The Department of Basic Education has published its IQMS Annual Report 2011/12. IQMS stands for the Integrated Quality Management System. In terms of the IQMs, the DOBE has put in place a number of systems to monitor educational capacity, in line with the goals of Action Plan to 2014 as well as the Delivery Agreement of the Basic Education Sector.
Key elements of the system include ongoing self-assessment by schools in terms of the IQMS and the appointment of IQMS external moderators. Moderators have visited a total of 8 410 schools in 2011/12 (which included 5 081 follow-up visits). They have also observed 1 469 teachers in their classrooms, resulting in increased levels of support to teachers. Provincial and district IQMS coordinators have visited 9% of schools across the country.
The report provides feedback on various matters in schools, including the general performance of provinces in the implementation of the IQMS, school functionality, curriculum implementation in schools, curriculum training for educators, the delivery and use of workbooks, the status of the appointment and evaluation of principals, and support provided to schools by District officials during the 2011/12 period.
Whilst the system has targeted and benefited under-performing schools, ongoing tension with labour unions has frustrated the realisation of the potential efficacy and benefit of the system. For example, in some provinces, moderators were turned away from schools due to the influence of labour unions; negotiations around the review of the IQMS and the introduction of a revised and simplified performance system for all school-based educators were deadlocked at the ELRC.
Other challenges have included the poor quality of information received from some provinces; in some schools, whilst moderators have improved good practices, more sustained interventions are required. District support remains poor, and a number of principals are not evaluated by the circuit managers, which impacts on the accountability of teachers.
Specific issues reported on include:
- The submission of School Improvement Plans (SIPS) for 2012. All schools must submit SIPS to district offices by 31 March of each year as they feed into District Improvement Plans (DIPS). In the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the North West and Free State, 100% of schools had submitted their SIPS, and in other provinces 85% had done so.
- Summative evaluations of educator performance from 2009 to 2011. The report shows an increase in the number of educators and HODs rated as acceptable, but a decrease in the number rated as outstanding. There was a decrease in the number of principals who were evaluated, a decrease in the number rates as acceptable, as well as a decrease in the number rated as outstanding.
- 10,6% of educators participated in developmental activities on areas identified in the SIP and PGP. Most of the support was provided in the Western Cape where 39% of educators participated in training/workshops.
- Follow-up on recommendations made by moderators after school visits has been good, with provinces having planned a number of intervention programme based on the recommendations.
- Functionality of schools is measured by, inter alia, the systems in place to manage teacher attendance. In all provinces, except the Eastern Cape and the North West, good systems were in place to measure this issue.
- The report shows that many schools did not receive their Learning and Teaching Support Materials for 2011-2012, with the most significant problems experienced in Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State and Limpopo. The pace of curriculum coverage was slowest in the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Limpopo. There were high levels of principal absenteeism on the days of moderator visits.
- Classroom observations revealed that a number of educators did not use appropriate teaching aids, learner participation was minimal, and curriculum support for teachers did not adequately meet their developmental needs.
- The NSC results in underperforming schools that were visited by moderators improved.
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