Minister Schäfer announces the new Western Cape Education Council
Statement by Western Cape Minister of Education Debbie Schäfer
It is gives me great pleasure to announce the second Western Cape Education Council.
The council was formally constituted at a council meeting in Cape Town last night.
This is the second Education Council to be inaugurated since 1997.
The Council was provided for in the Western Cape Provincial School Education Act of 1997 but never constituted by previous governments until 2011.
When Minister Grant, the former Minister for Education in the province, first assumed office in 2009, it was clear that either the provision for this structure needed to be removed from our legislation or the Council had to be brought into life.
The Minister decided on the latter – committing himself to constituting the Council after reviewing the Western Cape Act so as to ensure that the Act for the Council was in line with changes in the education landscape.
Therefore, in December 2011, the first Education Council of the Western Cape was inaugurated and over the past three years has provided informed, objective and invaluable advice for the previous Minister.
Today, I would like to announce the second Education Council of the Western Cape.
I am delighted that Mr Bruce Probyn, a retired Principal and Head Coach for the Principals Academy, and Ms Nasima Badsha, Chief Executive Officer of the Cape Higher Education Consortium, have graciously accepted my invitation to be appointed at Chair and Vice Chair of the Council respectively.
Other members include:
Dr A Nevhutalu – Vice Chancellor of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Mr S Duffett - Attorney and former chairman of the National and the Western Cape Chapter of the Governing Body Foundation
Mr E Daniels – Education consultant at Deloitte Consulting and former District Director
Ms A Gilwald - Executive Director of Research at ICT Africa and Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town
Advocate Coleridge-Zils – WCED
Dr A Siyengo – WCED
Mr P Swart – WCED
Mr A Meyer – WCED
Mr D Millar - Educator Union
Mr J van der Westhuizen - Educator Union
Prof P Christie – Higher Education
Prof C Williams – Higher Education
Ms B Houghton – Independent Schools
Mr L Van Niekerk - Public FET Colleges
Mr S Schlesinger - SGB Association
Mr E Wolf - SGB Association
Mr P Dorfling - SGB Association
Miss J Myburgh – Organised Business
This Council constitutes a formidable body of experience and expertise for the education system to draw upon and I look forward to the advice this Council will bestow on me, as Minister, and to the WCED over the next three-year period.
While I am certain this advice will cover many aspects in education, I have asked that the Council keep in mind the following four areas in which I would like further guidance:
- The improvement of language and mathematics, particularly in Grades 8 and 9 and in the Foundation Phase
- The integration of ICT into the classroom
- How to enhance parental involvement in our schools and learners education.
- How to ensure that all roleplayers in education are accountable for what they are expected to do
It is our hope that the Council will not hesitate to point out where and when our objectives and our policies are taking us in the wrong directions.
I have no doubt that the advice emanating from this Council will reflect its independence and be the product of independent thinkers.
I want to sincerely thank them for making their time and expertise available to the WCED.