OPINION

Premier Zille gives green light for School Evaluation Authority – Debbie Schäfer

WCape MEC says this is a huge step forward and now 'allows us to advertise for appointment of Chief Evaluator'

Premier Helen Zille signs Proclamation for the Commencement of the Western Cape School Evaluation Authority

16 April 2019  

On Thursday 11th April, Premier Helen Zille signed the second Proclamation for the Commencement of the Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Act, 2018 this time bringing into operation the provisions allowing for the establishment of the Schools Evaluation Authority.  They came into operation on 12th April 2019.

Section 8 provides for the Provincial Minister to establish an evaluation authority to be known as the Western Cape Schools Evaluation Authority (“Schools Evaluation Authority”) and to appoint a Chief Evaluator thereto.  Further provision is made for the Chief Evaluator to appoint Lead Evaluators and Evaluators.  Provision is made for eligibility criteria for the appointment, and the removal from office, of the Chief Evaluator, Lead Evaluator and Evaluators, the functions of the Schools Evaluation Authority, the payment of remuneration and allowances to the Chief Evaluator, Lead Evaluator and Evaluators, the provision of general support to, and the possibility of the dissolution of, the Schools Evaluation Authority.  Provision is also made for the Provincial Minister to make regulations regarding specified matters pertaining to the functioning of the Schools Evaluation Authority.

Section 25 amends section 58 of the principal Act by providing for further offences in relation to hindering the Chief Evaluator, Lead Evaluators or an Evaluator in the performance of their functions.

On the same day I also approved the Regulations on the Western Cape Schools Evaluation Authority, 2019.

The regulations outline:

1.  The procedures for the appointment of the Chief Evaluator

2. The terms and conditions of employment of the Chief Evaluator

3. Processes for filling of vacancies

4. Removal from Office of Chief Evaluator

5. Exercise of functions by the Chief Evaluator

6. Preparation and publication of reports

7. Submission of reports to Provincial Minister

8. Operation of School Evaluations Authority

This is a huge step forward and now allows us to advertise for the appointment of the Chief Evaluator.

Just today, the editorial in Business Day is lamenting the lack of evaluations of schools to measure the quality of teaching.  Well, this will do exactly that.  The intention of this authority is to assess the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom, and the general functionality of a school.  The reports will be published, once finalised, for the public to see, in line with our commitment to transparency and accountability.

Of course, the unions are not happy with it.  SADTU has already launched a court challenge and CTU-ATU is threatening to do the same.  It saddens me that this is the reaction to a genuine attempt to improve the education system.

We will oppose any such action, as we believe that this legislation is not only within our constitutional powers, but is in the best interests of the learners, who are our primary concern.

Issued by Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape Minister of Education, Western Cape Government, 16 April 2019