Sadtu battles threaten matrics

2010-10-24 09:32

Thousands of grade 12 learners from Limpopo’s Capricorn district may not receive their year-end results on time because of a campaign by a South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) ­region to have a district manager fired.

At least two senior Limpopo education department specialists said they had hardly moderated or done the learners’ continuous assessment marks since July 27 this year.

This was when Sadtu in the region prevented its members from co-operating with them until the department’s Capricorn district senior manager, Dan Mabote, was fired.

According to the Sadtu circular, which is in City Press’s possession, the union had resolved that Mabote “be removed as a matter of urgency from his position, and the head of the department in Limpopo take control of the district in the meantime”.

“All correspondences coming from the district senior manager ’s office must not be honoured by our members until he is removed from office. All Sadtu members must not attend any activity organised by the district senior manager’s office.”

Without elaborating, the circular claimed that Mabote’s district was “dysfunctional”, matric ­results had been declining since his appointment due to his “incompetency” and that he had failed to perform as expected.

Mabote said his “record speaks for itself”, and referred further enquiries to Limpopo education department spokesperson Pat Kgomo.

Continuous assessment marks make up 25% of a grade 12 learner’s final exam marks.

Marks were moderated and assessed throughout the year to ensure that they adhered to standards and were not inflated by teachers. Without the moderated continuous assessment marks, the learners could find their year-end results in certain subjects delayed.

The country’s examination quality-control body, Umalusi, does not approve the release of the results of pupils whose continuous assessment marks are questionable or deviate drastically from the learner’s examination marks.

Officials said they had done very little work over the past three months because Sadtu members stopped them from entering schools and even confiscated files received from principals not sympathetic to the union.

Sadtu Capricorn regional secretary Manas Legodi could not be reached for comment.

Kgomo said they were aware of the Sadtu circular and had been engaging with the union ever since. He said the matric results would not be affected because the problem was resolved “two or three weeks ago”. He would not elaborate amid claims that Mabote had been stripped of his powers but kept in the job.

“As far as we are concerned, continuous assessment marks have been collated and they will be reconciled as such. We do not think there will be any results pending because of that issue,” said Kgomo.

“We are not aware that there have been any files confiscated by Sadtu, but if that could have happened, it would be an unfortunate incident”.

Kgomo denied claims by staff members that Sadtu called the shots in the department. The department “feared no one and treated everybody equally”, he added.

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