Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the purpose of the School Evaluation Authority (SEA) is to support school improvement in the Western Cape. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
Cape Town - The provincial education department is looking for a chief evaluator for schools with a salary package of over R1million, but unions say it is just a duplication of what is already in place and will just bring back the old school inspectorate.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the purpose of the School Evaluation Authority (SEA) is to support school improvement in the Western Cape.

“Its focus is on identifying factors that impact on performance in the areas that matter most for quality education delivery at school-level - particularly learning, safety, leadership, and governance.”

She said it would ensure the delivery of evaluations of school performance, including judgements about quality, other findings and recommendations based on sound evidence.

“It will publish and disseminate clear and accessible school evaluation reports and information, including quality judgements and other findings and recommendations to ensure the efficient administration of the SEA, and implement, review, and improve the school evaluation policy, model and tools in line with provincial frameworks and international best practice.”

Schäfer said the appointment of the chief evaluator is in terms of section 11A (3) of the act, for a non-renewable term of four years.

“The terms and conditions of appointment as chief evaluator are regulated by agreement between the MEC and the chief evaluator,” she said.

SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary Jonavon Rustin said the appointment of the chief evaluator was not going to help improve quality learning and teaching in the province.

“It’s just a duplication of many other tools that are used to evaluate conditions at schools,” Rustin said.

Debbie Schäfer

National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) executive director Basil Manuel said it was a way of harkening back to the past.

“If they can act outside of the legislative framework on this, what else can they do,” Manuel said.

He said the Western Cape education department just wanted to do its own thing and that is why it didn’t agree with the plans when told about it. “We are one country. We must have common acts and goals for our education,” he said.

Schäfer has encouraged anyone interested in making a contribution to apply for this top position.

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Cape Argus