the system and professional respect for many of the incumbents, the activities of inspectors and subject advisors have been suspended in large parts of the country. In some areas, inspectors and advisors are virtually banned from entering school premises, and the system of supervision and inspection has collapsed.
Teachers, particularly those in the present Department of Education and Training (DET), have made specific criticisms of the system of inspection and appraisal. One teacher union’s criticisms include:
Though reflecting strong dissatisfaction with individual inspectors’ abilities and practices, such criticisms add up to an indictment of the system of inspection and teacher appraisal in some existing departments. However, as such they do not do justice to the many competent and dedicated inspectors and subject advisers who have attempted to provide a professional, collegial and supportive service, despite the system. Inspectors and advisors are caught up in a structurally difficult position, and are expected to perform thankless and professionally unfulfilling tasks. A new system of ‘inspection’ and supervision must aim at providing a more liberating, professionally challenging, and invigorating experience for teachers, school principals and members of the supervisory services.
White teachers, by contrast, have had the benefit of substantial representation in policy making at the state level for many years. Their teacher organisations, through the Teachers Federal Council (TFC), have assumed many of the regulatory and supervisory roles. In addition, the inspectoral functions of the departments have been altered, in some respects, by the implementation of the ‘Model C’ system in the white school systems. The experience of white teachers overall appears to have been shaped by an ethos of negotiation, consultation and participation, conceded by departments as a result of years of negotiation and pressure.
The different ways in which teachers in different departments have experienced the system, will need to be borne in mind in the process of developing a new system. Such a new system should aim at building on the valuable achievements in some departments of the existing system, and generalising these across the board.
Teachers and their organisations should be involved in the process of developing an appropriate and defensible system of assessment, evaluation, management and support.
A new national system for teacher management and support should:
The relationship between the state and the organised teaching profession under apartheid has been governed by statute and common law which stipulate the conditions of service, salary determinations and grievance and disciplinary procedures. The major weakness of these statutes and laws is that they do not provide a framework for a workable system of collective bargaining and dispute resolution. In fact, until the recent passing of the Education Industrial Relations Act (1993), teachers were expressly excluded from industrial relations legislation which provides such a framework.
Furthermore, the relationship between the state and the organised teaching profession, which until recently was racially divided, has been differentiated and unequal. White teachers through the Teachers Federal Council (TFC) have received preferential treatment and have dominated the negotiations on conditions of service and salary determinations. Black teachers on the other hand, have been excluded from the negotiating process and expected to accept whatever dispensation was negotiated between the state and the TFC.
The absence of a sound collective bargaining framework and dispute resolution mechanism, as well as the dominant role of white teachers in determining nationally applicable conditions of service and salary structures, have contributed significantly to the industrial unrest which has plagued black education. The passing of the Education Labour Relations Act, which comes into effect on March 1, 1994, represents a step towards a solution. While some teacher organisations have criticised the shortcomings of the Act, it represents the outcome of negotiations between the current government and the present array of teacher organisations, and provides the outlines of a workable industrial relations framework.
We envisage a state of affairs where a democratic government has negotiated an industrial relations framework with the organisations representing the teaching profession, in terms of which the right to free association and to strike is secured, economic justice including a living wage for the least-paid teachers has been achieved through free and open collective bargaining, and both parties have committed themselves to the orderly settlement of disputes according to mutually agreed procedures and in consideration of the rights of students to pursue their studies unhindered by industrial action.
Two central principles should inform the development of an industrial relations framework:
The recognition of these two rights and their inclusion in an industrial relations framework for teachers should take into account the circumstances which apply to the education sector. First, in the education sector, unlike in most other industrial settings, those most immediately and materially affected by the failure to resolve a dispute may not be the employers and employees themselves, but the students who usually have no role in the origin or the resolution of the dispute. Second, historically teachers have developed professional codes, ethics and conventions to regulate their behaviour, including a commitment to professional standards of performance and conduct, and a commitment to the rights of students. Some teachers’ organisations have rejected the right to strike, believing that strike action was incompatible with professional status and students’ rights. However, large sections of the organised teaching profession, both here and internationally, reject such views, believing them to be a mechanism which prevents the legitimate resolution of grievances, particularly of black teachers.
Nevertheless, the relationship of care and trust which should exist between teachers and students, and the damage to their learning and life chances which extended disruption of schooling can inflict on students, imposes a particular responsibility on both the employers of teachers and the organised teaching profession. In a well-developed industrial relations framework, therefore, strike action by teachers would represent a failure in the dispute resolution process. Another principle is therefore important:
The new Education Labour Relations Act will be reviewed in consultation with the organised teaching profession. The issue of whether the organised teaching profession should be covered under the provision of the general industrial relations legislation or whether separate legislation for the education sector should be enacted will be re-examined in consultation and if necessary negotiated with the organised teaching profession. The inclusion in industrial relations legislation of educators presently outside the formal education system, in Early Childhood Educare and ABE, must be addressed in full consultation with their organised representatives and other stakeholders.
Amended or new industrial relations legislation would guarantee teachers:
Subject to negotiated agreement, the legislation would establish an Industrial Council for Education for the education sector as a whole (replacing the Education Labour Relations Council), consisting of the organised teaching profession, the education authorities, and non-State employers of teachers.
The Industrial Council for Education will be responsible for the development of the framework and procedures governing collective bargaining in the education sector including the development of:
An issue that will require further discussion within the teaching profession, is the desirability or otherwise of an additional regulatory mechanism such as a Professional Council, which might deal with such matters as the regulation of entry to the profession, professional norms, standards and codes of conduct.
RESOURCES FOR LEARNING: LANGUAGE IN EDUCATION POLICY
South Africa is a country of many languages. Large numbers of South Africans of all races understand and use other languages in addition to their own. In fact, multilingual communication is probably the normal practice of everyday life for most South Africans.
However, official language policy in South Africa has been interwoven with the politics of domination and separation, resistance and affirmation. Over the past two centuries, South Africa’s colonial and white minority governments have used language policy in education as an instrument of cultural and political control, first in the battle for supremacy between the British and the Boers, and subsequently in maintaining white political and cultural supremacy over the black majority.
In the process, the official language or languages of the state have been elevated and other South African languages have been either suppressed or marginalised. Language oppression has in turn provoked popular struggles for the defence of language rights, civic freedoms and political liberation. Such struggles have been waged by Afrikaners against British cultural and political imperialism, and by Blacks against Afrikaner-dominated white baasskap.
