Categorized | Education

Parliament Awaits Tabling of New Education Bill

Period of Comment Still Open

The period of public comment on the department of education’s proposals contained in the draft Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill has not yet ended, comment being possible for 60 days from the date of the gazette publishing the draft, i.e. 9 December 2009.

Essentially the bill allows for the minister to amend a number of anchor education laws such as the National Education Policy Act, the South African Schools Act, the SA Council for Educators Act and other education and quality assurance legislation to form of separate ministry and department of basic education and to separate functions from a department of higher education and training.

Such will enable government to activate its stated policy of separating basic education from higher education in South Africa.

In a separate move, Parliament’s portfolio committee on basic education has called for separate submissions by 28 February on the subject of “quality outcomes in primary and high schools.”

The committee calls for such submissions to specifically study a number of issues including curriculum content; teacher development; class size; managerial capacity at schools in SA; the orientation at schools towards specialisation and expected “values” set by schools.

 In its last session in 2009, the committee chairperson, Ms Fatima Chohan, said that the committee was shifting its focus towards the delivery of, and challenges facing, quality education in South Africa and she noted with concern that certain areas, particularly with regard to equal access to quality education, existed for many categories of learners.

She also noted particularly, she said, “the questionable levels of learning outcomes”.

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