In the past six years in January, Members of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature including the Executive, have been embarking on a programme known as the Schools Opening Functionality Monitoring Programme, which aims to monitor and ensure that teaching and learning happen on the first day of the opening of all public schools in the province.The schools functionality monitoring programme, which took place from the 11th to the 13th January 2017, is part of the Legislature’s oversight exercise in which all Members of the Legislature visit public schools through the province to assess the state of readiness at the commencement of the academic year.
Members were deployed in all districts of the province to monitor the level of schools’ readiness for the 2017 academic year. They visited public schools that performed well in the 2016 senior certificate examination results and those that performed badly. The aim was to gain first-hand information on the challenges that face public schools especially those that perform badly in matric results.Members also got an opportunity to understand other challenges facing public schools such as poor infrastructure, shortage of teachers, incorrect quintile ranking, inadequate security and school vandalism to mention but a few.
During the visits, Members were accompanied by officials from the Department of Education who had to account on the challenges facing schools and the plans of addressing them. Other departments such as Social Development, Health, Cogta, Public Works as well as District and Local Mayors were part of the delegations. The visits also include meetings with stakeholders that comprise School Governing Bodies (SGBs), teacher unions, ward councillors, Amakhosi, Interfaith leaders, and other community structures.