Under white minority rule, the state’s language policy and specifically the official language policies in education have been mechanisms for the control of Black people, for reinforcing their exclusion from full social and economic participation and from political power, and for enforcing the cultural agenda of the ruling white group. English and Afrikaans have been privileged as official languages of the South African state. African South Africans have effectively been denied the right to choose the terms of their linguistic participation in public life and in education. In line with the policy of separate development, the major African languages have been accorded official status only in the bantustans. In general, African languages have been under-valued and underdeveloped. All but a few non-African South Africans have been deprived of educational access to them.
The effect of South Africa’s official language in education policies has been to promote one-way communication, on terms set by the white minority. The imposition of Afrikaans as a compulsory language medium of instruction in Black schools was the trigger which detonated the most sustained struggle against the whole system of apartheid education, beginning with the mass protest of the Soweto students on 16 June 1976, which ultimately shook the very foundations of the apartheid state.
The legacy of past language struggles cannot be ignored by the future democratically-elected government. It is of the utmost importance that the correct lessons are learnt and that the cycle of language oppression and resistance be broken, in the interests of building peace in our schools and communities, and a common South African nationhood. Four such lessons seem to have priority.
We envisage a time when all educational institutions will be implementing multilingual education, in order to facilitate learning and to enable all students to be confident, proficient and fluent users of at least two South African languages. In moving towards this goal, we shall be building on the linguistic strengths of learners and teachers, harnessing the rich multilingual reality of South Africa for effective education, and for effective participation in social, political and economic development.
The ANC’s language in education policy needs to be consistent with and support the organisation’s general language policy. The cornerstone of a democratic and non-racial language policy must be the recognition of the equality of all the languages of our country (Afrikaans, English, siNdebele, sePedi, seSotho, siSwati, xiTsonga, seTswana, luVenda, siXhosa, siZulu), and the right of individuals and communities to participate in national, provincial and local life in the language of their choice.
We propose that the development of a language policy for a democratic education system be based on the following general principles:
The term ‘languages of learning’ is used below in preference to ‘medium of instruction’. Our long-term goal of multilingualism means that we encourage innovative uses of language in teaching and learning.
The term ‘institutional languages’ denotes the languages used by a school or educational institution in administration, communications, meetings and other operational business.
At all levels of education, the language or languages of learning and the institutional languages should be determined on the basis of democratic consultation with the affected constituencies. Decisions should be guided by the following criteria:
LANGUAGES OF LEARNING
Since language is essential to thinking and learning, learners must be able to learn in the language or languages which best suit this purpose. For the same reason, all teachers should regard themselves as teachers of language, and progressively helped to become more effective in playing this role.
In Early Childhood Educare, the children must be enabled to explore their world fully through languages familiar to them. The linguistic resources of all the children must be valued and used to assist the development of language and cognitive processes appropriate to this age. Multilingual awareness should be actively promoted.
Within schools, we propose that the choice of language or languages of learning be based on one of three options:
No learner should be refused admission to any educational institution in the early years of schooling on the grounds that he or she is not proficient in the language or languages of learning of that institution. In such cases the institution should ensure that the student has access to language support services to develop the necessary proficiency.
In Adult Basic Education, the same three options available to schools should provide the basis of policy.
In Higher Education, one or more languages of wider communication would be used as the language or languages of learning. Language support services should be available for students whose prior educational experience had not prepared them adequately in the language or languages of learning.
Technology must be developed to accommodate the orthographic needs of African languages.
Each school and educational institution should be required to state explicitly its programme for promoting multilingualism, including its institutional language policy.
All South African children should be given access to, and be expected to learn, at least two South African languages throughout the period of compulsory schooling, as subject and/or as language of learning. The learning of more than two languages will be strongly encouraged. The goal of language learning during the compulsory stage of schooling would be for students to achieve a high degree of practical proficiency in the use of at least two South African languages. This implies some form of bilingual education throughout the compulsory period.
Schools will be strongly encouraged to offer, if necessary through appropriate incentives, at least one African language (siNdebele, sePedi, seSotho, siSwati, xiTsonga, seTswana, xiTsonga, luVenda, siXhosa, siZulu). In particular, the learning of an African language by non-African children will be actively promoted, as a contribution to raising the status of these languages, aiding understanding and communication across cultures, and thus building a non-racial society based on common citizenship.
Wherever this may be feasible, other languages used by South Africans such as Arabic, Gujerati, Hebrew, Hindi, Portuguese, or foreign languages, should be made available to learners.
Language in Education divisions of the National and Provincial Institutes for Curriculum Development will need to be established, with responsibility for promoting the new multilingual policy through such activities as facilitating public consultation on policy, evaluating bilingual models, and specifying learning outcomes at different levels of certification.
The national and provincial governments will need to allocate adequate resources to ensure the equal development, and to support and enhance the use, of all the major South African languages in education, and a system of incentives and rewards for multilingualism. An affirmative action programme will be required in support of research and development, writing, publishing and teacher education in African languages.
Improving the methods and quality of flexible multilingual learning and teaching is a prerequisite of success for this set of policies. Language pedagogy will need substantial revision in the light of the new goals. This will be a serious task for universities, colleges of education, distance education institutions and specialist NGOs, working closely with teachers and harmonising their PRESET and INSET services.
The curriculum is understood to be more than syllabus documentation. It refers to all of the teaching and learning activities that take place in learning institutions. It includes:
The curriculum under apartheid has perpetuated race, class, gender and ethnic divisions. It has emphasised division rather than commonality and has denied common citizenship and a national identity. The curriculum has been unresponsive to changing labour market needs and has failed to contribute to the development of learners who are prepared for the world of work and for active participation in the process of social and economic development. The lack of relevance of the curriculum has been exacerbated by the narrow base of participation in the process of curriculum development. In the main parents, teachers, students, workers and the private sector have not been involved.
The inequalities in the provision of Black and white education is further reflected in the unequal resourcing of the curriculum-in-use. Even where the syllabus is roughly equivalent, differences in the preparation of teachers, in the provision of resources such as libraries, textbooks, laboratories, etc. mean that the curriculum that is experienced is not equal. The latter has resulted in the failure of the curriculum to offer equal access to knowledge. This is evident in the limits on subject choices in Black schools, especially in mathematics and the sciences, the gender bias of the curriculum, and the marginalisation of some forms of knowledge such as the cultural and life experiences of the majority of our people.
