Last year the Ministry of Basic Education intervened in the management of the Eastern Cape Department of Education.
The Ministry briefed Parliament on progress on the intervention. The national team that was sent to the Eastern Cape was withdrawn because of tensions and a new five-member team of deputy ministers was sent to evaluate the situation. It found that most of the problems in the Eastern Cape relate to governance, financial and administrative challenges, and that these were all long-standing and deep-rooted problems.
A memo of understanding has been drawn up amongst all the parties concerned identifying the areas needing remedying as well as the necessary strategies that will be implemented.
Statistics were presented to show the decline in education performance in the province in 2010/11 – there was a 15% decline in learner performance whilst other provinces improved their outcomes.
Structural problems included too many teachers, inflated learner numbers, expenses related to litigation, insufficient spending because of lack of capacity, irregular salary payments, non-viable schools and a leadership void.
The intervention will proceed. However, it is likely to take longer than the originally planned 18 months.