The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has received 15 submissions on the Education Amendment Bill. The bill is now before the legislature and public hearings will be held.
The changes in the bill will mean that schools may permit the sale and consumption of alcohol on public school premises or at a school activity; pupils found guilty of serious misconduct may be sent to intervention facilities; education MECs may establish a School Evaluation Authority which will independently evaluate schools and develop school evaluation reports; and provisions have been made for the establishment of collaboration schools and donor-funded schools.
In her policy debate on her budget vote last week Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said they have been piloting the new School Evaluation Authority for over a year.
“A crucial part of this pilot is improving our use of data, and we are developing very useful tools for our officials to use to identify performance trends and more accurately determine areas for improvement and where accountability for these actions lies,” Schäfer said.
The biggest teacher union in the country, the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu), which represents more than 250 000 teachers, made submissions and said the proposed amendments are variously unlawful, contrary to the spirit of democracy and redress in education, redundant, unlikely to improve educational outcomes and potentially directly harmful.
Sadtu said: “These submissions are made to request the legislature to either amend the provisions of the Draft Amendment Bill or to remove the offending provisions in totality.”