Gender bias in the curriculum of schools is evident in subject availability and choice; the way in which girls are discouraged from pursuing maths and science; bias in texts; a privileging of male access to, and success in, sports facilities; in the way lessons are taught; and in the way knowledge is construed as a male dominated activity (e.g. history as a record of the exploits of males).
Furthermore, the curriculum has been exam-driven with the resultant focus on rote-learning and the absorption of facts rather than on the development of critical thinking, reasoning, reflection and understanding. This has resulted in the development of a teacher-centred and authoritarian learning process.
We believe that the curriculum must promote unity and the common citizenship and destiny of all South Africans irrespective of race, class, gender or ethnic background. It must be relevant to the needs of the individual as well as the social and economic needs of society. The curriculum must promote independent and self-critical learning and respect the equality of all forms of knowledge. And more importantly, the process of curriculum development must be democratised through the participation of all stakeholders.
CONCEPT AND VALUES
Lifelong learning is an essential structural objective for our system of education if the objectives of a democratic society are to be met.
Open learning is the philosophy of educational practice that is a precondition for success in restructuring the educational system to provide lifelong learning in our country.
Open learning describes an approach which seeks to remove all unnecessary restrictions to learning. It enjoins us to provide education in a flexible manner, so that as many people as possible, throughout their lives, are able to take advantage of learning opportunities. To do so, we must stop thinking of education as something that occurs within the walls of a school and can only be done by the talking teacher. It requires that we set up the structures and conditions which enable learners to learn where, when, what and how they want to. Importantly, it is not only a matter of access. It must offer quality learning that brings a reasonable chance of success.
One of the vital mechanisms for increasing openness in learning is distance education. This is structured learning where student and teacher are separated by space and time. It is a way to develop and distribute teaching materials, to link different media and to plan various kinds of support for the learner. It requires that the learning environment be well designed to meet the needs and problems of the learners.
Distance education provides the techniques of educational design and provision that make open learning practically possible. It is the only feasible approach to meeting the needs of the vast numbers of South Africans who were systematically deprived of educational opportunity in the past (the issue of redress) while at the same time providing opportunities for the cohorts of youth coming up through the educational system (the issue of access). It, furthermore, offers many methods for improving the quality and scope of the traditional (schooling) system.
We propose to establish a National Open Learning Agency (NOLA) to facilitate the development of a range of high quality learning opportunities which do not require ‘attendance’ at school in any traditional way. Key development areas should receive priority. The agency should have divisions concentrating on each of the different levels of education and training. NOLA should:
Education publishing is highly regulated and marked by secrecy and inefficiency. There are gross inequities in both the quantity and quality of educational material in different contexts. Little of the published material adequately addresses the needs of second language learners.
All learners will have access to the necessary texts to facilitate high quality and effective teaching and learning. Educational publishing will foster the development of independent and critical learning. The enforcement of a conflict of interest code and quality assurance procedures will prevent corrupt relationships and protect the public interest.
Library and information services (LIS) refers to the range of places and methods in which information, in various recorded forms and covering any subject and discipline, is collected and stored, to be later retrieved, circulated and disseminated.
The purpose of LIS is to provide society with access to educational, informational, cultural and recreational documents and resources, either in general or for specific users, e.g. children, new literates, students and researchers.
Collectively, the full range of LIS in a country must provide for all people, regardless of gender, race, creed, age, language, education and ability.
The present LIS infrastructure starkly reflects the past differentiation policies between South Africans and, left unchecked, entrenches apartheid education through the imbalanced provision of resources. The LIS in predominantly white urban areas compared favourably with the best LIS developed in advanced industrial countries. However, the rural areas, informal settlements and townships have been almost totally denied provision in schools and public libraries. Furthermore, disadvantaged communities have until recently been barred from access to educational and recreational resources in the white controlled LIS.
Through national, provincial and municipal authorities (excluding education departments) it is estimated that the current annual expenditure on the LIS sector is over R200 million and that in 1992 the national bookstock consisted of about 43.3 million items. In addition to five legal deposit libraries, two of which are national libraries, three additional statutory research libraries, South Africa has a highly sophisticated computerised national network which lists the collections of all the major research and post-secondary education institutions. For the majority of South Africans, however, this national LIS system has been an inaccessible, and therefore under-utilised, social service.
The previous government has taken the view that having a national LIS policy is inconsistent with a market driven society and that LIS collectively constitute a system which requires little state intervention. There has therefore been a tendency toward privatisation, the conceptualisation of information as a commodity, cost-recovery services and therefore the under-provision of LIS and information education to disadvantaged communities. Further, because there has been no ordinance providing for LIS in schools, Black students have been educated without access to resource-based learning, without the encouragement to read and develop their own information skills for lifelong learning, and without the capacity to think critically through exposure to diverse ideas.
As a result of the previous government’s policies – or lack thereof – the present LIS infrastructure is fragmented, uncoordinated and characterised by inequalities.
A government which serves and values the freedom and democracy of its people, will treasure the empowering, liberating and educative role of ideas and information, and will commit itself to provide for the cultural, educational, economic and technological development of its people through a national LIS system. On the basis of individual freedoms and rights, as stated in the Interim Constitution, we envisage a society whose government provides every citizen free access to information sources and resource-based learning facilities. Each LIS will be democratically developed and managed in co-operation and consultation with its users so that the collections and services are appropriate and relevant to the needs and diversity of the users.
LIS workers will assume a pro-active, dynamic educational role in society through forums, networks, and the pursuit of joint ventures with educators, cultural workers and other sectors.
We propose the reconstruction of our national LIS system based on the following principles:
The national Ministry of Education and Training will be responsible for the national LIS system.
A LIS Board will be a sub-committee of the National Education and Training Co-ordinating Council (NETCC) and will comprise stakeholders and representatives of civil society.
The powers and functions of the LIS Board will be to formulate and develop policy, establish standards, develop mechanisms to monitor accountability and transparency, establish funding allocation criteria, establish co-ordinating mechanisms for all LIS, and set priorities for extending the national LIS system. The Board will plan the phased implementation of the national LIS reconstruction and development plan. The LIS Board will ensure implementation of policy and decisions through a LIS Department within the Ministry of Education and training.
Governance of the national LIS system will be replicated at provincial level.
