Criticism of national development plan is wrong – DA

2011-12-02 13:14

Criticism by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) of the national development plan’s recommendations to improve education are wrong, the DA said today.

“Their resistance to the national development plan’s call for competency tests for teachers, performance-based pay, and the non-interference of unions in the appointment and promotion of teachers and officials constitutes an unprincipled obstruction to achieving educational excellence for South African schools,” said DA MP Wilmot James.

According to the Sowetan newspaper today, Motshekga said the national development plan was unrealistic and it could only be successful in an “ideal world”.

When she was asked about performance-based pay for teachers, Motshekga said: “Areas in the plan are not informed by reality.”

“It’s things you want in your ideal world. It’s not done anywhere else. I’m not sure how they expect us to be able to do it,” the Sowetan quoted Motshekga as saying.

Sadtu said testing teachers was an “insult” that would add to their “low morale”, the newspaper reported.

The union believed that teachers alone could not be held responsible for how students performed as resources, socioeconomic status and parental involvement also played a role.

James said the DA supported the proposal by the national development plan and had already pushed to institute some of the ideas in the Western Cape.

“They offer the most predictable forms of leverage for enhancing performance in the education system.

“Competency tests encourage teachers to stay on top of their subjects and ensure students enjoy high-quality teaching and marking,” he said.

James said the removal of union interference from administrative decisions such as appointments and promotions would allow schools to be run on rational and not political lines.

“These recommendations make sense.”

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