This, following two separate meetings that the department’s Minister Angie Motshekga held on Monday with various School Governing Body associations and parent organisations in Pretoria.
The department on Tuesday said the Minister held the meetings to update representatives on developments in the sector and to attain their views on a multitude of matters.
The department said the parents represented by seven parent organisations in the meeting showed commitment to education.
According to the department, the organisations present were Federasie van Beheerliggame van Suid-Afrikaanse Skole (FEDSAS), Governors’ Alliance, South African Association for Specialised Education (SANASE), Governing Body Foundation, National Associations of School Governing Bodies, United Front for School Governing Bodies and the National Congress for School Governing Bodies.
“The Minister gave three comprehensive reports to the organisations which included the state of readiness for the National Senior Certificate examinations (NSC), proposed amendments to education policies and a report on the much publicised developments around the Annual National Assessments and reasons for its sudden postponement without consultation,” said the department.
The department said all organisations welcomed the extensive briefing and expressed their unequivocal support for the CEM’s decision to conduct the ANAs from 1 to 4 December 2015.
“Parents raised concerns over the perceived blurred lines of the responsibility of the employer and the employee, especially with regards to ANA,” said the department.
The department said the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) have requested a second meeting to discuss issues around school safety and discipline, among other things, as well as to get a briefing on the developments around ANAs.
“COSAS indicated in the meeting that there was no hostility towards ANA by learners and they would be happy and ready to write the assessments this year in December, in line with the CEM decision.
“The learner organisations expressed concern over the public furore between unions and the department over the writing of ANA and requested that the issues be resolved as swiftly as possible as not to have any negative effect on learners,” said the department.
The department said issues around violence, corporal punishment and discipline in schools were also discussed in the meeting.
“COSAS proposed a summit on discipline comprising of teachers, learners and experts with the view that coming together to resolve the challenges around violence in schools was the best way to move forward and find solutions.
“They also agreed that violence breeds violence and the department agreed to support a peaceful #LearnWithoutFear campaign led by learners. They also emphasised the importance of vibrant and functioning Representative Council of Learner (RCL) structures in addressing the concerns of learners,” said the department.