Education as essential service - debate goes on

2012-06-29 16:16

Johannesburg - The ANC could not agree whether education should be seen as an essential service, education commission member Angie Motshekga said on Friday.

"The commission resolved that... the process should continue to find a consensus around this matter of declaring education an essential service," Motshekga, who is also the minister of basic education, said on the sidelines of the ANC's policy conference in Midrand, Johannesburg.

"Labour contended that declaring education an essential service sought to take away their right to strike, which was entrenched in the Constitution."

She said labour felt other issues such as teachers' salaries and condition of services should be addressed.

It was resolved that a commission be set up to look at, among other things, teachers' salaries, and compare them internationally.

"If the report-back shows that there is indeed something we can do to improve the conditions of service for teachers, then [we should] agree with them to have a multi-year agreement, so that every year we are not under a threat of strike," said Motshekga.

She said the commission agreed that the process should happen in the next few months, and that the report-back should be made at the ANC's elective conference in December, when it would adopt its policies.

Motshekga said recommendations were also made on infrastructure, the reopening of former teacher training colleges, and the way in which principals of schools and school governing bodies were appointed.

SA Communist Party general secretary and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, who was also an education commission member, said the commission resolved that an implementation strategy be tabled in December on free higher education for the poor.

It also recommended that undergraduate students take part in a community service programme.

"This is necessary, given the number of unemployed graduates," Nzimande said.

"The length of community service has not been finalised... [However] it cannot be less than one year," he said.

Nzimande said the commission also resolved that enrolment in higher education institutions had to increase in the next ten years and that there needed to be an increase in infrastructure for post-school education and training.

  • John - 2012-06-29 16:21

    Only way to solve the problems of this country is to improve education full stop.......

      Christelle - 2012-06-29 16:23

      You are right! But if you look at the leadership in our country, it appears as if it not even essential to have an education to be the in a position of power. But, I suppose whoever said "knowledge is power" did not know what he was talking about!!

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-06-29 16:33

      Imagine that the sequel to the movie "dumb and dumber" be categorised as a true drama.

      jeeves.eddings - 2012-06-29 16:36

      All I can do is shake my head and make a very sad face.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-06-29 17:00

      I cannot believe what I have just read ....... doomed, there is no other word to describe SA's future right now with this type of thought process freely at work.

      Revelgen - 2012-06-29 17:19

      Heck, John, be reasonable man. If education is made an 'essential service', then SADTU won't be able to strike and will HAVE to come to school to teach all those millions of Black kids. And then, educated voters might soon wake up and see the shambolic mess of self-serving politicians the ANC has become, and the ANC would then LOSE VOTES!!! We really can't have that happening now, can we?? No more Mercs, JW Black, fraudulent tenders - shudder! - too awful to contemplate...

      scouter.fourone - 2012-06-29 18:03

      Take all the ANC elite's kids out of their private schools and place them in government schooling. Then see how quickly they will decide that education is indeed an 'Essential Service'. It's absolutely bloody criminal that these half-wits can be allowed to play games with innocent childrens' futures. The more I think about them wallowing around the Gallagher Estate bar right now the more enraged I feel.

      Jellyarse - 2012-06-29 18:15

      PLEASE - don't make it an essential service - imagine if all the kids could actually get an education? Where would that leave the ANC government? In a position where their next generation would be (FAR) more educated than them and be able to see through the lies, thievery, corruption and dishonesty that this bunch of incompetents practice and feed to the uneducated masses every day in the guise of failures due to legacies from the Apartheid Regime

      Jellyarse - 2012-06-29 18:16

      worried more about the right to strike than actually delivering on this essential service! Ignorant As**oles!

  • tuco.angeleyes - 2012-06-29 16:22

    The ultimate denying of education (via lack of text book delivery)to young children as witnessed in the first half of 2012 should be regarded a crime against humanity. The ANC is relentless in its efforts to keep South African masses illiterate and ignorant.