Provincial Library Services (PLS) will provide centralised acquisition processing and co-ordination services and INSET to affiliated LISs, e.g. public, multi-purpose, Community Learning Centre, and non-governmental LIS.
Local committees will facilitate the co-ordination and co-operation of all LIS within a geographic area.
Every education institution will provide its learners with access to an appropriate LIS.
At institutional level, every LIS will establish a user committee to assist and guide LIS workers in developing and maintaining the service.
Information skills will form part of the national core curriculum in all educational sectors.
A standardised core curriculum with additional specialised elective modules will enable articulation between entry and exit points of professional and para- professional PRESET and INSET LIS education and training.
A reconstruction plan (with phases) will need to be developed.
Schools, rural areas, informal settlements and townships will be prioritised as areas for LIS development and redress. To this end, every LIS will need to register with the LIS Board in order for the Board to identify existing LIS and neglected areas which require redress or rationalisation.
LIS education and training curricula will need revision in the light of the new vision. An information skills curriculum for inclusion in the national core curriculum will need to be developed. LIS professional and para-professional workers and LIS civil servants will need to be re-oriented in the light of the new vision. A short intensive programme will need to be developed and implemented. An affirmative action programme will be required in terms of access and entry points to LIS education and training.
The PLS, local authorities, local educational institutions and civil society will need to co-operate to provide a multi-purpose LIS for learners and the community. Where Community Learning Centres are established, there must be provision for a LIS.
The national and provincial governments will need to allocate resources to ensure the reconstruction plan. A percentage of the national education and training budget needs to be earmarked for the national LIS system.
Commercial, industrial and agricultural enterprises must be encouraged through policy and other incentives to provide workers and their families with a multipurpose LIS which serves lifelong learning needs.
17 SCIENCE, MATHEMATICS AND TECHNOLOGY
Science and mathematics education in Black schools at present is characterised by a ‘cycle of mediocrity’. The infrastructure for the teaching of science and mathematics is poor, especially at the senior secondary level. Materials are in short supply. Most schools lack laboratories. Teachers are under-qualified. In Black colleges of education science and mathematics are low status subjects taught only at matric level to diploma students. Under-qualified and poorly prepared teachers in turn produce weak and poorly prepared school students, and they cannot be expected to teach the subjects with enthusiasm. This is reflected in the fact that the majority of Black students do not study science or mathematics beyond Standard 7.
The ‘cycle of mediocrity’ is reinforced by the unsuitable nature of the science and mathematics curriculum in the schools. The curriculum is academic, outmoded and overloaded. Applied science and technology as well as the social and ethical aspects of science are excluded. The consequences of the lack of a suitable curriculum cut across the racial divide. Only 12 percent of higher education students pursue degree and diploma programmes in engineering and the life, physical and mathematical sciences.
The situation in workplace training is no better. It is either task-specific or based on old-style craft demarcations and does not provide workers with an understanding of the social and scientific context of work and technology. The lack of engagement with the scientific principles underpinning technology results in workers being ill-equipped to adapt to the changing forms of work organisation required by new technologies or to contribute to innovations in the workplace.
In general, science and mathematics education, both formal and non-formal, has resulted in low levels of scientific and technological literacy.
Science and mathematics education must be linked to a national science and technology policy framework which maps out the role of science and technology in the social, economic and environmental development of our country.
The development of an indigenous technological capacity through research, technology transfer, innovation and adaptation and the development of new work processes and methods of organisation has a crucial role to play. The development of an indigenous technological capacity requires that we produce more scientists and technologists. To enable the latter, science and mathematics education and training, both school-based and work-based, must be transformed from a focus on abstract theories and principles to a focus on the concrete application of theory to practice. It must ensure that students and workers engage with technology through linking the teaching of science and mathematics to the life experiences of the individual and the community.
Appropriate varieties of science and mathematics will be integrated into all levels of the national curriculum.
The desirability of introducing Design and Technology as a subject in the national curriculum will be investigated in conjunction with stakeholders
At the FEC level, apart from the core modules, additional science and mathematics courses will be offered as options for students wishing to specialise in science and mathematics.
The science and mathematics curriculum will:
Access to science and technology-based programmes, in particular among disadvantaged students and women, must be increased through:
The quality of science and mathematics teaching must be developed through:
The need for new science and mathematics teachers can be addressed by:
In this document Adult Basic Education (ABE) refers to the provision of education, including basic literacy and numeracy, to a level equivalent to the General Certificate of Education to adults who have had little or no formal schooling.
It is estimated that about 15 million Black adults (over one-third of the population) are illiterate and have had little or no education. This is a direct consequence of the inequalities in the provision of education and training. Less than 1 per cent of the education budget is spent on ABE. ABE provision tends to be small-scale, uncoordinated and lacking any national standards or framework.
The lack of access to basic education, including literacy and numeracy, has consigned millions of our people to silence and marginalisation from effective and meaningful participation in social and economic development. This has had a particular impact on women who comprise a large proportion of the illiterate.
A priority of the state will be to develop and expand provision of ABE to a level equivalent to the General Education Certificate (GEC).
The ABE division of the Ministry of Education and Training will be responsible for the development of a national framework for the provision of ABE. This will outline the operating guidelines for a national system of ABE provision, including:
Provincial and local authorities will be responsible for the provision, implementation and delivery of ABE in partnership with employers, the organised labour community, NGOs, higher education institutions and provincial training centres. This will ensure the optimal and effective utilisation of resources. The provincial and local provision and delivery of ABE will be undertaken within the national framework developed by the state.
State facilities, schools and community centres, will be made available for conducting ABE classes. These facilities will, where possible, operate as Community Learning Centres with a range of activities relevant to the social, educational, health and recreational needs of the community. The latter will ensure that ABE is linked to broader social and economic development projects.
Workers, including farm and domestic workers, will have the right to paid time-off during working hours to attend ABE classes. The implementation of this right will be negotiated through the collective bargaining process
A national training programme with nationally recognised certificates will be established for ABE educators. This will ensure that ABE educators have access to a defined career path.
There will be a single national qualification and accreditation structure for ABE leading to the General Education Certificate (GEC). This will ensure horizontal and vertical mobility between ABE and the formal education system.
