PARTY

Pupil teacher ratio at 30.4:1 - Angie Motshekga

Minister says Eastern Cape and Free State below the 30:1 ratio, WCape, Gauteng and KZN above it

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION 1813

DATE OF PUBLICATION OF INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 27/07/2012

(INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 19/2012)

The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the Minister of Basic Education:

(1) Whether her department has undertaken a campaign to achieve a 30:1 learner-educator ratio in schools; if not, why not; if so, (a) how many schools have achieved this target and (b) how many schools in each province must still achieve this target;

(2) what is the projected time frame for achieving a 30:1 learner-educator ratio in schools? NW2205E

Response:

1(a) and (b)

The Department has, as a strategic objective, to reduce the class size at schools. Funding was secured in 2009 and each Provincial Department of Education would have received their equitable share of this funding. This funding provides support to targeted schools in the form of additional posts. Through the reduction of class size, the learner-educator ratio will decrease.

Table 1 indicates that some provinces have already achieved the 30:1 ratio. Nationally, the country is at 30.4:1 on average. The table shows that some provinces are even better off at a ratio below 30:1.

Table 1: Learner Educator Ratio

Province

L:E

Eastern Cape

29.1:1

Free State

27.1:1

Gauteng

31.4:1

KwaZulu-Natal

31.2:1

Limpopo

30.1:1

Mpumalanga

31.1:1

Northern Cape

31.8:1

North West

30.6:1

Western Cape

30.6:1

South Africa

30.4:1

Source: School Realities 2012"" preliminary report

2. In 1995, parties to the ELRC signed a collective agreement, ELRC Resolution 4 of 1995 which provided a guideline on learner- educator ratio  for ordinary schools as follows:

Ordinary primary schools: 40:1

Ordinary secondary school: 35:1

The implementation of this guideline was subject to annual negotiations between the parties to the ELRC.

Subsequently, in 1998 post provisioning norms (Government Notice 1676 of 1998) were developed, and became fully implemented in 2000. This represented the country's first attempt at applying an equitable policy to the distribution of publicly funded educator posts across public schools and technical colleges.  Regulations made in terms of this Act determine that an MEC must create a pool of posts in accordance with funds available for this purpose, after which the relevant head of department must distribute these posts among schools in accordance with the post-provisioning model (PPM). 

The distribution of posts among schools is based on each school's relative needs in this regard.  In order to determine the school's relative need for posts, in relation to that of other schools, the PPM attaches weightings to all learners based on their relative needs for teachers and, in doing so, determines a weighted learner enrolment for each school, irrespective whether it is primary or secondary.

The current norms overrode the 1995 collective agreement. Furthermore, the post provisioning norms as a policy currently implemented do not specify timeframes to achieve a 30:1 learner-educator ratio. However, as part of my department's commitment to strive towards reducing class size, we have already reached a national average of 30:1. This is reflected in Table 1 in answer No 1 above.

Issued by Parliament, September 12 2012

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