Debate on Budget Vote No 14 -
Basic Education


By Mr Alfred Mpontshane MP

National Assembly: 23 March 2010



Honourable Speaker


The objective of the department of Education as stated within the budget review document is to ensure that quality education is provided to all learners within the South African Schooling system.


Its peremptory focus or goal is upon the quality of education. To achieve this goal the ministry needs to look at whatever the hindrances to this goal were and to take corrective action therein.


The IFP are extremely concerned about the quality and standard of education that our learners are receiving. Key skills such as literacy and numeracy are still sub-standard with the net result being that our learners, or at least the learners that are lucky enough to finish schooling, are entering the workplace without the necessary skills base and as a result cannot find employment.


Where is the problem?


I submit that the Ministry needs to take a very close look at it's educational objectives and Identify and eliminate all hindrances and impediments to effective skills building with our learners.


What needs to be done?


1)  Do away with the Cadre Policy


The Hon Minister must stand before the NEC of her party and say the following "Comrades our Cadre policy is failing us , We must start to appoint people upon the basis of merit and not upon political connectedness" .  The youth of this country deserve no less than this .


Incompetence has been the result of putting the wrong people into managerial positions within the department.  Even Fikile Mazibuko admitted as much at a recently held Education Indaba.


2)  Quality Education begins with Quality Teachers.


There is no system of education anywhere in the world which is better than it's teachers. In fact, recent surveys have shown that teachers who teach on subjects for which they are unsuitably qualified have a higher percentage of students who drop out of the system.


The number of under-qualified teachers amongst Africans stood at 7% which translates into 22621 unqualified teachers. In the Budget teachers and Human resources programme is receiving 8.3% of the allocation.  This is far from sufficient when compared to the Curriculum Policy programme which is receiving 22%.

The IFP submits that this type of budgetary allocation is insufficient to bridge the gap between policy formulation and policy implementation which gap is currently extremely wide.


On Classroom visits, we note  that our classrooms have become veritable Black Boxes as nobody knows what is taking place inside them .For historical reasons, Teachers Unions have resisted any efforts towards classroom inspections.


But the Teachers must know that they cannot continue lock themselves into their classrooms. Efficient monitoring and teacher evaluation must become the sine qua non of the Department's strategy .This cannot be achieved with only 2.4% of the budget allocated to same.


The IFP wishes to see every child receive a quality education and have equal opportunities that will ensure that the learner has every chance of success.


The IFP supports the vote.



Mr Alfred Mpontshane MP