Ministry Panel

Ministry of Health
Professor Lesley Bamford

Lesley Bamford works as a specialist in the Child and Youth Health Directorate in the National Department of Health, and is also an honarory professor in the School of Health Systems and Public Health at the University of Pretoria.

She is a paediatrician, and holds an honours degree in African studies and a doctorate in public health.

Her work concentrates on improving child health service delivery at community, primary health care and district hospital levels.

Ministry Of Basic Education
Dr Marie-Louise Samuels
Acting Chief Director

Ms Samuels has a BA Degree in Social Sciences from the University of the Western Cape with majors in English and Psychology. She is Acting Chief Director: Curriculum Implementation and Monitoring in the Department of Basic Education where she manages the support and monitoring of curriculum implementation for early childhood development. She is currently the chairperson of the Curriculum Management Team for the development of a curriculum for South African Sign Language.

She also manages the support and monitoring of curriculum implementation for school education and curriculum implementation for learners with special needs.

Ms Samuels is Director of Early Childhood Development (ECD) where she c
onceptualizes, develops and manages the policy and procedures for implementation of ECD programmes in the Department of Education and interdepartmentally with other government departments, organs of state and NGO’s. She is responsible for a team of 9 officials at national level as well as provincial ECD managers within the implementation of national programmes

From 1999-2000, Ms Samuels served as the Deputy Director of the European Union Technical Support. Here she c
onceptualized and managed implementation of the nation-wide ECD audit in the country. She managed the team of provincial project managers for the EU project and provided support to the Department of Education in the delivery of the ECD activities in the EU work plan.

From 1991-1997, Ms Samuel was Principal of Battswood Educare Centre in Cape Town where she developed educational programmes for 150, 3 – 6 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. She also piloted a language programme for the acquisition of an additional language (focus on English and Xhosa) in the early years.

Ms Samuels also worked part-time from 1990-1991 for the Catholic Justice and Peace Committee and assisted in the organization of conferences and seminars on justice related issues. From 1985-1990, Ms Samuels served as a Youth Worker in the Archdiocese of Cape Town. Before this she worked as a teacher at the School for the Deaf in Wittebome.


Ms Samuels has presented several papers both nationally and internationally.


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