Charter calls for change in education

By Drum Digital
29 June 2016

By Sisa Canca

A draft charter formulated in a two-day summit last weekend calls for change in some areas of the current education system.

An assembly of learners, parents and education activists demands equal and quality education system that will, among other things provide infrastructure, teaching resources, transport, textbooks and appropriate subject choices for all learners.  Education activists Equal Education says that provision of school infrastructure and learning materials should be accelerated without any delays.

The draft, in its preamble draws parallels between education for black working class and that of white, wealthy communities.  “…South African education system remains grossly unequal, providing inferior education to black and working class communities while providing elitist education to white and wealthy communities, reproducing and deepening race and class inequality in society as a whole” reads the charter.

The draft charter also stipulates that the society should recognize the contribution of teachers and that teachers should be paid in line with their contribution to the society.  Class sizes and working conditions of teachers are said to be different for schools in different quintiles and the EE insists that class sizes should enable teachers to know and attend to each learner.

EE spokesperson Nombulelo Nyathela says the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has the responsibility to change the status quo in the existing system.

“The onus is on them, because ultimately people cannot build schools or change the curriculum”, she said.  She said they are on the same side with the department but some administrative processes hinder the progress.

DEB spokesman Elijah Mhlanga failed to respond to requests for comment.

Nyathela said after the official signing in September, the charter will be presented to various stakeholders such as learners, teachers, parents and everyone who’s interested in an attempt to have it implemented.

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