      Christelle - 2012-06-29 16:25

      And THAT is how they stay in power!

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-06-29 16:25

    As long as children rule the schools with no discipline, we are wasting our tax money on trying to educate them.

      Christelle - 2012-06-29 16:55

      That is how it is in many schools all over the world - but it does not mean we should stop educating them. Our children have a right to education - and the people who need it most, are the ones that suffer the most when books are not delivered and teachers do not pitch up to teach. We are begging our fellow black South Africans to act in a more educated way - no let us ensure we help them in getting that education!

      Christelle - 2012-06-29 16:57

      Sorry, I want to say, NOW let us help them in getting that education.

  • dumisani.l.tshabalala.3 - 2012-06-29 16:26

    how stupid are these ANC peeps....

  • jean.tredoux.5 - 2012-06-29 16:26

    You bitch and moan that you never had the proper education in apartheid and education is so important and education is the key to reduce poverty and now you don't see education as an essential service! ANC you are officially the dumbest creatures EVER!!! People like you who must be put in gas chambers, letting you live is a flippen waste!!!

  • Randomhero6661 - 2012-06-29 16:29

    ah these thugs need to be put to bed...

  • Sasha - 2012-06-29 16:29

    Ok, I admit. I only read the heading. That infuriated me enough! If the ANC wants a mindless pool of voters (as they do) they will say that's it's not essential. If they wanted to move the country forward they would throw everything that could be spared at educating the nation. (Yes including all the money spent on jets, cars, hotels etc.)

  • jerry.medina.756 - 2012-06-29 16:32

    Not to this present ANC lot. How many of the 3500 delegates has education anyway.

  • ambauli - 2012-06-29 16:35

    Knowledge is freedom. An uneducated choice is no choice at all. Until everyone is educated, no one is free!

  • aderitotmn - 2012-06-29 16:45

    1.2 million kids enrolled for grade 1 in 1997. 12 years later (matric) about 500k sat down to write final exams. Only - 60% made it. So after all this time watching the ship sink, our government is still 'thinking of a plan.' just give it up...your kids are doomed!

      jeffrey.jones.357 - 2012-06-29 18:06

      Yeah, and that at a pass mark of 30% or 40%, that's not even a pass mark in any other country.

  • Ben - 2012-06-29 16:45

    We have to compete economically with a civilised world where people are educated. The time of living in caves is now over.

  • richard.zanner - 2012-06-29 16:49

    A debate whether education is essential ???? You mean keep them in the dark like the dark ages and ensure control. So we do not educate the population but put them in high powered jobs controlled by the few on top who then ultimately control. Well at least we know the agenda of the ANC

  • jwarha.balakisa - 2012-06-29 16:51

    I don't believe we are even debating this thing. If Education is not an essential service, what is it then?

      ambauli - 2012-06-29 17:19

      *juju voice* it iz a lakzari and a privalej.

      maylani.bezuidenhout - 2012-06-29 17:30

      As long as teachers are unionised and focused on striking for more pay rather than delivering an essential service to our school children we are going to continue seeing this backslide in the productivity of our economy.

  • ingi.raikes - 2012-06-29 16:53

    Awwww, come on Angie, are you on drugs or what? Education is the only way we are going to get out of this dreadful, devastating and ridiculous situation this sinking and sad this Country finds it's self in, by educating the un-educated and getting them to understand what a hectic situation we are all in by showing them how to think and how to make important descisions to save this Country before it's too late!

      Eye's Cue - 2012-06-29 18:18

      Do you want to educate our youth? The only way this is ever going to happen is if: You vote for change, VOTE for the D.A. And if you want to know why l say that, ask yourself what the D.A. has achieved in the Western Cape since they won that Province? makes one think! Just imagine what, if they ran the whole Country, they could achieve and how brilliant it would all be? Children being educated, Foreigners investing, unemployment being addressed, crime under control, etc., etc. It will make a difference for All South Africans.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-06-29 16:55

    This is deepest darkest Africa. Keep people in the dark, don't educate them.

