Matric results dispel 'DA lies' - Sadtu

2017-01-05 16:07


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Cape Town – The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) said on Thursday that the 2016 matric results prove that the union is not a barrier to education, as the Democratic Alliance has claimed.

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"This (the matric results) has dispelled the lies peddled by the likes of the DA that Sadtu members in the main are destroying education in this country through their supposed truancy and incompetence," the union said in a statement.

In October, the DA said that Sadtu, representing roughly 250 000 teachers, was damaging the education system by trying to deploy its own members to top educational positions.

According to Sadtu, teachers had achieved an improved matric pass rate, despite difficult circumstances.

"Our members have achieved this improvement under trying circumstances, teaching overcrowded classrooms, with limited resources," it said.

Blocking accountability measures

But the DA's basic education spokesperson, Gavin Davis, said on Thursday that Sadtu should not celebrate this.

"Sadtu uses its influence to block accountability measures, such as performance contracts for principals and professional licencing of teachers. The ever present threat of a Sadtu stayaway is (a) very real hindrance to holding poor performing schools to account," Davis said.

According to Davis, Sadtu had been found to have manipulated six provincial education departments.

"The 'jobs for cash' report found that Sadtu had effectively captured six out of nine provincial education departments. It found that Sadtu members are deployed to positions in the departments because of their political connections in the union and the ANC, and not their suitability for the job," Davis said.

Aside from celebrating the improved matric pass rate, Sadtu also welcomed improved results from poorer schools.

"(We applaud) teachers in general and our members in particular for the hard work done towards the improved 2016 National Senior Certificate results which saw more learners from schools in township and rural area (Quintiles 1, 2 and 3) passing," it said.

"The children of the poor and the working class are now afforded an opportunity to enrol at institutions of higher learning and this will change the course of their lives, their families and communities."

Increase access to higher education

Sadtu reiterated its commitment to changing the grading system of pupils.

"Over the past few years, Sadtu has been vociferously calling for a more formative assessment that is assessment for learning and less common assessment tasks," it said.

"We believe that what is required is assessment for learning and not just for the sake of end of year statistics...

"The complete reduction of the whole learning process to a test result has been one of the major fault lines of our education system and we will continue to call for a complete paradigm shift in this regard."

The union also expressed concern about poorer results when it came to indigenous languages.

"To our disappointment, the smaller African indigenous languages like xiTsonga, siSwati, xiVenda and isiNdebele recorded significant declines," Sadtu said.

"This is an indication that there is no coherent strategy in place to promote African indigenous languages in support of nation building.

"Our failure to invest in the development of indigenous languages will inevitably perpetuate the current apartheid system like trend where those whose mother tongue and home language is not English and Afrikaans continue to be disadvantaged," Sadtu said.

Read more on:    sadtu  |  da  |  education  |  matric 2016

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