Grade R learners suffer due to the GP Education Department’s delay in payments for teaching material

Early Childhood Development (ECD) has been economically affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this has been worsened by the Gauteng Department of Education’s delay in supplying learning material.

The Gauteng Department of Education’s (GDE) fourth quarterly report for the 2021/2022 financial year indicates the department’s gross over-expenditure of R194.7 million in the procurement of Teaching Supporting Material (TSM) for Programme 5: Early Childhood Development (ECD).

The programme was allocated R1.4 billion for the year and has spent R380.5 million or 205% from a quarterly allocation of R185.8 million.

The over-expenditure is said to be caused by delays in the delivery by suppliers during the first and the second quarter.

However, this is not the sole reason as the department also delayed payments which impacted on the commencement of the programme in schools.

The ECD is a vital programme which aims to provide public and ordinary schools with the necessary resources required at a Grade R level across the province and to provide sufficient support to educators in due course.

With the above mentioned, the delayed deliveries by suppliers and delays in the creation of purchase orders by the department have had a negative impact on the progress of learning in the province.

As a result of this, only 195 Grade R learners were found to be supported by the GDE Multi Certification Programme after an oversight was conducted at 99 schools in all 15 districts.

The early years of a child should be of priority to the GDE. However, these delays only contributed to many Grade R learners falling behind in the curriculum.

The DA will table questions to the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to ascertain the reasons for the delays from an administrative side and to determine which measures are being put in place to ensure that suppliers deliver goods in time.

The DA believes that every learner in Gauteng deserves all opportunities afforded by the government to meet their basic right to education.

A rapid vaccination of teachers and support staff will ensure stability of teaching for students

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is urging all teachers and support staff across the province to get vaccinated to avoid any further disruption of schooling and risking the future of our children.

The DA shares the concerns of parents and different stakeholders that the Covid-19 pandemic is severely affecting the education sector. However, we do not support the idea to shut down schools. 

We demand that both the Gauteng Department of Education and the Department of Health should prioritise the vaccination of teachers and support staff and ensure that there are enough vaccines to avoid any further unnecessary delays in the school curriculum since the start of the academic year.

Since schools have adopted the rotational system due to the Covid-19 pandemic, learners have fallen behind in the curriculum, yet some organisations are advocating for the schools to be shut down.

We cannot allow anyone to gamble with the future of our children as the pandemic is something we all have to learn to live with.

The Covid-19 pandemic should be viewed as an opportunity to focus on innovative education and fight inequality gaps by creating more opportunities for all.

 We have noticed that children whose parents have access to resources will continue to attend school online while those who do not have will fall behind.  The total closing of schools will only make the inequality gap bigger.

The DA is appealing to all teachers and support staff across the province to get vaccinated, maintain health protocols standards and wear their protective personal equipment. We believe that all education stakeholders must do their best to ensure that we protect the interests of learners and teachers. 

A rapid vaccination of teachers and support staff will ensure a faster return to conducive teaching, where children will be at less risk of falling behind in learning. 

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DA calls for the establishment of a National Register for Sex Offenders for teachers

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling for the establishment of a National Register for Sex Offenders for teachers in order to protect learners against ‘sex pests’.

It has now become a norm, particularly for teachers who have been dismissed from public schools for either sexual assault, sexual harassment, or rape, to go and seek employment from private schools.

In most cases, some private schools do not have any mechanisms in place to check the employment history of their candidates, resulting in the lives of learners being put at risk.

In a recent incident, the private John Martin Catholic School in Kagiso appointed an acting principal who was dismissed by the Gauteng Department of Education in 2014 for sexually assaulting and harassing learners at another school.

The appointment of the acting principal has caused outrage amongst the parents who are concerned about their children’s safety.

The existing National Register for Sex Offenders (NRSO) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2007 but is kept confidential. In addition, the NRSO only record the names of those found guilty of sexual offences against children and mentally disabled people.

The National Register for Sex Offenders for teachers should be made public for both public and private schools to have access, including the parents, in order to protect their children against sex predators.

This register will ensure that those teachers who have been dismissed for sexually-related cases are blacklisted.

The safety of learners should be a priority in order to build a better future and country for all.

The DA will continue to put pressure on the ANC-led government to consider establishing a National Register for Sex Offenders for teachers to ensure the safety of learners at schools.

MEC Lesufi must stop SADTU’s pickets from disrupting schooling

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has learnt that the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) Gauteng Central Region has planned two pickets with the intention of disrupting schooling in that region.

The pickets will be held on 11 and 14 October at the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) Gauteng Central Region District offices and the GDE Head Office.

The SADTU affiliated members in the Gauteng Central Region have also planned not to submit learners’ marks and reports.