      Juan - 2012-06-29 18:10

      Yip its the only way the ANC can cling to power

  • kathleen.whiteley.7 - 2012-06-29 16:59

    Further proof that when the ANC suffers its major split - and that is coming - the leadership will stay with the Trade Unions.

  • garethjphillips - 2012-06-29 17:01

    I personally think that it is an absolute no-brainer! Of course education must be regarded as an essential service! I am not certain if this is the correct forum to raise this but surely the right to an education trumps the right to strike...

  • cynthia.d.plessis - 2012-06-29 17:04

    From another comment here on News 24 the other day: "free" and "dom" don't go well together.

  • Ilana Lombard - 2012-06-29 17:04

    Education IS an essential service. A debate shouldn't be necessary! What is more important than a well educated nation? I am a teacher and work hard to ensure that I provide my learners with good education and they are doing well. I love and appreciate my work and my learners. I am thankful that I can make a difference in their lives. I teach with passion. We have the children's lives in our hands. YES education is an essential service... Where would we be without education? We need to educate the children to open their doors for the future.

  • peter.l.morris.3 - 2012-06-29 17:10

    The reason why the ANC does not want education is that they do not want the masses to realise that the ruling party is leading them by their noses. As the saying goes "in the land of the blind one eye is king"

  • B.b. - 2012-06-29 17:15

    Quality education is of importance,,,a learner must obtain 45 and above in order to be promoted to the next grade...CASS is contributing too much for a learner to be promoted if they have obtained 30...I totally disagree. We shall be producing lazy South Africans. The other thing, the deparyment is enforcing some of the laws that bring bad perceptions and attitude to the learners towards Education. Sometimes we make decisions in order to gain many votes, forgeting that we killing our nation,,,

  • carl.debeer.33 - 2012-06-29 17:26

    I cant believe what I have actually read!...this place is fuc#ed.

  • Khaya - 2012-06-29 17:29

    I am shocked at how people attach emotions to debate instead of providing solutions. The fact is that if education is to be classified as an essential service, we have to revisit the definition of an essential service, in terms of legislation, to qualify its inclusion. But we can also not turn a blind eye on the legitimate issue raised by labour that this will seek to do away with the workers' constitutional right to strike. Our education system has undergone serious and necessary changes since the dawn of democracy. It is imperative that there will be problems encountered in the process. Ours is to come forward with our "collective wisedom" to address these challenges. It is also a fact that since 1994 doors of education began opening for all and thanks to the ANC.

      jenny.webbe - 2012-06-29 17:34

      Well, here's a solution - not that it will be implemented, but why don't the ANC employ more white teachers for their schools. They take teaching seriously and won't strike and will certainly know how to give an education to youngsters. Just saying

      carl.debeer.33 - 2012-06-29 18:13

      The solution is to get teachers to go to school! They always absent...

      jeffrey.jones.357 - 2012-06-29 18:19

      Maybe the doors have been opened, but what goes on in most schools can hardly be termed "education", and it is where SADTU teachers are employed that are the weakest schools. NAPTOSA is also a teachers union, but their members don't rock up drunk to school, stay away from school for no reason, and don't go on strike every five minutes. It's largely black children who are being short-changed by what passes for "education" in their schools, and SADTU teachers are a large part of the problem. Education in SA is not "problem" its a crisis by any reasonable standards.

