Basic information on public education

Adult education

By Michelle Banda 29 March 2021

In March 2020, the Department of Basic Education pulled the plug on school tuck shops to limit the spread of Covid-19. Instead, it has encouraged informal vendors to set up shop outside school premises where there is no control over what is being sold to pupils.

 Foodstuffs pupils prefer from Spaza shops surrounding schools. (Photo by Michelle Banda)

This article was published in Daily Maverick on 29 March 2021. The original article can be found here

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The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened  food insecurity in under-resourced communities. Schoolfeeding programmes, whether government-led or private, have a massive role to play to address this.  

This article by Michelle Banda, published in the Daily Maverick, explains how the DBE-led National School Nutrition Programme works and also refers to the role of additional non-governmental schemes.


(Photo: Flickr / Julien Harneis/Wikipedia)   

For a direct link to the original article, see 

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Inclusive Education recognises the right of ALL children to feel welcomed into a supportive educational environment in their own community.

What sounds simple, masks many complexities when it comes to the capacity of ordinary local schools to respond to the needs of ALL learners, including those requiring extra support because of learning or physical disability, social disadvantage, cultural difference or other barriers to learning. In the past, these learners have often been accommodated in so-called "Special Needs schools", with specialised staff. Increasingly, the government's policy is to equip schools to support all learners, regardless of their specific circumstances. 

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Arguably, everything we do in the education sector is ultimately for the learners – so that they can learn better. So we need to be able to ascertain if our interventions have the desired effects on learning outcomes - which is a highly complex task.

In a previous blog post, we have explained some general limitations related to academic performance monitoring. In this post, we share here what kind of data sources can be used, what their shortcomings are and what can be done to circumvent these limitations.

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Arguably, everything we do in the education sector is ultimately for the learners – so that they can learn better. So we need to be able to ascertain if our interventions have the desired effects on learning outcomes. Monitoring this, however, is a highly complex task. Data on learner performance is far from straightforward.

In this first blog post, we explain the challenge of academic performance monitoring. Look out for the next blog post which focuses on the kind of data sources that can be used, or download the full word file on this topic here.

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The Whole School Evaluation (WSE) is a national policy promulgated in 2001 – but its implementation is the responsibility of provincial departments of education. The description below is based on a study done in the Western Cape, which involved a review of policy and interviews of various stakeholders. Note that there may be some variation in other provinces.

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The Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) was promulgated in 2003 to integrate the existing programmes on quality management in education into a comprehensive package. It is a voluminous eighty-four-page document which consists of three programmes, aimed at enhancing and monitoring performance. They are:

  • developmental appraisal;
  • performance measurement; and
  • whole school evaluation

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How are school principals appointed?

Posted by Magali von Blottnitz on 03 March 2019 9:00 PM SAST
Magali von Blottnitz photo

Provincial education departments determine their own set of rules and procedures for the appointment of school principals. As an example, we share here the process defined by the Western Cape Education Department – as described by Levy et al (2018).

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