There will be three nationally certificated attainment levels prior to the GEC. The attainment certificates will provide learners with measurable targets towards the GEC; address the needs of, and recognise the skills obtained by, learners who have specific and limited objectives such as developing basic literacy and numeracy or narrow job-related functional skills, and who do not want to obtain the GEC; provide employers with criteria for assessing the skills levels of workers. The three attainment levels will be:
Since ABE and school-based General Education will lead to a common qualification (the GEC), mechanisms will be required to ensure the articulation and equivalence of the curriculum in both modes of learning. This will not mean that the content of the curriculum or teaching methods will be the same in both school and adult learning contexts.
A national qualifications and accreditation structure for ABE educators will be developed by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
There will be a national curriculum for ABE which will be developed by the ABE division of the National Institute for Curriculum Development (NICD).
The national curriculum will be modular and based on an outcomes approach as this maximises flexibility for horizontal and vertical mobility.
An outcomes approach defines the curriculum in terms of learning aims. The ABE curriculum will have three basic learning aims:
A modular approach divides the curriculum into separate and discrete learning aims. Learners receive a qualification by obtaining credits in a given number and range of modules. Modules for the ABE curriculum will be short to accommodate adults who are in full-time employment.
The national curriculum will be divided into:
The general core curriculum will consist of the following five subject areas:
Stakeholders will have a central role to play in the formulation and development of ABE policy through representation on the ABE Board, a sub-structure of the General Education Council.
Early childhood care and development’ (ECCD) is a term used internationally to describe the process by which infants and young children grow and thrive, physically, mentally and socially. ECCD in South Africa is usually called ‘early childhood educare’.
Early Childhood Educare (ECE) refers to programmes for the care and education of children from birth until entry to school. For convenience this is usually referred to as the 0-6 age group. Increasingly, ECE programmes are including children in the lower grades in primary school, thereby extending the ECE age range to 0-9 years. Pre-school programmes are part of ECE.
There are 6,5 million South African infants and children between 0-6 years old, which is roughly 17 per cent of the total population. About 5,5 million of these children are African. More than three million infants and children in this age group live in metropolitan and urban areas, two million in rural homelands, and three quarters of a million on farms and forest stations.
The families of more than half our infants and children are extremely poor. The children of poor parents are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition, disease and premature death. They suffer disproportionately the effects of migrant labour and other exploitative labour conditions which divide families and put them under stress, and they are victims of domestic, social and political violence. A high proportion of poor parents have had very little or no schooling, and are not able to prepare their own children to learn the skills of reading and formal learning.
In relation to such massive needs, ECE services in South Africa are grossly inadequate, fragmented, uncoordinated, unequal and generally lacking in educational value.
Previous governments have taken the view that the care of infants and young children is mainly the responsibility of families, communities and the private sector, and is not a priority for the state. Thus there has been no national ECE policy, and no state department or office has been given overall responsibility for national educare needs. Instead, state involvement in ECE, including funding, has been fragmented across the apartheid education, health and welfare departments and local government structures, without uniformity, planning or co-ordination. Nevertheless, some state departments have done valuable innovatory work.
Only nine per cent of all our children aged 0-6 have access to public or private educare facilities. Within this low level of provision there are severe disparities, relating to age, race, class, location, and special needs.
Not only are very few infants and children catered for, but even fewer receive an appropriate ECE experience. Most children therefore have an abrupt introduction to formal learning when they enter school, often in a language they do not understand, which in turn promotes frustration, poor learning, school failure, dropping out and repetition of grades.
In the absence of overall state policy and support, the non-governmental educare agencies and the communities where they work have accumulated a wealth of hard-won and internationally-respected expertise in the design and provision of ECE programmes, development of resources for learning, and training and accreditation schemes for ECE staff.
Over the past two years, a concerted effort has been made, through the National Interim Working Committee for ECE (NIWC) to create a strong national organisation to represent ECE workers and to lobby for a national ECE policy. The NIWC and the South African Association for Early Childhood Educare (SAAECE) have combined forces to launch such a strong, democratically representative national organisation in the first quarter of 1994.
The local and international evidence shows that individual children, families and the society in general can benefit greatly from well-planned, integrated community services directed to the developmental needs of young children, especially those in greatest need.
The provision of basic sanitation, immunisation and other preventive health and nutrition services in the community can have a dramatic impact on infant survival and child health and well-being. When educare services are added, children are able to receive better nutrition, love and care, mental and social stimulation, moral guidance and constructive socialisation, both in and out of the home. Thus individual children’s physical, mental, moral and social growth and happiness can be enhanced, with significant benefits for both child and family. ECE services can enable parents to learn about and respond to their children’s developmental needs, and can free parents, especially mothers, to take up work or further education. An adequate ECE infrastructure enables women in poor families to break out of the cycle of illiteracy, over-reproduction, and economic dependence.
These direct benefits to children and families should bring many indirect gains to the community and the wider society, including healthier and safer neighbourhoods, increased economic activity and productivity, reduced need for costly remedial health, education, welfare and police services, lower birth rates, and a more efficient school system.
Successful ECE programmes need not be very costly on a per capita basis, but the benefits to children and society alike are substantial and long-lasting.
The ANC’s policy for early childhood educare is based on the following principles.
A POLICY FOR THE EARLY YEARS OF SCHOOLING
The ANC proposes that the early years of schooling be targeted for a major overhaul. The early years determine whether or not a child becomes a successful learner in and out of school. The present rates of repetition and dropout in the early years of school are intolerable and must be reversed. A completely different approach to the learning needs of young children must be designed and implemented. We believe that this should be done in the following ways:
A POLICY FOR ECE CARERS, TEACHERS AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
Improving the quality of ECE provision will depend on improving the quality of ECE staff and curricula, including teachers and curricula in the lower primary schools. This will require a sustained and targeted programme of action over many years. The ANC proposes the following components:
A POLICY ON THE FUNDING OF ECE SERVICES
The public funding of a national ECE programme is justified on many grounds. It can help redress past discrimination against and neglect of young children, defend the rights of children and women, invest in human resource development, help prevent costly social pathologies, and secure more efficient performance by children in school. Public funding for ECE should be mobilised from national, provincial and local government revenues.
However, public funding should not be the only source of financial support for ECE. Employers also have a distinct responsibility to contribute to meeting their employees’ child care needs. Community organisations and NGOs funded by a variety of donors, have an indispensable role in ECE provision, research and development. Parents should contribute according to their means. The ANC therefore favours the following approach:
CONSULTATION AND ADVOCACY
The ANC in government will seek advice from the national organisation representing Early Childhood Educare on the composition, powers and functions of the consultative structures required at national, provincial and local levels, and proceed to establish such bodies.
