Prioritise teaching of African languages – Sadtu

2014-10-06 09:00

African languages should be developed in schools so that they can become mediums of teaching, particularly in the foundation phase.

This is the belief of the South African Democratic Teachers Union.

“All schools should be provided with human resources with regards to teaching in that language,” the union, which held its eighth national conference over the weekend, said today.

The congress also called for teacher training colleges to prioritise training teachers of indigenous languages.

The theme of the congress was “Restore the character of Sadtu as a union of revolutionary professionals, agents of change and champions of people’s education for people’s power in pursuit of socialism”.

“We declare that socialism is the future as it guarantees sustainable development and deconstruct[s] the exploitation of one man by another and will end poverty and misery in the world.”

The congress resolved that in the determination of teaching posts, the degree of complexity of curriculums taught in different schools should be considered.

Delegates also agreed that teachers in the early childhood development sector should be highly qualified, with relevant competencies in health, social, psychological and educational issues.

“A standardised qualification must be agreed upon in order to establish uniform standards.”

All schools should have support staff, such as therapists and psychologists, to help teachers deal with pupils who had difficulties with mainstream learning.

The congress called for the annual national assessments not to be “abused to label teachers and schools, thereby demoralising and deprofessionalising them“.

The assessments are tests to determine pupils’ levels of competency in literacy and numeracy.

Feedback from the assessments should be given to schools promptly, before the results were publicised, and should be followed up with meaningful intervention programmes.

“At a broader level, delegates note the recent attacks on chapter-nine institutions of democracy from those meant to lead them.

“We are an organisation that fought many other injustices in our past and including the present and we have a moral obligation to protect these institutions even if it is against those that lead them,” Sadtu said.

Last month the union called on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to stop using her office to “attack the ANC”.

This was after a letter Madonsela reportedly wrote to Zuma, about the R246 million spent on upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, was leaked to the media.

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