KZN teachers to down chalk

KwaZulu-Natal teachers will report for work next week but will be on a go-slow, the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has said.

No chalk would be seen on blackboards and no tests would be marked or reports issued, Sadtu KwaZulu-Natal secretary Mbuyiseni Mathonsi told reporters in Durban today.

Mathonsi said the decision was taken at a meeting of the union’s provincial executive council (PEC) at the weekend.

Sadtu is up in arms at proposals to make teaching an essential service, and to install biometric fingerprinting of teachers to curb teacher absenteeism.

Mathonsi said fingerprinting teachers would not improve the quality of education.

“These electronic machines, even if they are installed, will never improve the quality of teaching and learning, and therefore any thought of installing such is a miss-thought [sic].”

He said the technology would become “a white elephant hanging on the walls” of schools as teachers would not use them.

He said the education department would do better to fill vacant posts.

“KwaZulu-Natal alone has 834 vacant posts of school inspectors, 569 subject advisers, 186 deputy chief education specialists, 68 chief education specialists, eight directors, and three general managers.

“Yet, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is prepared to waste R480 million on electronic machines,” he said.

According to him, the union would inform parents of their complaints against the department. Sadtu’s demands were for better education. Its demands and the wishes of parents coincided, he said.

The union also wanted Grade R teachers to be employed full-time, and the elimination of perceived salary discrepancies between Grade R teachers in various provinces.

The chalk-down would begin on Monday, March 25 and finish when the term ended on March 28.

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