Motshekga feels for principals

2010-09-09 21:04

Johannesburg - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday acknowledged the difficulties school principals must have faced during the recent public servants' strike.

"The calling into question of the passion for teaching, no doubt, has been deepened by the recent industrial action of teachers as part of the national strike of public servants," she said in a speech prepared for delivery to the annual conference of the South African Principals' Association.

"How the strike was conducted and the ethics of combat characterising it, must have clearly complicated your work and management role at a time when all our efforts are supposed to be directed at rounding-off the year and the final exams."

The suspension of the strike would allow for recovery plans to be implemented and the rebuilding of a "healthy culture of schooling".

"Your strategic leadership is therefore a requirement for working schools," Motshekga said after public sector employees suspended their prolonged pay strike on Monday.

During her address, she said she felt the ruling party had the political will to meet the demands of a 21st century developing country and elaborated on developments around the curriculum and other plans.

These included eradicating illiteracy in the country by 2014, through a mass literacy campaign; introducing a sustainable early childhood education system, giving children a head start on numeracy and literacy; and strengthening support for pre-schools in rural villages and urban centres. School feeding schemes would also be improved.