Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation monitors operation Phakisa education lab progress

20 Jan 2017

Operation Phakisa is designed to fast track the implementation of solutions on critical service delivery issues highlighted in the National Development Plan (NDP), as a presidential initiative. Operation Phakisa is closely monitored by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) which is also responsible for the overall management of the Phakisa methodology.

The DPME is also tasked with the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of Operation Phakisa to ensure that the departments leading various Phakisa labs report on progress made with regards to implementation.

The Operation Phakisa in Information Communications Technology (ICT) in Education is being implemented by the Department of Basic Education (DBE). Since 2015, the DPME has monitored progress on the DBE implementation. The DBE has, to date, provided quarterly reports to the DPME on the progress made with regard to ICT implementation in schools and training institutions.

The Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Youth Development and Administration, Buti Manamela, undertook a monitoring visit to Upington in the Northern Cape with the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty, to monitor the progress made by the department of DBE at Carlton Van Heerden High School, Rosendal Primary/Primêre School, and Siyanda teacher and ICT resource centre. 

Previous visits were held by both the Deputy Ministers on the 20th and 24th of June 2016 in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal to monitor if delivery had been implemented. The visits also included monitoring of Vodacom ICT Teacher Centres in the two provinces.

“We have seen the significance of ICT in Education in the way it has simplified learning. What is most pleasing is the way in which different government entities and the private sector have come together to invest in ICT in Education”, said Manamela.

The monitoring of the Operation Phakisa ICT in Education is guided by provinces that are expected to finalise their provincial Frameworks and provide monthly reports to the DBE by the 28th of every month. Thus far, most provinces have provided their ICT sector plans and aligned them with the Operation Phakisa Framework. Currently, the DBE is now able to track progress of ICT implementation across the country.

Strides are also being made towards making ICT a primary tool of teaching and learning. From the inception of the Operation Phakisa lab process, 2430 schools (100.2%) have been connected out of 2425 that were to be connected by end of September 2016. A total of 54% of the targeted 24 000 public schools have been connected to date.

Devices and connectivity progress is monitored against the Universal Services Access Obligation project (Government Gazette 37718), that compels the four Network operators (Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C and Neotel) to connect schools and provide them with End User Devices.

The connectivity solution includes, for each school, a mobile trolley with devices (24 tablets for learners, 3 laptops for teachers, 2 printers, and 1 projector, 1 server, wireless access point, and 1 e-Beam).

As of September 2016, the DBE has also achieved the following milestones in digital content provision:

  • In partnership with DSTV, OVHD, StarSat and Mindset, the DBE Channel is now available on a variety of broadcast platforms. So far, 951 schools have been given access via the OVHD platform.
  • The learner component of the DBE Cloud is now live and online. It is being upgraded continuously and new content is being loaded daily.
  • A total of 120 digital titles of Grade 4 – 9  Natural Sciences, Technology, Physical Science, and Mathematics have been created, consisting of: 24 Grade 4 – 6 Natural Sciences and Technology workbooks; 72 Grade 7 – 9 Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Technology workbooks; and 24 Grade 10 – 12 Physical Science and Mathematics Textbooks. In addition to this, the DBE has also supplied 12 Interactive Workbooks for Grade 1, and a further 12 were sponsored by the MTN Foundation for Grade R – 4.
  • In the area of Teacher Professional Development, 258 district officials have been provided with ICT skills in partnership with Intel and Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS). Other partners, including the ETDP, SETA and Microsoft, have trained a further 6394 teachers in ICT integration skills, so as to better use ICTs in pedagogy; 21375 teachers have been trained in basic computing skills, and 3517 have been trained in advanced ICT skills.

Notes for editors:

The Operation Phakisa: ICT in Education Lab was launched by President Jacob Zuma on 2 October 2015.

The Government of South Africa adopted the Big Fast Results (BFR) problem-solving methodology, which was originally developed and implemented by the government of Malaysia.

The BFR methodology facilitates the development of detailed plans with a strong theory of change, as well as strong monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and accountability frameworks which are essential for the successful implementation of national goals and priorities.

The BFR is designed to fast track the implementation of solutions on critical delivery issues highlighted in the National Development Plan (NDP). To highlight the urgency of delivery, the approach was renamed to Operation Phakisa ("phakisa” meaning "hurry up" in Sesotho).

The Main Operation Phakisa Lab process which defined the ICT initiatives for the Department of Basic Education (DBE), ran from 7 September – 2 October 2015. It has since been presented to various forums and approved at the Council of Education Ministers on 19 May 2016.

Five work streams were identified by the Operation Phakisa lab process:

  • Connectivity
  • Devices
  • Teacher Professional Development
  • Digital Content Development and Distribution; and
  • e-Administration

Tshegofatso Modubu
Cell: 083 276 0786

Mmabatho Ramompi 
Cell: 076 480 3513

For interviews with Deputy Minister Manamela please contact:
Matshepo Seedat
Cell: 082 679 9473

For interviews with Deputy Minister Surty please contact:
Troy Martens
Cell: 078 899 3070