SADTU FREE STATE PEC media statement

26 October 2015

The South African Democratic Teachers Union in the province held its last Provincial Executive Committee meeting of the year on the 23rd – 24th October 2015. The meeting robustly deliberated on political, socio-economic, education and organisational matters as follows:

On Matric Exams

The PEC took place immediately after the commencement of the writing of final matric examinations and wished all learners in matric well. We thank all our members for performing their revolutionary tasks in preparing the learners for the examinations. The PEC commended members for their contribution and sacrifices made under difficult situations and at time sacrificing comfort of their beds.

We noted with great concern the pronouncement by the department of education on modulation of progressed learners who are in Grade 12 on the eve of the starting of examinations. This has caused some uncertainty to learners who for reasons of not performing to the expected level during the Mid-year and Trial-exams would have to modulate their exam. This the PEC viewed as the continuing arrogance and undermining of the bargaining council by DBE wherein they made pronouncement on matters of policy through media.

On Protest Action by University Students against fee hikes

The PEC support the students in their fight against fee hikes since that infringes on their fundamental right to access education as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic. Education is a fundamental right and cannot be accessible only to the children of the rich at the expense of majority of black students from the poor through deliberate marginalisation. Whilst the PEC pledged its support to the students, we condemned the opportunistic posture by the opposition political parties who have hijacked the genuine demands of students and use these for their political machinery campaign as we move towards local government elections next year.

The PEC further condemned acts of violence and destruction of property during the protest action and called against the provocation of police and pleaded with students to exercise discipline as recklessness might lose them the fight wherein victory is surely certain.

The PEC further condemned posture of DA in attacking the Minister of Higher Education and Training and putting the blame on his department. The PEC put its weight behind the Minister who has done extremely well since being at the helm of the DHET. We view the conduct of the DA and its allies as cheap political point scoring to win unfairly the support of the students and the public. The PEC called on the government and the universities to urgently scrap the fee increase and find ways that would ensure acceleration towards free education at institutions of higher learning and to further resolve other demands of students.

On violence and safety in schools

The PEC noted with great concern increasing incidents of violence, brutality and killings amongst learners in schools. Schools are regarded as safe places for quality teaching and learning to take place. The safety of learners, teachers and education workers at school should, at all material times, be guaranteed for effective teaching and learning to take place. We reiterate our call for the department to employ full time security personnel in schools, revive and capacitate school safety committees, resuscitate effective adopt a cop programme, and for random search of weapons by the police. We further invite the support of community members in combating the scourge of violence in schools since education is a societal issue and requires all stakeholders to join hands in building patriotic citizens.

On Post Provisioning

The PEC noted that MTEF Consultation processes have been concluded in the Provincial Chamber and welcomed the posture of the Free State department of education to retain the number of posts created in 2015/16 for the financial year 2016/17. This is victory for SADTU and all educators in the province after the other unions had agreed to the reduction of posts.

On Housing Allowance

The PEC is perturbed that there is no progress on the implementation of the PSCBC Resolution on housing and called for the immediate implementation by the department.

On administration of ANA

The PEC reiterated the Congress resolution on remodelling of ANA and making it a triennial assessment. We remain resolute that members of SADTU will not administer ANA in the current year. The PEC called on the structures to be vigilant and continuously interact with members and to clarify the union position to the parents and School Governing Bodies.

On Introduction of Mandarin

We remain convinced and correct that language plays a very important role in the development of culture and heritage. We cannot be re-colonised after such hard fought struggle to defeat the apartheid regime to gain our democracy and freedom and reclaim our heritage.

The PEC called on all members of the union and parents to reject the introduction of Mandarin in schools. We demand full implementation of the teaching of Indigenous languages by those who understand them.

On Local Government Local Elections

SADTU reaffirmed the National congress resolution on supporting the ANC during Local Government Elections in 2016. We further call upon our members to actively participate in the election campaigns of the alliance in pursuit of an overwhelming victory for the ANC.

On Induction of Leaders

The PEC endorsed the scheduling of the induction workshop for union leaders. This is to give effect to the union’s 2013 vision pillars, in particular that of servicing union members and that of building delivery based organisational capacity. The induction workshop for all REC members and Gender Convenors in the province is scheduled for the 29 - 30 October 2015 at Aldam in Ventersburg. The training with be conducted by the National Working Committee.

On COSATU National Congress

The PEC wished the Federation well in its 12th National Congress scheduled for the 23rd – 26th November 2015 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand. The PEC, guided by the successful Special National Congress, anticipates robust engagements. The PEC called for maximum discipline during the National Congress. Since the Special National Congress we have been working on unity and cohesion of the union and of the federation. The PEC is convinced that the COSATU is still intact and remains the home of all workers.

ISSUED BY: PRONCIAL SECRETARIAT

Contact

Mokholoane Moloi : Provincial Secretary 076 811 2777

Sifuba Ntombizanele : Provincial Deputy Secretary 079 691 7358