SADTU does not prioritise learners interest on top of their agenda. It is unacceptable that learners must suffer because of a dispute between the union and the department.

SADTU is destroying the future of our children in the townships. Many schools are closed down because of SADTU.

Gauteng Central Region is the worst performing region in the province and SADTU must be held accountable for the poor performance of the learners.

Teachers are gambling with the future of our children as they are no longer committed to their core mandate of teaching, but instead are prioritising SADTU’s pickets during working hours.

Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi must ensure that the SADTU’s planned picket must not continue as planned because it will disrupt learning and teaching in the Gauteng Central Region.

The DA believes that the GDE has the responsibility to ensure that learners’ rights are protected at all times. In this case, learning and teaching must take place without further disruption, particularly in township schools.


How often have you heard “teachers work half day” – very often, I’m sure. But it’s not true.

How often have you heard “teachers work half year” – again, very often. But again, it’s not true.

How often have you heard “teachers get half a salary” – well that is true.

Our teachers are probably amongst the hardest working members of our community and amongst the least appreciated. Many high school teachers teach two or three subjects in three to five grades which have four or five classes of 35 to 45 learners in a week. Let’s do the math to see how many young minds they are responsible for developing every week. This equates to a Gauteng teacher being responsible for over 840 young minds.

Now make the assumption that in each exam cycle, those learners sit two exams for each subject. Our hypothetical teacher has to mark 1680 exam papers taking 15 minutes per paper. That’s 420 hours of marking in each exam cycle. Please note that there is generally the expectation that a paper has to be marked within 5 days of it being written.

Teaching is not a half day, half year job. And we have not even considered the time needed for preparation for each lesson, the time for intervention sessions with struggling learners, the time for extra-curricula activities and the time needed for personal studies to remain ahead of the subject matter in an ever changing world. Seldom is the phrase, “over worked and under paid” so appropriate.

But who suffers in this very realistic scenario? The teacher? Yes. The learner? Very definitely! The community? Certainly! Our province? Absolutely. South Africa? Without a doubt.

Let’s look at it from the perspective of the learner. If the child is doing well at school, he or she will certainly be on the teacher’s radar. The child will be interacting with the teacher in the classroom and getting confirmation of material as well as affirmation regularly. A weak learner will be on the teacher’s radar too. Time will be spent on intervention and additional lessons. What about the child who is simply average but with potential to do better? Let’s call them “the invisible middle”. In the average Gauteng school, this child will get very little attention to realize her potential.

A teacher’s assistant in the classroom will plug this gap as well as take some of the huge load off the teacher to enable greater attention be given to the pursuit of excellence in our classrooms.

It is not the intention that the teacher’s assistant makes tea and cleans the board before every class. The intention is for this person to assist in the teaching and assessing process. This has multiple benefits: the teacher will have more time to prepare and present stimulating lessons; the learner will have someone by her side to assist and help surmount obstacles; the teacher’s assistant will get experience in the real world, a real classroom.

Ask any teacher what they had to learn after getting an education degree and they will tell you that they didn’t really know how to handle a classroom in the real world. Theory is all very well but dealing with children in a classroom effectively requires experience beyond what is given in the annual practical period facilitated by our universities.

Teacher’s Assistants could be drawn from multiple sectors. New graduates who would gain much needed experience. Correspondence students studying towards an education degree who cannot afford to study full time and not work to provide for families. Retired specialist teachers where specialist skills are needed.

During my recent stay in London while doing research at Melcombe School which is an inner city state school in a working class area, it became more obvious that teachers’ assistants play a vital role in the education system. They have the advantage of much smaller class sizes than we have and sometimes have as many as 3 teachers’ assistants in the room at a time to assist in the learning process and personal development of the child. There is no way that we can have a system of this magnitude but we have to start putting more resources into education to achieve a well-educated population which can realize its potential and develop our country to the next level.

The time is now. The need is now. Action is needed now.

Motion With Regards To Teachers Assistants In Gauteng

Our teachers are burdened with work overload and this makes it difficult to teach learners and give special attention to learners who aren’t naturally given. We have noticed that in some schools we noticed that we have few learners who perform exceptionally well but on average, many learners don’t perform as expected.

This perpetuates inequality as those who can afford, do attend we’ll run schools where pass rate on average has many bachelor and diplomas passes. Teacher’s assistants in these schools will help to improve quality of passes in township and rural schools. Many of these schools are over crowded with more than 45 learners per class. In some instances, after the committee visited some schools we observed learners left alone due to teacher absenteeism.

This proposal seeks to provide support to teachers so they can do their work and get positive results. While we note that we need performance management systems to reward excellent performances but it is difficult to recognize their efforts considering their working environment.

