Goeiedag

Ek vertel graag hoe ek die vergadering vanmiddag in George ervaar het.

Ek was vroeg daar om my videokamera op te stel, eintlik het my seun Philip dit gedoen.  Dankie Philip!  Hy het ook Mnr Grant help skuif aan die podium en sodoende interaksie met hom geniet.  Die joernalis van George Herald, Meneer M Rabinowitch en Philip het ook besonderhede uitgeruil.

Ek en Arno Romijn het geleentheid gehad om  ons Vader se seën oor die geleentheid af te bid.

Daarna het ek   skouers geskuur met verskillende raadslede.  Sodra hul uitvind ons tuisskool, word die kwessie van die  voorgestelde beleid sowat ‘n maand terug bespreek. Dan noem ek ons besware van oor-regulering, kort tyd van kommentaar ensovoorts, hulle antwoord met apologie dat die beleid glad nie moes uitgaan nie en en en.

Die jeug DA leier v George Meneer Tertius Saunders het Meneer Grant aan my voorgestel toe hy hoor dat ek TS.  Meneer Grant het ek ervaar as intimiderend, hy het so naby my kom staan, ek glo nie  ’n liniaal sou tussen ons borskaste inpas nie.  Ek het maar gesluk, my skouers terug getrek en hom gevra hoekom die beleidsmakers duidelik nie gebruik maak van die navorsing oor TS wat beskikbaar is in USA, VK of Suid Afrika nie. Hy het my nie beantwoord nie, net gesê dat hul  ge-erfde beleidsmakers nie altyd op standaard is nie. My opmerking was dat ek seker is mens kan dit in 8j regstel.  Ek wou ook weet hoekom die beleidsmakers nie gebruik maak van die kundiges in die TS organisasies nie.  Ek kan nie onthou dat hy my hierop geantwoord het nie.  Hy het wel opgemerk dat hy nie teen TS is nie en vertel van familie van hom wat self getuisskool het.

Die vergadering het ‘n halfuur laat begin.  Hy het terugvoer gegee oor Onderwys die afgelope paar jaar en hul vooruitskatting.  Hy het gemeld dat sy hele toespraak op http://www.westerncape.gov.za/profile/mr-donald-grant beskikbaar is.  Ek sien dit is nog nie gelaai nie.

Na die tyd was die vrae waar Arno hom gevra het:   The constitutional right to education is defined as "The right to develop every aspect of on'es personality to its fullest extent." The ANC Government and the DA opposition both enforce all the significant elements of the National Curriculum Statement on all learners in public and private schools as well as in home education. What research or experiments have been conducted to ensure that the enforcement of the significant elements of the NCS does not unreasonably interfere with or restrict any child in the Western Cape or elsewhere in the exercise of that child's right to education and where were the results, if any, published? Jammer, ek kan nie sy antwoord onthou nie.

Later het Frank Muller ook ‘n geleentheid gekry en gevra na die voorgestelde beleid sowat ‘n maand terug.  Meneer Grant het weereens om verskoning gevra.

En soos Leendert hieronder vermeld het drie TS ma’s, Laverne, Saartjie en Jacquelene hom na die tyd persoonlik genader en weer goed besig gehou met TS kwessies. Ons Burgermeester en ‘n raadslid was ook teenwoordig en het kennis geneem.

Hierna is is hy na Knysna toe, (ek neem aan) om dieselfde daar te doen.

Medebywoners: dis wat ek onthou, vul gerus aan wat ek vergeet het.

Vriendelike groete

Berinda

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Hi there!

Having attended the meeting yesterday, here's my (generalised and over-simplified) summary:

The MEC for Education, Ministre Donald Grant, gave a presentation of what was achieved by his department since 2009. In some cases, he referred to the previous 5 year period (2004-2009) to highlight the contrast. He was VERY careful not to use his platform for party political purposes, but the results spoke strongly in favour of the way the DA had handled this portfolio.

In essence, a lot of schools were built (at much cheaper than the ANC cronies built them), management informaiotn systems allowed predictive modelling for the next three years and more teachers are being employed to reduce average class size to 30 or below.

Major challenges facing the department are the influx of "refugee learners" from the Eastern Cape, most typically (and critically) at Grade 10 level (with no ability to integrate academically) and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (with limited ability to give them separate, special attention). I think he mentioned some 122,000 refugee learners entering the Western Cape educational system during 2013. And FAS can be as high as 70% of the class in some schools!

He loves CAPS / the NCS (he's an accountant by training, so tick boxes tickle him), and it would seem that school principals do, too. Q&A time showed, yet again, however, how utterly frustrating and demotivating teachers found the system. It rewards poor teachers and limits good teachers.

On home schooling, he evaded my direct question on whether the recently discussed draft policy reflected DA policy or national policy, but indicated that the DA believes in "freedom of education". I think he understands this to mean "freedom to implement CAPS at home".

I yet again saw the complications he (and we) are facing. Even if best scientific research would be shown that the NCS is harming children, it would not - in fact CAN NOT - result in the scrapping of CAPS. The state would simply pay researchers to prove the opposite (that is easy to do in science nowadays). No province has the ability to challenge the NCS on a provincial level (should anyone even be thinking of this). The only place it can be attacked is on national parliamentary level (where neither the ANC nor the DA are going to take such a fight forward anyhow).

So CAPS it is till the cows come home.

My personal summary: I respect the enthusiasm, transparency and accountability of the MEC, even if it is for a cause I do not support. There's little more he can do that he isn't already doing to the best of his ability. Home schoolers are but a blip on his radar of problems and not worth his time considering. They have little impact on the bigger picture and no impact whatsoever on the budget - contrary to the Eastern Cape refugees.

I left the meeting feeling that home schooling would remain in the legal doldrums for quite some time to come. Any move to regulate us will fail based on legal grounds, so we will continue to see this to-and-fro with that same "d(r)aft policy" being pushed forward from time to time. Should the DA be voted out in May, the ANC will most certainly take over the province again, with its reckless mediocrity and opulent corruption. Not good news for anyone, whether in state, private or home schooling.

Better the devil you know?

Kind regards

Frank

 

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