With the advice of the consultative structures, the government will launch a public awareness campaign on the necessity for a national commitment to early childhood care and development as an essential part of the national reconstruction and development programme, and seek consensus on priorities for action.
General Education is the term that is used in this document to refer to the first 10 years of schooling. The policy proposals below for General Education are more inclusive and have implications for learners of different ages in a variety of contexts (such as children and youth in learning contexts other than school, and adults and workers who have not had the benefit of a general education). The analysis and policy proposals for General Education will include issues relating to curriculum, linkages within the system, resourcing, teacher supply and governance.
A high quality general education in which learning and achievement are valued will be an entitlement for South African learners. Depressed schooling conditions need to be revitalised, and learning opportunities for adults, youth and out-of-school children must be provided
The strategic principles underpinning our policy proposals are:
A high quality general education will be provided in the first ten years of schooling. This has economic, social and personal benefits. It will contribute to the development of the knowledge and understanding underpinning the technological literacy, adaptability and trainability that is necessary for the learning of new skills and functions within a flexible and versatile economic situation. It will also encourage democratic participation, contribute to the wide range of development goals and enhance satisfaction in participation in a range of activities.
The curriculum of General Education will be committed to national development and social responsibility, to the development of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society and to the development of a national identity. It will have mechanisms to provide for the articulation between different learning contexts in an open learning system.
A general education with a common core curriculum is proposed. Subject areas in the core school curriculum will include: two or more South African languages, mathematics, science and technology, studies of society, art, music and drama, physical education, and life skills.
The curriculum in the period of General Education will be oriented towards:
In all of these subject areas the emphasis will be on developing the capacity of learners to think independently and creatively, to solve problems and to communicate and apply their knowledge. Within this framework, there will be flexibility and encouragement for teachers to take curriculum initiatives and to introduce supplementary material. There will be a qualitative review of all existing textbooks.
ARTICULATION BETWEEN LEARNING CONTEXTS
Mechanisms for articulation between contexts (children learning both in and out of school, adults and youth) will be developed. It is possible that mechanisms for articulation and equivalence might be based on statements that link knowledge to skills, understanding and application. This would provide curriculum flexibility and allow for a variety of conceptual tasks, and for different learning contexts, learners and content within a stipulated set of coherent standards.
Articulation points would be the correspondence between phases in the school context and levels in adult and youth education. The General Education Certificate would be a formal qualification providing for equivalence of outcome and access to further education, while the equivalence of prior levels and phases would be accommodated by ensuring appropriate curriculum articulation.
RECONCEPTUALISING THE EARLY YEARS OF SCHOOLING
As part of a strategy to enhance the quality of education in this period, there will be a focus on enriching and transforming the first years of schooling by:
Efficiency rates will be improved. An important mechanism for this will be an improvement in the quality of education. If quality improves, repetition and drop out rates will improve and there will be a slowing in the growth of overall school enrolment. This will reduce spending on education and increase possibilities for greater quality.
Overcrowding in schools must be rapidly eliminated as a critical contribution to raising quality. Classes of 50 – 80 or more students are unacceptable. We shall set targets to ensure that no class exceeds 40 students. Steps will be taken to ensure the optimal educational use of all existing facilities.
REDRESS OF INEQUALITIES
There will be redress of existing inequalities in provision. Goals will be set for the appropriate provision of human and material resources. Appropriate planning will ensure that teacher supply and classroom provision keep pace with enrolment.
Access to education will be broadened by local, provincial and national planning that prioritises strategies for developing access (such as school building, provision of transport where appropriate, appropriate use of educational facilities and the subsidising of hidden costs where necessary). Open learning systems and distance education will be developed with a view to broadening access.
OUT OF SCHOOL CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Extending access to learning for out-of-school children and youth will be prioritised with a view to the integration of these children and youth into the lifelong learning systems at appropriate points. The education of these learners will take into account their learning needs in relation to their physical, cognitive and socio-emotional developmental status.
ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING AN EFFECTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
While this task will require the holistic intervention of all aspects of reconstruction and development in education, the issue of corporal punishment in particular must be problematised. Corporal punishment is a dubious strategy in an effective learning environment. It is inconsistent with learner-centred education, it is not conducive to learning, and it does not guarantee co-operation. In addition it contributes to an attitude of violence in our society which through education, we must combat.
INSTITUTIONAL GOVERNANCE FOR DEMOCRACY AND EFFICIENCY
There will be maximum possible participation of all stakeholders, but particularly parents, teachers and students in the governance of schools. Governance structures will operate according to principles of democracy and accountability. Projects which enhance the administrative skills of school principals and increase the effectiveness of democratic governance structures at school levels will be extended.
The inequalities in the provision of education and training are most acute in rural communities. Rural and farm schools are under-resourced in terms of buildings, electricity, books and equipment. Students have to travel long distances to school, usually on foot. Teacher-student ratios of up to 1:70 in primary schools and 1:40 in secondary schools are common, and teachers in rural and farm schools are more likely to be unqualified and under-qualified.
The main factor contributing to the disadvantaged position of rural education is the fact that the state has abdicated and ceded its responsibility for the provision of education and training in rural Black communities to mostly white farmers and tribal authorities through a system of state-aided schools. The state’s role is limited to providing the salaries of teachers, textbooks, furniture and subsidies for the erection of school buildings. The limited role of the state is reflected in the fact that the per capita costs, including capital costs, for Black students in state-aided rural schools is some 50 per cent less than that at ordinary public schools.
We are committed to redressing the inequalities in the provision of education and training in rural communities as a priority. The state must assume full responsibility for, and control of, the provision of education and training in rural communities. This must be done in the context of addressing socio-economic conditions in rural communities through a sustainable rural development programme. The central issue which such a programme needs to confront is the provision and availability of land.
After careful investigation and consultation with all stakeholders, the state should negotiate the transfer of control of farm and community schools to the Provincial Education and Training Authorities through
Farm schools that cannot be brought under state control will not be allowed to close until alternative arrangements for educational provision have been made by the state.
Institutional governance and the management of farm and community schools will be the responsibility of the PTSA or School Board consisting of parents, teachers and (in secondary schools) students, together with representatives of the farmer or traditional authority respectively on whose land the school is situated.
22 SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
Special educational needs include: special academic and learning problems, physical health problems, emotional concerns, and particular social needs (which are often related).
