The Department of Basic Education has rejected accusations that it has refused to release a report that was compiled by the National Education and Development Unit (NEEDU).
According to the department, the document 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.
The unit was established by the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga after her appointment to Cabinet.
NEEDU was 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 expected 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,” said the department in a statement on Friday is response to allegations made by Equal Education.
The department further refuted that the unit is 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, the Minister could be accused of wilfully hiding information,” the department said.
The department highlighted that for the past few years the unit has produced documents that have guided the implementation of key delivery programmes.
It also has commissions and releases many reports every financial year, said the department, adding that it 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,” the department said.
Source : SAnews.gov.za