Some of the benefits of this program include amongst others, job opportunities to deal with high unemployment rate. While dealing with this challenge, we will afford assistants work experience opportunity and minimize inequality. The most important benefit, will be experienced by teachers and learners. In return, the province will gain as we will be able to produce high skilled, innovative and talented personnel.

Teachers assistants will also help to identify natural talent like sporting codes. Though we don’t have enough facilities but that shouldn’t stop us from naturing such talent. We have responsibility to ensure that our learners are not limited to academic lessons only but sports and other activities like debate competition.

This call is to explore possibility to realize this program. Based on aforementioned benefits, let’s create a better province. We can only be a better place if we create more opportunities for our young people.

This call is to unlock the learning and teaching barriers to enhance quality education.

Let’s introduce this program. Many teachers will support this proposal as it will simplify their work load. The education system will improve and we will get best outcomes.

The DA believes that a caring government listens and act. Let’s see where we find common solutions aimed at improving quality education.


Media Queries

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Education Shadow MEC

082 398 7375

Kwanele Primary School: Gauteng Education MEC Must Prioritise Learning Conditions

Note to editors: This press statement follows an oversight visit conducted today by the DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL and the DA Katlehong Constituency Head, Lebo More MPL, at Kwanele Primary School.

Kwanele Primary School

Teaching and learning conditions at Kwanele Primary School in Katlehong are indicative of the poor state of schooling in Gauteng with learners attending class in a bus, some sharing chairs and with up to a 100 learners in one classroom.

Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi must get the basics right.

Learners attending township schools continue to be disadvantaged due to poor management and leadership at a district level.

It is unfair to subject teachers and learners to these poor conditions.

[Click here to view images of the conditions faced at Kwanele Primary School].

Poor Working Conditions

Teachers are working in poor conditions under severe pressure, yet are expected to ensure learners perform optimally.

MEC Lesufi is failing to provide a conducive learning and teaching environment.

Kwanele Primary School needs about eight classrooms to reduce the overcrowding.

The DA has written to MEC Lesufi to urgently provide more classrooms and furniture to the school as well as to address the myriad of challenges faced by the school management.

We cannot allow the deteriorating situation at our schools in Gauteng to worsen.


Media Enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC of Education

082 398 7375


Lebo More, MPL

DA Constituency Head: Katlehong

073 143 7508

Gauteng Education MEC Needs To Clarify Village Waldorf School Registration Status

Village Waldorf School – Rietvalleirand

Residents, school learners, teachers, school management and parents are experiencing great difficulty over the uncertainty of whether the Village Waldorf School in Rietvalleirand, Tshwane, is registered with the Gauteng Education Department or not.

In a reply to a DA question, the MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi said that the school is not registered with the department and that it is set to shut its doors pending an investigation.

Members of the community have raised concerns about the MEC’s remarks.

However, according to the Department’s Director of the Independent Schools Division, Mr Mazengelonke Mdingi, the school is registered and all was in order.

Bearing the Brunt of Uncertainty

The Department of Education seems to be odds with itself, as the MEC’s statement contradicts that of Mr Mdingi.

In all of this confusion, the school’s learners and teachers are bearing the brunt of uncertainty, and may be forced to find alternatives should the school be shut down.

Allowing this confusion to linger any longer will cause major disruptions going forward, and may cause parents to withdraw their children as a result.

Equally, if the school meets required standards as an independent school, it deserves unequivocal confirmation so they are certain about their status.

The MEC must clarify the school’s registration status and should the need arise, commit to a deadline by when action will be taken.


Media Enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho, MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

[Image source]

DA Urges Gauteng Parents To Place Their Children In School

Parents to Find Placement

In a reply to DA questions regarding textbooks and LTSM readiness for 2016, the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, indicated that there are 25 000 learners waiting to be placed in schools across the province.

The DA urges the Department of Education in Gauteng to finalise learner placements ahead of the 2016 academic year. This will enable parents to buy uniforms, budget accordingly and ensure they have properly planned for the school year.

Parents who have not applied have an opportunity to do so before the end of November this year.

The DA appeals to all parents to use this window period to find placement for their children. This will ensure that teaching and learning will start on day one in 2016.

Quality Education

By finding place for their children, parents are contributing to strengthening monitoring and planning ahead of the academic year – as schools will be able to procure the necessary amounts of learning materials and resources.

The department must provide furniture, textbooks and employ more teachers before the commencement of the academic year. We must avoid situations where learners sit on buckets and paint cans due to lack of furniture.

Quality education will only be possible where a teaching and learning environment exists that is conducive to nurturing well-educated global citizens.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

[Image source]