The term ‘disabled learners’ refers specifically to those learners with severe and chronic physical disabilities, sensory loss, neurological disabilities, moderate and severe mental handicaps as well as multiples of these conditions. Disabled learners are a subgroup within those with special educational needs.
Special educational needs have been marginalised in mainstream education, and provision is fragmented. Special education and guidance and counselling services are administered by numerous racially and ethnically segregated education departments and there is no coherent national policy. School health services are administered by different state departments and there is no co-ordination with education services.
These support services for special educational needs are marked by massive disparities in resource allocation to different departments. The more privileged the education department, the more support the learners have and the greater ease of access to this support. Human resource development to provide support services has been particularly neglected.
In some education departments there is absolutely no provision for any form of special educational need and this underresourcing reflects the lack of government acceptance of responsibility for education for all. The limited provision that does exist for special educational needs tends to be concentrated in urban areas, and limited to primary schools. In education departments with no provision for compulsory education, it is very difficult for a disabled person to get access to secondary schools. Where age restrictions apply, it is often difficult for disabled people to complete their schooling.
The difficulties in accessing secondary education create a ceiling on further educational opportunities as Standard 8 is the requirement for access to many training programmes. Even when disabled students do complete schooling, access is denied to colleges of education and to some universities. Availability of appropriate support services is uneven across universities, and across disabilities. Because disabled people are denied access to teachers’ colleges, few disabled people are teachers. For example, there are no deaf teachers of the deaf in South Africa.
Literacy programmes are inaccessible to, or inappropriate for the needs of the disabled. Illiteracy amongst disabled adults undermines the potential effectiveness of self-help projects.
Disabled people and the parents of disabled children are inadequately represented on structures determining policy or governing systems or institutions.
THE SPECIAL CASE OF THE DISABLED LEARNER
Further policy development will occur when the representative national consultative structure has been established.
23 FURTHER EDUCATION
Further Education is the term used in this document to refer to those education experiences which follow the attainment of the General Education Certificate within the compulsory phase of schooling or through the Adult Basic Education programme. Further Education programmes lead to the award of the Further Education Certificate.
The poor provision which characterises the first nine years of schooling for the African population wreaks even more damage in the senior secondary years. In these final years more specialised infrastructure and teachers are needed to provide a quality education. The majority of the population does not progress through to Senior Certificate level or the N3 equivalent of the technical college sector. Indeed, of those who are enrolled in standard eight, nearly 30 percent drop out by standard ten.
Furthermore, lack of teachers and equipment forces many matriculants to take subject combinations which reduce their chances of further study or future employment. Syllabi are outmoded, and academic, and present social studies in a skewed manner. Teaching methodology is excessively teacher-centred, reflecting examinations which stress recall at the expense of higher skills. The senior secondary system as a whole is oriented toward achieving the School Certificate, whose character is dominated by the matriculation exemption requirements of the universities. Unsurprisingly, failure rates are high, and the attainment rate of matriculation exemption by Africans has reached an all-time low. The Senior Certificate has become discredited as an indicator of achievement or potential.
Gender issues need to be prioritised. Girls are not passing matric, and receiving matric exemptions, at the same rate as boys. Women comprise a small proportion of enrolment in technical colleges and are concentrated in the gender ghettos of typing and home economics. In technical education, gender inequalities reflect the gender divisions of labour in society: an absence of women in skilled, technical and managerial courses.
What is needed is a qualitatively different post-compulsory education structure which addresses personal goals, social development and economic empowerment.
In the technical colleges programmes of study are strongly craft oriented, tending to trap learners in semi-skilled career paths. Worse still, African students are almost completely absent in courses such as engineering, life and physical sciences, and mathematics. Overall, preparation for employment in many black technical and commercial colleges is geared toward preparing students for low-skilled and low-paid gender-specific jobs.
Above all, the schools and colleges continue to exclude adult learners and those marginalised by the school system from further educational development. The education and training systems follow separate and unequal paths which limit career choice and belittle vocational education.
Further Education will provide schooling, training and adult education as an integrated system. A balanced curriculum leading to the Further Education Certificate will be developed for all learners in a variety of learning contexts: students learning within formal institutions, workers in industry or out-of-school youth through Community Learning Centres. The curriculum will seek to open learning paths consistent with the goals of lifelong learning.
The strategic principles underpinning our policy proposals are similar to those for General Education, tempered by an awareness of economic constraints. The key principles are to:
In the short term, senior secondary schools, and colleges which admit students after standard seven, will operate broadly as at present. In the medium term the Further Education Certificate will be introduced in order to allow flexible articulation from the workplace, school or other areas into higher education. These developments will occur within the national qualifications framework in co-operation with the South African Qualifications Authority. The intention is to bring logic to the various post-compulsory education qualifications which are offered by various providers.
A number of measures may be taken immediately.
In order to maximise educational opportunity, Further Education will be supported by distance education methods and the establishment of Community Learning Centres as sites of delivery for full-time and part-time students.
Recognising the system-wide implications of integrating education and training, a National Commission on Further Education should be instituted at the earliest opportunity. The commissioners would be expected to be representative of the broad community and to draw on the input of as wide a group of stakeholders as is reasonably possible. The mandate of the Commission would be to investigate the various components of the sector and to make specific recommendations on its size and shape consistent with financial resources and the needs of the reconstruction and development programme.
24 HIGHER EDUCATION
In this document Higher Education refers to all organised learning activities which take place in colleges, technikons and universities or under their academic supervision. Teachers colleges, while part of the higher education sector, are discussed in more detail in chapter 9.
The Higher Education sector reflects the distortions and inequities of the apartheid past, as well as the tensions and uncertainties of the national transition to a democratic order.
The dominant issues, which affect all significant policy questions in the sector are:
There will be a well planned and integrated, high quality national system of Higher Education whose students and staff are increasingly representative of South African society. The system will be linked to national and provincial reconstruction, in particular to human resource development and the production of scientific and other knowledge to service the economic, political, cultural and intellectual development of our communities and nation.
Shape and structure of the system
The national system of Higher Education will consist of:
Flexible access into and between universities, technikons and colleges will be facilitated by a single national qualifications structure. Articulation across institutions will be managed through the South African Qualifications Authority.
The national qualifications structure will increase access to Higher Education by facilitating horizontal and vertical mobility between the different institutional sectors. This will be promoted through the development of credit based/ modular course structures, with credit accumulation and transfer. Accredited work-based courses undertaken at the post-FEC level will carry credit toward diplomas and degrees.
