The Department of Basic Education has rejected accusations that it has refused to release the report that was compiled by the National Education and Development Unit (NEEDU) and Development Unit. The said report is in actual fact a document that was made public ever since the first report was released and its findings have been carefully considered and implemented as part of the programmes that have been put in place to create a better education for all.
This unit as a matter of fact was started by the Minister of Basic Education after she was appointed to cabinet. The objective for NEEDU was to established as an evaluation and development institution, independent of the civil service in order to give a clear picture of the sector and to provide recommendations on what needs to be done. NEEDU was also established to provide the Minister with an authoritative, analytical and accurate account of the state of schools in South Africa. Not once has the Minister or the department “swept findings under the carpet”.
The unit, contrary to what Equal Education would have the nation believe is not lacking in capacity. The budget for the running of NEEDU comes from the department and it has a capacity that includes Head Office Managers, Provincial Managers and 16 School Evaluators. It is also unthinkable that seeing the diverse nature of this team and its transparent reporting structure which includes provincial MECs, Minister could be accused of wilfully hiding information.
For the past few years the unit has produced documents that have guide implementation and in some instances formed the basis of key delivery programmes. Therefore the assertion by Equal Education is both false and purposes to divert our attention from real issues that affect schools where 12 million of our future leaders are taught daily.
The department commissions and releases many reports every financial year and any will not be dictated to by Equal Education on how to go about reviewing or implementing these reports. Our work far exceeds their whims which we unfortunately cannot meet. We are a department committed to the nation. Not to one NGO that clearly seeks to sow false discourse instead of engaging us meaningfully.
The effective functioning of NEEDU is a non-negotiable for the Minister and department and we will continue to support its work as it forms a vital part of our deliverables.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS