Stop politicising education, Gigaba urges

2012-01-23 22:34

Johannesburg - People must stop politicising education, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Monday.

"All of us have an important task of ensuring that we leave a legacy that ensures that the African child receives the best education standard possible," Gigaba said.

"We therefore need to stop politicising education as the only political issue we need to be concerned about is the learner in the classroom."

Gigaba visited two schools in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga as part of the 2012 back-to-school programme.

He said people should be concerned with instilling the culture of learning within the black community.

Earlier on Monday, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) condemned National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) chairperson Andile Lungisa's comments that the unions were to blame for the crisis in the basic education system.

Lungisa reportedly said poor matric results, particularly in previously disadvantaged schools, could be linked to union activities.

"Education must be made an essential service. We must not use the strategies used in factories and industries for education," Lungisa was quoted as saying.

"If we don't deal with unions [in the education system] this country will not succeed and we will be sabotaging future generations."

Cosatu said Lungisa's comments were "unfortunate" and "baseless".

"This ideological onslaught on teacher unions is premised on the false notion that organised teachers are selfishly concerned about themselves and could not care less about learners," Cosatu said in a statement.

"This reasoning accords all the blame for our malfunctioning education system to teachers who are organised in unions."

The Democratic Alliance Youth welcomed the call by the NYDA for education to be declared an essential service and for it to be de-unionised.

"South African children receive one of the worst standards of education in the world; a fact confirmed by a variety of studies," the DA Youth said in a statement.

"There are many reasons for this, but it is certain that nothing can be done to improve the situation without first having all teachers in their classrooms for all the hours that their contracts require them to be there."

It said that according to a study done by independent dispute resolution company Tokiso, the SA Democratic Teachers' Union was responsible for 42 percent of all workdays lost between 1995 and 2009.

"The consequences of attempting to obtain an education in this environment do indeed... create enormous inconvenience to the lives of learners."

  • Makatikamusona - 2012-01-23 22:55

    Gigaba what do you suggest we do? What is your plan? you seems to focus much of your energy in what must not be done instead of coming with an plan Mr.

      Sean - 2012-01-23 23:18

      How much money is unaccounted for by the ANC ? +- 21 Bil Rand ? Maybe the government should concentrate less on stealing this country blind and spend some money on education ! How much was the ANC party , 400 mil ? Eish , they have money for sh@t , but when it comes to education ? Then again , like I said 100 times before , if the masses of South Africa were educated , there would be no Malema`s or Zuma`s !! Uneducated masses is what keeps the ANC alive !

      Makatikamusona - 2012-01-23 23:39

      @Sean are you feeling sleepy already? ANC money is not Government Money?

      Max - 2012-01-24 05:00

      Makatika, the answer to your question is staring you right in the face as so many other answers in this country but because of Government's obsession with race and apartheid they are unable to get over them selves and move on. There are highly successful schools in this country as again seen in the newspapers, take these schools as examples and what ever they are doing and implement the model in the schools that are not doing so well. It is government that is politicizing education not the citizens of the country and it is clearly not working if you look at the results. Swallow your pride, not everything that was established through apartheid was bad.

      logical007 - 2012-01-24 09:30

      @makatika R100 million was tax payers money, R300 million was anc. But what about the 20 billion that was'lost?' But even so, this money would have been better off spent on education than a party? 'fixing'marks in grade 12 cannot continue as the students are not coping in the 1st year of varsity.

  • jody.beggs - 2012-01-23 22:58

    Breath of fresh air.

  • hannesw1 - 2012-01-23 23:18

    And who perhaps taught the people to politicise every aspect of Southern African life? The ANC...

      Godfrey - 2012-01-24 04:11

      What he is indirectly saying is please don't criticise the lousy job the ANC has made of education.

      Burton - 2012-01-24 10:33

      Don't you guys just love how he starts with African kids, not South African. The schooling system is just bonkers. A total joke, even our varsities are becoming a joke. Eish, the wheel she is turning on us.