Differences in status between sectors and institutions will be reduced by ensuring the provision of high quality education by all institutions in all sectors irrespective of the differentiated and specialised functions they perform. This will require redressing institutional inequalities within sectors – between Black and white institutions – which presently characterise the system. Specialisation of functions will include the recognition and creation of centres of excellence appropriate to national and provincial development requirements. The division of universities into graduate and research institutions on the one side, and teaching universities on the other, will not be supported.
Provincial co-ordination and rationalisation between and within institutional sectors will be promoted. This will contribute to the optimal use of resources through reducing duplication of programmes and facilities. In the longer term, the development of multi-campus institutions will be encouraged.
The national government has responsibility for planning the development of the Higher Education system in partnership with provincial and local governments, institutional governing bodies, the business sector, organised labour, academic staff, student organisations and other stakeholders.
Higher Education will be expanded in line with national development needs and plans, and in particular, in relation to human resource development. The expansion of the system is necessary to redress skewed development within the sector, inequalities in access, as well as the present shortages in high-level personpower.
In expanding the system, priority will be given to balancing the mix of outputs between the different levels and programmes in Higher Education. Insofar as development policies require it, priority will be given to expanding the college and technikon sectors and programmes in science, technology and economics, thereby offsetting existing imbalances in enrolments.
The present funding formula for Higher Education will be reviewed and restructured in terms of the need to expand the system, redress institutional inequalities, and increase the intake of disadvantaged students. In restructuring the funding formula, emphasis will be placed on developing an incentives-driven financial system to encourage institutional support for national policies, including the enhancement of quality and the development of new programmes.
Higher Education qualifications represent a social and individual benefit, and therefore costs will have to be shared by the state and individuals. Mechanisms of state funding will be developed which allow for the co-ordinated development of Higher Education, the diminution of inequalities between sectors and institutions and the enhancement of quality. A new policy on student finance will support the access of disadvantaged students to Higher Education. The mechanisms for funding will include bursaries, scholarships and a national loan scheme. Other possibilities, such as a graduate tax and a graduate payroll tax, will be investigated.
Access of disadvantaged students to Higher Education institutions will be increased as a first step towards the goal of ensuring that the student bodies of Higher Education institutions should reflect the composition of the broader society.
Admissions criteria and procedures will need to change to facilitate the increased access of disadvantaged students. Institutions will be required to develop admissions criteria and procedures which, in addition to formal school qualifications, recognise and assess the potential of students, disadvantaged through race, gender, class, disablement or rural-urban difference, to undertake academic study. (This is necessary given the unreliability of, in particular, Black matric results as a predictor of future performance.) The potential of mature applicants to succeed in Higher Education will need to be assessed, including the recognition of appropriate prior learning and experience.
Access into, and success within, Higher Education institutions can further be enhanced by the introduction where appropriate of undergraduate formative degrees designed to provide an appropriate mix of science and arts/humanities-based subjects.
Part-time studies and distance education will be provided both through specialised institutions and existing institutions of Higher Education. Strong support will be given to institutions which seek to develop systems of open learning and multi-media distance education.
Academic development programmes will be integrated into mainstream educational programmes and specifically financed through the state subsidy. This is crucial to ensure that increased access does not lead to a ‘revolving door’ for disadvantaged students due to high failure and drop-out rates.
Academic development programmes must be based on the recognition that institutions ought to respond to the learning needs of students. This requires transforming the role of teaching, curriculum content and the structure of degree and diploma programmes, in recognition of the changing profile of the student body and in order to guarantee the quality of the qualifications concerned.
Pro-active staff development programmes are needed in universities, technikons and colleges to develop human resources, and to assist the institutions in changing their staff profiles in terms of race and gender. They will be encouraged through appropriate funding mechanisms.
The Ministry of Education and Training through the Division of Higher Education will be responsible for the development of national policy for, and a large part of the financial provision of, higher education.
Stakeholders (the Higher Education institutions, provincial and local government, the business sector, organised labour, academic staff, students, NGOs, cultural bodies and others) will have a central role to play in the formulation and development of Higher Education policy through representation on the Higher Education Council and its sub-Boards. There will be two sub-Boards, a Universities and Technikons Board and a Colleges Board.
Provision will be made for the creation of Higher Education Councils at provincial level. Particular attention will be paid to the articulation of college provision by provincial governments and the universities and technikons sector which is under national governance structures.
Institutional governance at all levels will provide for the effective representation of all institutionally-based constituencies and the wider community.
Students will have the right to form Student Representative Councils (SRCs). Student representation on institutional governance structures will be through the SRC.
The right to academic freedom is protected in the chapter on human rights in the Interim Constitution. Academic freedom, which entails the right of freedom of speech in the academic sphere, must be distinguished from the autonomy of Higher Education sectors and institutions. Autonomy relates to the policies which govern the overall running of the institutions, their general direction in relation to development strategies, and hence issues such as specialisation and differentiation. Higher educational institutions must have a high degree of autonomy in determining their affairs balanced with the need for the monitoring, evaluation and public accountability of the Higher Education system, especially in relation to the redress of inequalities, quality of provision, and the efficient utilisation of resources.
At the earliest opportunity, a National Commission on Higher Education will be appointed with the task of reviewing structures and resourcing for the entire sector, and making recommendations regarding the specific role of the sector in national development and reconstruction.
This document is testimony to the fact that we stand at the verge of a new era in education and training in South Africa. We are presented with a unique opportunity to start anew – to do things differently. The nature of the education and training system that we construct, and its style of operation, must reflect the democratic values being shaped in society.
The policy proposals contained in the preceding sections are wide-ranging in their scope and profound in their implications, presenting a vast and complex challenge for educational reconstruction. It is a challenge which we can only meet collectively and in a partnership of all sectors of South African society. This will require that we continuously seek and find creative ways of unleashing the creative energies, talents, skills, and resources of all our people: learners, teachers, parents, communities, organisations of civil society, the private sector, organised labour and the state. Non-governmental organisations are well-placed to make contributions in educational development, innovation, research, and training, Early Childhood Educare and Adult Basic Education.
In formulating these policies, and presenting them for the scrutiny of our people, the ANC recognises the central role that the struggle for education has played in the history of our movement. We acknowledge those who have fought so hard for this basic human right: it is now within our grasp.
ANC Education Department