22 November 2016
The South African Democratic Teachers` Union in Free State held its last Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) meeting on the 17 - 18 November 2016. The PEC discussed growing the organisation, educational and political matters which amongst others included the following:
On SADTU Cooperative Bank
The PEC got briefing on the significant development and progress made in implementing the 2014 National Congress resolution for the union to establish SADTU-Cooperative Bank. To ensure that more members of the union join the Savings and Credit Co-operative (SACCO) which lays foundation for the establishment of the SADTU Co-operative Bank, the PEC resolved on convening structural meetings to distribute membership application forms and to thoroughly explain the process to members.
On Work-to-Rule Progress
Since the successful work- to- rule campaign that culminated into a successful provincial march on the 20 April, 2016 the PEC noted with appreciation the progress being made by the department of education in implementing what parties agreed on.
The PEC was however disappointed that critical matters such as the presentations on NGOs and partnerships in education in the province and the Whole School Evaluation (WSE), were not yet finalised.
Whilst there are outstanding issues, the PEC noted with great concern that Treasury failed to comply with the commitment it made to transfer schools allocations as expected and in case of delay schools would be notified about the delay which will not take longer than two weeks. The reneging from the commitment by Treasury has far reaching implications on the delivery of quality education.
To deal with all outstanding matters the PEC resolved to call the department of education to an urgent meeting.
On Motheo TVET College Investigations
The PEC noted with appreciation the forensic investigations on allegations of serious misconduct being conducted against the principal after a litany of meetings and protest actions by the union that ended in confrontation between the union and students who were mobilised by the principal.
The union had, at the time, done everything possible to alert the Minister of Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) about the material conditions in the college.
The PEC further noted that the matter started receiving serious attention after being raised in Parliament. We appeal to the Minister to release the findings of the investigations without any delay to restore peace and stability in the college.
The PEC strongly condemned DHET for allowing the principal and her confidantes to conduct short-listings and proceed with interviews despite the allegations of manipulation of recruitment processes that were levelled against the principal which are under investigation. The principal further continues to defy DHET charging members for allegations of misconduct - a responsibility the DHET has removed from her.
On Common Assessments
The PEC noted the developments taking place at DBE around assessment and reiterated its call for teachers to set question papers as opposed to the common assessment being set by the department which undermines teachers as professionals trained to assess learners.
The PEC was satisfied with the discussions with the Free State Department of Education where a document on developing teachers` assessment skills and using PLCs to set common tasks has been developed.
On modularisation of learners
The PEC considered the modularisation as an insensitive strategy that contributes to more learners not completing their matric. Learners prepare hard for the entire year and only get informed on the eve of writing final examinations that they cannot write all the subjects. To those who would have not written some subjects, the department of education has failed to support them and many eventually end up not writing the outstanding subjects.
The PEC reiterated union`s position to reject this model which is not even a policy. We further call on parents, learners and teachers to reject the model.
16 Days of Activism and World Aids Day
The union continues to support the campaign against the abuse against of women and children, and the fight against the scourge of HIV/AIDS which should be an ongoing struggle until the battle is won.
The Union will on 3 December, observe the 16 days of activism against the abuse of women and children, and World Aids Day in Bothaville. It will also use the day to march in order to raise the plight of teachers who are being attacked by learners. Recently a Grade 4 learner has assaulted her teacher and in another incident four learners in Grade 4 and 7 poured paint on the face of the teacher who has since been given leave until next year. Through the march the union will also be demanding the department of education to provide security in schools to create a safe and violence free environments that are conducive to the provisioning of quality public education. The memorandum will be handed to the Free State Department of Education.
On acts of sexual relationship with learners
The PEC was perturbed to discover that there are still teachers who are charged for misconduct for sexual relationships with learners. The PEC condemned these barbaric acts and called on union structures to take disciplinary action against those who are members. The union has no room for these monsters who continue to bring the name of the union and the profession into disrepute.
The PEC further applauded SACE for dealing harshly with those found guilty of sexual relationship misconducts.
On launching of Young Women Brigade
The PEC viewed the capacity of young women in a very serious light hence a deliberate programme to develop young women union members. The union took pride in the launching of the programme for twenty young women on the 3rd - 05th October 2016. With building capacity being a priority in terms of pillar 1 of SADTU`s 2030 Vision, the PEC resolved to strengthen the campaign by hosting a provincial symposium for young women next year.
On the withdrawal of South Africa from International Criminal Court (ICC)
The PEC applauded the government of South Africa for being decisive on its decision to withdraw its participation from ICC. The PEC further welcomed the ruling by the Con-Court against the DA`s application to hear the matter as urgent. The DA should be ashamed of themselves for supporting the ICC and hoping the courts would assist them on their mission.
The PEC was comforted by the statements made by the retired Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke in cautioning the country against the misuse of courts for political battles.
The PEC viewed the ICC to have mostly targeted Presidents coming from Africa for allegedly committing crimes against humanity. The so-called "superpower and big brother" is not a signatory to the statute but dictates as to who should be prosecuted. The PEC commended other countries that have also taken decision to move out of ICC. This marks the collapse of ICC.
On conduct of some senior ANC leaders
The PEC condemned the conduct of some of the senor leaders of the ANC for defining themselves outside the traditions and policies of the organisation. The PEC regarded the pronouncements made by some senior leaders of the movement as reckless and cheap political populism that seek to cement regime change agenda. The ANC has structures and platforms created in term of its constitution for all members to raise issues of discomfort.
The PEC called on the ANC to take disciplinary action against these leaders and ensure that the centre still holds as these new tendencies are adversity impacting on the unity of the movement.
On pronouncement by some COSATU Affiliates
The PEC resolved that it fully recognised the independence and autonomy of each affiliate in taking decisions within their structures.
The PEC regarded the pronouncements by some sister unions in COSATU calling for the President to resign as unfortunate and worrisome. SADTU was correct in raising the issue of the succession debates in the correct platform during the Congress of the Federation. SADTU raised the matter on the premise of the history of the ANC in dealing with the matter. The Federation in that Congress resolved that the CEC should be the structure to take the debates forward.
The PEC reiterates its call that the entire NEC of the ANC should be supported to complete its term of office and all parties and members should work together in building the movement. The current political environment is toxic and requires a united alliance of ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO.
The PEC called on all SADTU members to participate in ANC branches in their own rights as members of the ANC and fully participate in the discussions including that of leadership.
The PEC concluded its meeting by wishing all the learners well in writing their final examinations and thanked members for their dedication throughout the year in delivering quality education to learners.
The PEC further called on South Africans to respect the law of the country as we move towards the festive season.
Prepared by Provincial Secretariat:
MOKHOLOANE MOLOI : PROVINCIAL SECRETARY: 076 811 2777