Improving the Quality of Educational DistrictsInvesting in districts Portfolio Committee Meeting 16 September 2014
Structure of presentation • Context • District contribution to improvements in learning outcomes: 2011 – 2013 • Focusing district support to schools • Understanding and addressing district capacity to provide necessary support • Annexure: • Comprehensive profiles of districts performing below 70%
Context • Radically improving the quality of basic education is high on the national agenda and districts present an opportunity for the improvement of the quality of learning outcomes for all learners in the system. • Education districts play a central role in ensuring that all learners have access to education of progressively high quality. They are often the only vehicle for initiating, testing, driving and sustaining systemic reforms. • The National Development Plan (NDP): Vision 2030, states that districts have a responsibility to “provide targeted support to improve practices within schools, and ensure communication and information sharing between authorities and schools”
Context - continued • The past five years have seen actions taken by districts increasingly focused on making a difference in the quality of learning outcomes. • Support for districts to fulfil their coreresponsibility toprovide targeted support to schools increased significantly: • Quarterly meetings between Minister and district directors for communication, clarification and monitoring of key sector priorities took place regularly; • Accountability meetings cascaded to provincial level and the focus shifted from purely administrative to putting learning and teaching at the center; • The Policy on the Organization, Roles and Responsibilities of Education Districts was gazettedon 24 February 2013.
Context - continued • Data on administration and learner performance is available in the system, e.g. SA-SAMS, NSC and ANA to create the necessary environment for data driven districts and better informed decision making and interventions. • Support to districts to perform all key functions at the highest level will be significantly enhanced in the period 2014 – 2019, heeding the Minister’s call for a stronger focus on quality, efficiency and accountability.
Reflecting on some quality indicators per districts: Bachelor Passes
Strengthening district support for schools • The DBE had profiled a total of 80 districts and approximately 21 525 schools by 31 August 2014 focused on • Admissions; • HR provisioning; • LTSM and Curriculum; • Academic Preparation and Curriculum Coverage; • School Manage and Governance; • Learner well-being; and • Infrastructure. • The data coming out of the profiling exercise provides very useful insights both with respect to district operations, capacity and capabilities as well as school-level operations and challenges; • The school profiling will be finalised by 30 September thus providing every district and circuit manager with a complete overview of the schools under their management to provide targeted support .