Parliament, Tuesday, 7 July 2020 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education today commended the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for the sterling work it has done during the “difficult time” of Covid-19 with the reintroduction of schooling.
Ms Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said: “We saw the reintroduction of the second phase of face-to-face schooling yesterday. We must commend the DBE, led by the Minister, for the hard work in this difficult time. There is a lot of criticism not to open schooling, but the DBE is standing strong and putting our learners first.”
The committee, together with the Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sports, Arts and Culture, was having a virtual briefing with statutory bodies regarding the proposed adjusted budgets due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The committee heard that the DBE had to contribute to the government’s R500 billion Covid-19 relief package announced by the President. The DBE contributed about R2 billion and was left with about R22 billion. The committee further heard that the DBE does not form part of the front line departments that benefited from the Covid-19 relief package.
In terms of budget savings by the DBE, this will include catering, travelling and subsistence, training will also not take place as well as catering for meetings, no need to hire venues for meetings and Matric Second Chance and Workbooks will also have savings. The current budget reduction of R71 million is not going to have a negative effect on the workbook project. For the 2021 academic year, there are workbooks that were initially earmarked for donation to poor private schools, these books will no longer be donated to the private schools but will now be sent to public schools to fill the budget short fall.
The South African Council for Educators (SACE) told the committees it had to decrease its target for the percentage of investigations on new cases, finalised from 80% to 50% due to the fact that most of the investigations are conducted physically and through physical contacts with witnesses and the drafting of their statements. The percentage of disciplinary hearings on new cases finalised were adjusted from 70% to 30% due to the same reasons.
It has a total revenue reduction of R9 million due to, among other things, the expected decline in registration and re-prints of certificates, professional development expenditure was reduced in line with the Treasury reduction (R8.1 million).
The Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) told the committees that its budget is not expected to decrease. It has an additional R2.33 million on Covid-19-related expenditure, including personal protection equipment and screening process.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION, MS BONGIWE MBINQO-GIGABA – AND THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY, SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE, MR ELLECK NCHABELENG.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committees’ Media Officer:
Name: Rajaa Azzakani (Ms)
Tel: 021 403 8437
Cell: 081 703 9542
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