  • Matthew Patrick - 2012-01-23 23:21

    For once I actually agree with something Andile Lungisa has said. I think the commitment of the teachers is the main problem. Having said that they might be more committed if the provincial education departments (especially in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape) actually provided a proper teaching environment and got the kids' textbooks on time. But SADTU's complaint, earlier this week, about teachers having to work up to 35 hours a week, 'cause all temporary teachers were retrenched (in KZN, I think) is a joke. If you're that lazy then you don't deserve a good working environment nor decent pay. I know a few teachers and working from 7:30 to 16:30 is the average working day for them anyway.

      Archie - 2012-01-24 16:19

      take off lunch breaks and late arrivals 35-6 about a heart straining 29 hours a week.I average 10 hours a day and i am 62,these prople are sh#t lazy.parasite comes to mind,feed off some one elses blood

  • paullombard17 - 2012-01-23 23:26

    Ag pls man, what education??? and the circus carries on.

  • Trevor - 2012-01-23 23:52

    I just commented the other day that a government that provides a good level of education is one that does not fear an intelligent voter, it WANTS intelligent formally educated citizens because it knows, SKILLED population can provide for a STRONG that lives for power and self enrichment keeps it's voters uneducated and ignorant, it plays the race card and offers crumbs at every elections...starve the dog till you need it then you give it a bone....that is what the ANC does every election so....their actions speaks VOLUMES...their words...empty promises year in year out.

      Charmaine - 2012-01-24 07:02

      I agree,Trevor, they talk about legacy, Only God knows what legacy means to our present government Lol, Even in education there is bribery and corruption. Again the word "BLACK" is mentioned,so it seems like a one sided affair. Tax payers money, the government has no money, empty promises indeed! Nice comments

      Archie - 2012-01-24 16:20

      Well written and well reasoned

  • Nick - 2012-01-23 23:53

    I think that the unions are but one factor out of many that contributed to the state of education in SA. There are many more. Incidently, is Gigaba concerned about the education of all children in Africa or just SOUTH AFRICAN children? The ANC's soundbites are starting to sound increasingly like those of the Nats of yester year...

      Anthony - 2012-01-24 05:13

      black children only

  • mike.clery - 2012-01-23 23:59

    Says the man whose party has "deployed" its "cadres" into every senior civil service and parastatal position in the country. Now that education's a near disaster, we're told we "mustn't politicize it". Sorry Mr Gigaba, but a consequence of your party's politicizing every aspect of South African life is that, when something fails, your party has to take responsibility. You can't claim ONLY the successes.

  • Twolips - 2012-01-24 00:01

    Don't generalise, Mr Gigaba. It's not the "people" but your own goverment together with Cosatu and SADTU who have buggered up this country's education system.

  • Sylvia - 2012-01-24 01:17

    Well said, Twolips.

  • Blip - 2012-01-24 02:28

    It was the ANC who declared education to be, in their very words, "a site of struggle". They let the genie out of the bottle, now they want it to go back? Doesn't work that way, Malusi.

  • Juan - 2012-01-24 02:49

    The other day the Gauteng premier pleaded with children not to bunk and drink alcohol at school. Just how the hell do you propose install a culture of learning if you are dealing with delinquent drunks?? This must be the only country on the f*en planet where kids have to be told not to drink alcohol at school. Politics has nothing to do with poor education, it's about scumbag teachers and learners. My apologies to the many good teachers and learners out there who are in the minority it would so appear.

  • Nkosinathi - 2012-01-24 03:24

    Unions have done black pipuls a devastating blow as they can not afford private which in many cases these unionised workfoce teachers have their children attending. It shows how manipulative we Africans can be and this will never ever move us anywhere as a race. Unions are insults to black school public school pipuls. Teachers in public schools not all of them ofcourse revolve with enormous amount of trivia, overpaid and undersused but they complaiin like hell when in acctual fact they are feeding black children with substarndard education. Sadtu is a sore eye distabilising our education system. Why is that it is always our black schools failing our children? Do we black people real loves ourselves? Insult me for my points if you like but i stand with them. Unions are inconvinience that fail Africans children to face the real challenging world. Year in and year our public school.It is a shame that Sadtu must write on their doors that they are a cancer that destroy poor Africans by their grand standing. How many unionist have their children in public schools? Cosatu must bite the bullet and accept that speaking English can never be equated to being educated, why I say this their leaders some never went to school but are leaders who speak english well and want to chapion polices about education, how possible is that? I am ashamed of thinking that we destroy our own black children future by unneccessary grandstanding. Come on black people were are a defeated race what is wrong??

  • pws69 - 2012-01-24 06:43

    A couple of points: It is not all teacher unions that are problematic, only SADTU is to blame. SADTU have power because they have ANC backing. They have also gone to the extent of insisting that the ANC recognise only them as a teachers union. I heard of a case where a teacher had over 50 charges against her, but she was politically connected, so they were all brushed under the carpet. The most dysfunctional departs in our GDE Offices are the ones run with 100% SADTU members, and the ANC does nothing about it. The highest performing government schools are generally those where SADTU affiliated teachers are in the minority, especially the former model C schools. People think these schools perforn solely because they have more money available. It is not the case, it is because their teachers are generally NAPTOSA affiliated. Once again, all roads lead to the door of the ANC where dysfunction occurs. The ANC is simply incapable of governing. But you vote for them. Mind boggling.

  • Larry - 2012-01-24 06:50

    Its not Education that is politicized, its the lack of Education that is the problem.

  • braamc - 2012-01-24 06:58

    Shouldn't public enterprises focus on exactly that and the education minister focus on her portfolio's rather?

  • Mhlabuthini Ntobeko Sibiya - 2012-01-24 07:04

    i am an src @ a college, n from wht i hv seen i totaly agree wth nyda, teachers who r not dedicated to there work hv been protected by unions, and on the other side we accpect quality students. We hv to start filtering our public enteprise for the better of our people n nt the pleasure of the elite government people.

  • Charmaine - 2012-01-24 07:08

    Only in South Africa every thing is for "blacks" only, I am labeled as Brown on a legal document, no "White" is mentioned, What is the matter with these people that they speak not intelligently!All this money is Tax payers Money. I still say the education system stinks. Some educators are only there for the wages and not for the students. "Legacy"-since 1994, where is the Legacy?

  • Christopher Oom Chielo Morrison - 2012-01-24 07:27

    It is not enough to have teachers in classes every minute of every school day. Our education system is failing due to the fact that inadequate teachers are being signed simply to fill the classes and as a results parents are left having to deal with their careers during the day and teaching their kids at night. Get proper teachers in classrooms and also, those who supervise these teachers should do their jobs aswel.

  • Phumi - 2012-01-24 07:41

    The ANCYL and the NYDA are 100% right to put a blame squarly on union activities in schools! I have always questioned the fact that if Teaching is a profesion then why do they need to have a union? Doctors, engineers, accountants and lawyers for example do not belong to any union they have profesional bodies to serve their needs! The one with a showerhead must stop putting his political interests firsts and tell these unions where to get off! Further more if we want to achieve five million jobs by 2020 in this country he has to be honest and fire his comunist advisors and unions his cabinet! There is no one who is the vangaurd of the working class here as Malema once said and the union certainly do not speak for the unemployed! Unions in this country have become a lobby group for politicians to advance their ambitions! We the youth of this country are not afraid of filling in the vacuum to protect those teachers who want to teach and those who are facing challenges in their workplace and the unemployed!

      Archie - 2012-01-24 16:39

      Phumi we have only created 629,000 jobs in the last 10 years.What with Bee/union strikes/julius calling for nationalising all mines/falling school standards(30%pass)and almost every time a employee is dismissed its off to CCMA for another wasted day.Dont expect employers to trip over themselves employing the fast becoming unemployable its just not worth the trouble,a poor standard at school dooms you to a labourer life Farmers would take thousands of workers ,but they are threatened from all sides.Gov does nothing to facilitate better labour relations

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-24 07:42

    I agree and accept the offer, so please step aside all comrades, caders etc of the ANC regime, as well as the ANC as well. Let those who actually know what is needed in RSA's education system take over and do what is right for our children's future.

