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Operation Phakisa is a presidential initiative to fast track the implementation of solutions on critical service delivery issues highlighted in the National Development Plan (NDP). 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 initiative 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 in implementing different initiatives.
 
The Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and Youth Development, 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 in implementing some of the initiatives. Site visits were conducted at Carlton Van Heerden High School, Rosendal Primary/Primêre School, and Siyanda Teacher and ICT Resource center. 
 
Previous site visits were conducted by both Deputy Ministers on the 20th and 24th of June 2016 in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal to monitor extent of delivery in the two provinces. In addition to school visits, Vodacom ICT Teacher Centres were also visited in both 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 also conducted through reports by provinces to DBE. Provinces are expected to finalize 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.
 
Strides are being made towards using ICT to support learning and teaching. Since the conducting of Operation Phakisa lab, 2430 schools (100.2%) have been connected out of the 2425 targeted by end of September 2016. A total of 54% of the targeted 24 000 public schools had 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 02 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:
a) Connectivity
b) Devices
c) Teacher Professional Development;
d) Digital Content Development and Distribution; and
e) e-Administration
 
Enquiries: Tshegofatso Modubu on 083 276 0786/ Tshegofatso.Modubu@dpme.gov.za or Mmabatho Ramompi on 076 480 3513/ Mmabatho.Ramompi@dpme.gov.za
 
Follow us on twitter on @dpmeofficial or visit our website: www.dpme.gov.za
For interviews with Deputy Minister Manamela please contact Matshepo Seedat 082 679 9473
 
For interviews with Deputy Minister Surty please contact Troy Martens 078 899 3070
Issued by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
 
19 January 2017
 
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