Union’s new education strategy to build on improved results in 2009

2010-03-09 00:00

THE South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) will meet the MEC of Education in the province, Senzo Mchunu, this weekend to put forward their suggestions for an Education 2010 Strategy.

It says the strategy will be necessary for making up for the lost time if the province is to maintain its standard of improved matric results this year.

Sadtu’s general secretary in the province, Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, spoke to The Witness after addressing members at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall, where the Harry Gwala region of the union held its annual workers’ forum conference yesterday.

Issues of service conditions, salaries and the challenges that face the organisation and education are discussed at the forums.

The members, who are mostly teachers, are given the opportunity to identify mandates that need to be taken up at the forum.

Mathonsi said South Africa is not holding the World Cup — Fifa is — and the union finds it surprising that schools are being closed down for this period.

“Who is subjected to whom here? Why can’t we have education centres where learners can still go to school from 9 to 12 and then after that have the matches viewed on a big screen, because the reality is that many of our learners will not have the privilege of going to stadiums.”

Mathonsi said this issue was addressed at a recent teacher development strategy conference for 2010.

One of the issues discussed was the need for pupils to be educated about child trafficking, an issue that he said is likely to arise and to be on the rise as a result of the World Cup soccer tournament.

“If we leave things as is, we are guaranteeing that this year’s matric result will go down. That is what the department will be saying if no intervention is put in place to acknowledge the disruptions that will be caused by 2010. You can’t lead like that.”

Mathonsi said it is unfortunate that Sadtu is not acknowledged for its contributions in improving last year’s results when, he said, the union had gone the extra mile to achieve this.

He described it as delinquency for the MEC not to recognise the sacrifices the union has made.

He said people are quick to concentrate on the negative and not consider that Sadtu members work on holidays and on Saturdays to improve the results.

“We had a 63% pass rate in this province because Sadtu has intervention programmes in all the regions,” he said.

The union has just started a teacher development institute to capacitate an estimated 10 000 teachers who are either unqualified or under-qualified in the province.

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