Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has shifted the blame for the teaching-jobs-for-cash scandal to district officials in provincial education departments.

Members of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) had not been linked to it, in evidence at her disposal, Motshekga said.

But DA education spokesperson Gavin Davis said Motshekga was disingenuous and lacked the courage to tackle the powerful union‚ which was blamed for the scandal in an inquiry commissioned by Motshekga’s own department.

Addressing the parliamentary media corps before her budget vote in Parliament on Wednesday‚ Motshekga said safety at schools was of massive concern to her.

"Pupils and teachers are attacked in school‚ while equipment is vandalised and stolen from schools‚" she complained.

Following criticism of the way in which the annual national assessment (ANA) system worked‚ it has been decided that schools will shift to the more integrated National Integrated Assessment Network‚ which will not be done annually, so that schools have the opportunity to implement remedial steps and improve results.

A national exam council will be considered as an independently functioning examinations body free from provincial departments‚ as is the trend globally.

Motshekga reported the accelerated introduction of African language studies, with Limpopo‚ the Northern Cape and Free State leading the way; but the Western Cape‚ Mpumalanga and Gauteng lagged behind.

In future, supplementary matric exams would be written in June rather than March, to allow pupils adequate preparation time.

Motshekga also exonerated Sadtu members from the jobs for cash scandal‚ which has caused much criminal behaviour‚ especially in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.

"No evidence points to Sadtu‚ which has been instrumental in the improvements we have seen in rural and poor schools‚" said Motshekga.

But Davis countered that the minister knew the officials to be Sadtu deployees — she just lacked the courage to tackle them.

"The minister is constrained by the fact that Sadtu is an ally both of the ANC and of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ whom she supports for the ANC leadership‚" said Davis.

TMG Digital

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