1. The MEC’s commitment to further improve the matric results is most appreciated. The United Democratic Movement commits to support all efforts that will take our Eastern Cape learners to greater heights.
However, education always exists in a world in transition. Accordingly teaching methods and curricula have got to constantly change to adapt to the changing environment both inside the classroom as well as in the outside world.
2. Let’s look at the past, present and the future, there are critical factors here:
(i) The purpose of education
(ii) The curriculum
(iii) The teacher
(iv) The classroom
(v) The community environment which the learning and teaching takes place
(vi) The workplace
3. (i) All the above are driven by two things, namely:
• The brain, which produces systems and
• The budget, which pays for goods and services.
(ii)(a) The brain gets sharper with more use and the budget gets diminished with more use.
4. Let’s look at how best to optimise the budget in order to address the core functions of this department, which are teaching and learning. Here the guiding principles should be that you can’t do it alone.
(i) Welcome to the science laboratory where we are going to
• Filter and
(ii) When you do that within the lab (i.e. the brain) each one of the original products (ideas) loses some of its originality in order to accommodate the necessary partner (i.e. a different and new idea). Philosophical rigidity is not going to help us here.
(iii) Such a process has taken place in the right room temperature, crystal clear ideas will be the outcome.
5. Here are some suggestions which hopefully, will clear the congestion (of activities) in this department.
(i) (a) The MEC for Education is loaded with many functions which are no more than merely supporters of the core functions of the department.
(b) These are: feeding scheme, infrastructure, social services, and security.
(ii) The legislative committee researcher has identified self-provision of infrastructure as a huge drawback and time consumer in this department. Even the DG Department volunteered a statement and said on the evening of the 16th July: ‘’I must confess that I spend most of my time on infrastructure issues’’ This was during committee proceedings.
(iii) The results of the synthesis here is that the premier is called upon, suggestively though to re-assign the infrastructure function to public works. This will be in accordance with the latest National policy position. Here section 137 of the constitution the premier mandates to do so. However minor but critical and urgent repairs may still be a function of this department. But routine maintenance should also go to public works.
(iv) There should be a direct link between the natural attractions of scholars, the curriculum and the potential career of the learner. Their interest should be identified quite early. Then they should be linked to potential funders on a group basis.
(v) Teachers should be subjected to psychometric tests, at least bi-annually. They seem to have lots of personal challenges that tend to demoralise them.
(vi) The depreciating socio-economic factors in society are the root cause of population migration from area to area. The department should keep a live barometer of these societal changes and prepare itself accordingly.
(vii) Health, social and nutritional services should be totally outsourced to the relevant departments. This department should be a mere recipient of these services, instead of having to manage them. This will relieve the DG so he can focus on improving teaching and learning.