      pieriewaaier.zooms - 2012-06-29 18:53

      I agree in essence with you ..BUT your view is rather one-sided: (i) The right to strike of teachers is not sacrosant. (ii) It is balanced by an equal right of all citizens (and especially the young kids and youth) to a right of education. Must we then continue to condemn the young generation to a future without hope to which they all aspire and dream of and subjugate that fundamental human right to a 'right to strike'? To deny them their dreams s to live a productive life and improve their lot and that of their future generations to a right to strike? Of course national education plays an unquestionable & vital role in this demanding priority. Sure, our education system has undergone many changes since the dawn of democracy but many - if not the majority - have been ill-conceived, poorly conceptualised experiments and dismally executed (remember OBE?) and what is left dismally administered. (School books 6 months late?)So to offer the constitutional right to strike as untouchable given the continued misery of the young having to fight against all odds to get a decent qualification, is just scandalous & unforgivable, robbing future generations of a decent future and not serving the national interest of making SA a highly competitive nation internationally, creating employment and growth opportunities & generally just to offer hope of something better. I urge you to think again and think of the fundamentals. Try your best!

  • braamc - 2012-06-29 17:34

    Why don't you just shut up and leave your job, spectacularly useless.

  • victor.tamaranui - 2012-06-29 17:35

    Really, Education is essential.......SIMPLE AS Now Move on ...........

  • michelle.rod.31 - 2012-06-29 17:42

    imagine what a brilliant stunning country you would have if you did make education essential. But I suppose the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. If you require an explanation let me know.

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-06-29 17:42

    All the government seem to do is talk and debate issues, nothing actually gets done. All these meetings and debates are useless cake eating get togethers.

  • osama.pascal - 2012-06-29 17:44

    Arg Angie get a grip. By the way we are still very angry about delivery of text books.

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-06-29 17:45

    it is a essential service finnish and klaar

  • Twolips - 2012-06-29 17:48

    There's no point in comparing our teachers' salaries to any overseas countries. One has to compare it to cost of living etc. Teachers everywhere are poorly paid compared to other jobs. I'd rather the salaries are discussed, and while they're about it also discuss the retired teachers' pensions. We get a miserable increase annually that does not keep up with the rate of inflation or COL.

  • stephen.king.900 - 2012-06-29 18:04

    Icant beleive they still debating whether education is an esential service or not. They are brainless. It obviously is not the way they distibute books

  • DawieBlue - 2012-06-29 18:10

    How can it not be an essential service? If we do not educate the next generation we are all f**k*d. Simple.

  • sello.mapeka - 2012-06-29 18:12

    then leaners will get text books in time, let education also be compulsory......

  • chiepner - 2012-06-29 18:17

    Really? Debating if education is an esential service is reminding me of Mbeki era's debating HIV does not cause AIDS. What exactly is there to debate honestly. Is the education of your children not deemed THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can make sure you give your child? You see this is what is wrong with the ANC. They debate everything to death even these basic things that should not require any debating. Its common sense FFS! Education should be THE MOST IMPORTANT SERVICE that a government can provide to their citizens, but hey. I recon the ANC showed just how much they value education. Government schools failing left right and centre and they are most probly already eyeing some departments to come to a hault to try and divert those funds to other essential departments or parastatals like SANRAL or Department Of Transport so that they can make sure the bulk of that money ends up in another fat cats pockets. Really what the hell is there to debate about this!?!?!? - this is why everything is going to hell. Too much talk which costs alot of money to do while there is little or no action at all. Pathetic. 18 years down the line and we are still debating the importance of education.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-29 18:28

    I personally know that most black friends of mind consider education to be an absolute must for their kids...they will sacrifice to make sure their kids have a better life than what they had. Now the question is.....I wonder how most of the parents who are anc supporters feel about this statement from the anc....I think this might loose a few more votes for the anc....GOOD VOTE ..DA...the DA are people who push for all kids to be educated.

  • karen.schaper.9 - 2012-06-29 19:33

    Its beause of your stupid dumb pathetic mentality that people are leaving the country and giving their kids a future. What kind of idiots are you ?????

  • Derek Gerber - 2012-06-30 05:53

    They need Sadou teachers as local spies during elections. Sadou teachers are the only group blocking this abd also the only teachers wanting to strike.

  • lynne.barker.7 - 2012-06-30 06:27

    Of course education is an essential service. Our children are suffering because of striking, uncommitted teachers who only want their pay at the end of the month!

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