Cosas urges teachers to volunteer

2010-09-21 21:13

Durban - The Congress of SA students on Tuesday urged teachers to give voluntary lessons during the school holidays.

“We are urging teachers to teach during school holidays. We are aware of difficulties that they could face in terms of transportation and their own time that they would invest in the pupils,” Cosas national deputy secretary Sbonelo Shezi told reporters in Durban.

According to a recovery plan devised by Cosas, pupils from Grade 1 to 12 should arrive at school at 07:00 and leave at 16:00 daily.

“During weekends, Grade 12 pupils should be taught between 08:00 and 13:00.”

Shezi said they had called on the national education department to postpone final exams to the first week of November. They were scheduled to begin on October 25.

“We are still standing firm on postponing final exams. It must be a winning battle,” said Shezi.

Last week the organisation said pupils were not prepared to write their preliminary matric exams, which count for 25% of their total annual mark, following the almost month-long strike by their teachers and other civil servants. They said they were ill-prepared.

The youth body's demands had seen the writing of prelims in the past week disrupted countrywide. Children in some provinces had become violent and intimidated their classmates.

'Recovery being implemented'

Shezi said the prelim exam strike had been suspended.

Cosas chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal Andile Mkhize said the recovery plan was being implemented.

“Since last week, everyday pupils were arriving at 07:00 till 16:00 in KwaZulu-Natal. There were also Saturday classes for matric learners,” he claimed.

Shezi said only the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Cape had a recovery plan.

On Tuesday SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi said no Sadtu member would teach without being paid.

“There is no member of Sadtu that will volunteer… We will not allow teachers to be abused.”

He said Sadtu teachers were ready to teach during holidays, and between 07:00 and 16:00, only if they were compensated.

KwaZulu-Natal education department spokesperson Mbali Thusi said schools had been told to use their discretion on whether to close for the September holidays.

“Schools are at liberty to set up a plan that will suit them. It is different from school to school. Other schools may feel that they are on track in terms of covering work.”

Thusi declined to comment on payment of educators during holidays, saying it was a matter for the national department.