  • Dieter - 2012-01-24 07:50

    so when are we the people going to start demanding that the be money returned and those responsible put in jail

  • Peter - 2012-01-24 07:59

    Politicise the Education - ?????The Education dept. WANTS to politicise the youngsters - white wash them to the fact that there is only one party in the country to look after them. Also its the Bluddy politicians who have politicised it simply because the budget for education is increasing in leaps and bounds and that there is now a bigger pot of money to dig their dirty paws into - Eg. Limpopo provence can not buy books because there is no money left ( why I wonder )

  • Peter - 2012-01-24 08:18

    At what stage does it become evident that a good educational system can only be implemented when the learners want to learn? During the apartheid years if the learners did not want to learn they were simply failed - and you accepted that you had not come up to par. But these days the uncooperative learners just burn the institution down. At least we knew we had to apply ourselves if we wanted to achieve something. I don't know how the present day learners hope to achieve anything if they do not apply themselves.

  • Eina - 2012-01-24 08:31

    First time Lungisa talks sense - unions have no place in education.

  • thelittlegreenhouse - 2012-01-24 11:56

    Even a broken clock can be right two times a day. Unfortunately the ideological sausage machine (South African Public Education) has no ears...

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-24 12:13

    Strange how my breakfast comment (repeated below) just "disappeared" ... Next we should also depoliticize the following and declare to be essential services: Health care ... Agriculture SAPS Municipal services SABC and other media Transport For a start. Note that depoliticize means depoliticize. This means that these fields of endeavour are not managed by any political party , but by experts in the field whose only agenda is to optimize the particular discipline to the benefit of the people of S.A. Obviously there will have to be be a representative body to ensure this is done.

  • Willie - 2012-01-24 12:19

    Gigaba please tell us another story

  • Archie - 2012-01-24 16:12

    The unions have brought schools to their knees,some teachers are poor examples to follow,their skills at communicating with pupils is shocking,30% pass is good enough?If you cant get the pupils to 50% you fail as a teacher .Money stolen by tenderpreneurs never gets recovered back into the system.possesion is 9/10 of the law?ANC the clock is ticking for you. tick tick!

  • vandereems - 2012-01-24 18:58

    While people argue about what the government should and should not do, parents that care for their children are taking them out of public schools and choosing for home education, private schools or unregistered informal cottage schools. Places where parents and teachers can focus on education without being affected by ministers, departments or unions. Parents that care should visit the website of the Association for Homeschooling rather than wait for government to get it's act together.

  • Wayne - 2012-02-07 14:59

    For once i find myself agreeing with Gigaba and Lungisa. @Makatika - your absolutely right in saying that ANC money is not Government money. However, the reality is that Government is using its influence and money to fund ANC related matters. The NYDA is one! The Lotto board's payments to ANCYL kissfest is another.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-07-04 09:47

    The ANC too busy living in the past and riding on the gravy train to notice what is going on in the land. Only this little sage of text books have they felt a bumpy ride. Education is very important, a good education will take you a long long way in life. You can make something of your life, become a business owner and you can become wealthy is just depends how hard you are willing to work. Education nevery stops no matter how old you are we are constantly learning something new every day. The anc know the real reason for a lot of the unemployment, bad education and interference from the Unions. Both need to be tackle now. Education must improve, no rediculous pass rates of 30% and not gippo passes to make schools look good. (Yes, we know that schools are giving pass marks to make the teachers look good) this does not help the children, its down right shocking. Training centres need to be opened and available to the youth, if they are not university quality, there is always a trade they can fall back on. Look how many tradesman have started up their own business's. Until, the education has picked up and that can take years, Unions should not be allowed to dominate the business people or government. It is these Unions that have created majority of the unemployment because business is not going to waste money on unproductive people. Remember, this is what Unions cannot understand, business is there to make a profit, no profit no business.

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