Despite all the changes in the Department of Education in Gauteng, the problems still persist and there are several areas that need to be addressed. Some of the issues that need to be addressed include: Gender Based Violence, Tutoring of underprivileged students, the online admissions system and over-expenditure of the department.
Online admissions system
Earlier this month, the Gauteng Department of Education announced the launch of its new online admissions system. The new system was designed to facilitate a quick and efficient application process that would satisfy all interested parties.
It’s a pretty safe bet that the Gauteng Department of Education is proud of the new Online Admissions System. It’s a step in the right direction to modernize schools and provide efficient and effective service delivery to the citizens of the province.
The department has taken measures to ensure that the system has a long life span. This includes the construction of over 200 in-person sites across the province. In addition, it’s upgrading the system to handle more requests per minute.
While the new system is the newest in the line of GDE’s many edifices, it still has a few flaws. For example, the system does not offer parents the option of applying to more than five schools. In addition, the system’s ability to select the home language of applicants is lacking.
Over-expenditure in 2016
During the third quarter of the financial year, the Department of Education in Gauteng spent R317 million more than it had budgeted for. The amount was not only a result of fiscal dumping, but also under-spending on other departments. The provincial treasury was asked to take a hard look at its red lights and monitor its accruals.
Under-expenditure was also seen in the Department of Health. Expenses for medical negligence claims impacted on the department’s budget. In addition, R515 billion was under-spent due to unprocessed invoices from the National Health Laboratory Services.
Under-spending also occurred in Roads and Transport. The purchase of a fleet of vehicles was undertaken, but the fleet remained unpaid. Other areas under-spent included social interventions, rental interventions, and transfers. The province was also under-spending on its Cooperative Governance.
Per-learner spending in Limpopo dropped by -13%. The Western Cape under-spent on transfers and CoE. The province had capital works issues and under-spending on consultants.
Gender Based Violence
Despite the recent rise in reported incidences of gender based violence in South Africa, policy implementation remains a challenge. This article reviews and compares the findings of a small scale study aiming to assess the occurrence of GBVF on campus and the underlying factors that may contribute to its incidence.
In addition to identifying risk factors and providing alternative communication strategies, the intervention program also underscored the need for policy formulation and implementation. The study, which used a cluster sampling method, surveyed 604 female students from four universities in the Eastern Cape. It was an exploratory research that examined the role of social norms in predicting the likelihood of GBVF occurring on campus.
A statistical model was derived using descriptive statistics and logistic regression to calculate the effect size and P-value. The model incorporated independent variables including age, religion, living setting, ethnicity, the year of study, and the discipline of study.
Gender based violence is more likely to be perpetrated by people unfamiliar to the student. Among the most common perpetrators were lecturers, boyfriends, university friends, and strangers. They committed sexual assaults and rapes. The victims were not only physically hurt but psychologically traumatised.
Tutoring for underprivileged students
Tutoring for underprivileged students is usually provided by youth service agencies. Tutoring for the poor is a way of supporting young people who need additional tuition support. Often, the tutoring is individual and is episodic. The goal is to support students in improving their literacy, numeracy, and other areas. In some instances, the tutor can be paid handsomely. However, there are many students who are unable to attend tutoring sessions due to transportation issues or lack of knowledge.
As a result, many students find themselves at a disadvantage. In fact, a recent survey indicated that 24.5% of South Africans aged 20 or older had academic qualifications that were less than Grade 9. A similar study showed that fewer than three-tenths of 20-year-olds had attained Grade 12. Those who attended Grade 1 were less likely to complete Grade 12.
The Department of Education in Gauteng has partnered with IBM to provide facilities and employee volunteers to tutor underprivileged students. As part of the program, employees organized Saturday School lessons for Alexandra students. The students have enjoyed playing educational games, reading stories, and discussing questions.