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Friday, 18 January 2013

Epic Fail by Angie Again

The Constitution is the main piece of mandating legislation for the Department of Basic Education. The Constitution in this regard guarantees, inter alia, access to basic education for all, with the provision that 
everyone has the right to basic education, including adult basic education. 

If this is the main mandate given to the Department, then the Minister tasked with heading the department is responsible for ALL aspects of basic education on a national level - which includes ensuring that all Provincial Departments are meeting and performing the mandate given by the Constitution. I would assume therefore that the buck would have stopped with Angie when it came to laying blame for the whole textbook debacle in Limpopo last year that left pupils without textbooks for the better part of the school year. 

Was it not Angie's job to ensure that the Provincial Departments were doing their jobs? The Limpopo Department of Basic Education was already under administration - would it not have been conceivable to believe that if the finances were in a mess then the rest of the Department would also have been a mess? Any person with a std 5 and a small sprinkling of common sense would have seen the and heard the alarms that were going off and made an effort to fix the problem asap.

Unfortunately it seems that we have a woman in charge of this vital Department that was absent from school the day common sense and logic were taught because she never even bothered to check on the status of the rest of the Department and actively ignored the issue for 6 months. It took 2 court orders before there was even rudimentary compliance by the Department of its Constitutionally mandated duties.

And now this woman with sh!t for brains has again publicly displayed her stupidity and inability to take responsibility for what can only be seen as her own failures. She has gone on record stating that "It [delivering textbooks] is an administrative function and it has nothing to do with me as a minister," I didn't know that a chairman of a board of directors could escape liability by saying that the administration of the company has nothing to do with him. Utter crap! Passing the buck and always looking for someone else to blame when we all already know where the buck should stop. Sure, discipline those who didn't order the books on time but she cannot escape responsibility by pretending that it is not her job to oversee that all Provincial Departmental duties are complied with. I'm sure she's very happy to be one of Zuma's biggest fans - she's safe from being held accountable for her own failures because Zuma is too much of a coward to reprimand his fans.

Motshekga denies textbook accountability

Johannesburg - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Friday denied accountability in the Limpopo textbook saga where schools in the province were without books for the first seven months of the school year in 2012.

"It [delivering textbooks] is an administrative function and it has nothing to do with me as a minister," she told a The New Age business briefing in Johannesburg.

"Basically, the problem lies with the administration and not the political office... The problem lies in the province... It is a provincial problem."

She said investigations were underway to see which officials were responsible for the textbooks not being delivered.

‘Procedures not followed’

On January 8, the department said at least 98% of textbooks had been delivered to inland schools ahead of the first day of school.

Speaking on the court decision to halt the closure of 17 schools in the Western Cape - she said the department understood there were procedures to follow and they lost the court case because they did not follow those procedures.

"There is a procedure for school closures and we have to consult and there is a reason we have to consult - so that communities can prepare themselves for alternatives," she said.

"On principal, where schools are not viable they have to be closed. But there are legal procedures that have to be followed. We lost the case because of our failure to follow the legal procedures..."

In October, Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant announced that 20 schools - later 18 - would be closed because of dwindling pupil numbers and multi-grade teaching.

In December, the Western Cape High Court granted 17 of the schools an urgent interdict halting the closures.

Mothsekga said there was nothing wrong with closing schools and the department would follow procedures if they saw a school should be closed.

‘Still a long way to go’

She told the business breakfast that progress was made in education but there were still challenges. Decisions made in recent years had been the right ones.

"This [2012 matric results] is good news that the tide has turned but we are not seeing the results we need to see as yet.... There is still a long way to go."

On January 2, Motshekga announced that the matric pass rate in South Africa improved in 2012 with 73.9% of Grade 12s passing their final exams.

This was an improvement on the 70.2% pass rate in 2011.

She told the business breakfast that in 2013 the department would continue to focus on the priorities and that the main priority was to sustain the results.

Of the 623 897 who wrote the NSC exams in 2012, over 136 000 pupils achieved results that qualified them to go to university.

Another 135 000 got results that would allow them to attend other higher education institutions.

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