SADTU Post NEC Media Statement

13 December 2016

SADTU NEC meets for the last time in 2016

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the South African Democratic Teachers` Union (SADTU) held its last meeting for 2016 at its headquarters in Kempton Park from 8 to 10 December, 2016.

The meeting took place on the latter days of the 16-Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children, on the third anniversary of the death of world icon, former President Nelson Mandela, during the mourning period for the
late Cuban leader Fidel Castro, on the eve of International Human Rights Day and at the end of the school calendar.

The meeting deliberated on issues related to among others; education, labour, international as follows:

On Education matters:

  • Circular No 3, 2016 on condonation of learners in Grade7, 8 and 9 who obtain 20% in Mathematics

The NEC noted the issuing of Circular 3, 2016 by the Department of Basic Education that allows learners in Grade 7, 8 and 9 learners who have received 20% in Mathematics, to be condoned to the next class.

The NEC was concerned about the lack of long term solutions because the problem with Mathematics were systemic and the Department needs to implement solutions as presented by the National Development Plan (NDP) such as investing in Grades R and Early Childhood Education.

The NEC lambasted the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for not consulting with the unions on the matter.

The NEC observed that the head of assessment is putting the education system in a crisis because he is still bitter with the review of ANA and wants to put the entire assessment on auction to the highest bidder.

The Director General should have known better that the schools had already completed the schedules and that this would cause unnecessary chaos for the learners and the parents.

This chaotic situation could have been avoided if the department had the interest of the learners at heart.

The NEC sent a strong warning to the Department of Basic Education to stop running the Department as if it was on a crisis but to do proper planning and consultation.

  • CAPS

The NEC raised concerns over the review of CAPS and attempts are being made to bring in common assessment tests. The NEC raised concern that such a move was tantamount to bringing back Annual National Assessment (ANA).

There are also moves to reduce the role of school based assessment with the ultimate intention of privatizing assessment. SADTU believes that education is a public good and is therefore against the privatization of education.

Putting the assessment in the hands of private providers would take away from teachers, their professional right to assess what they teach and reduce them to mere robots and not professionals.

The NEC took a decision that the Union would embark on a serious awareness campaign on the consequences of privatization of education especially through assessments.

  • Promotion of Indigenous languages

The NEC took a decision to work with the Commission on Cultural, Religious and Language Rights to look at the impact of indigenous languages on the development of the learner and on how the current curriculum was continuing to marginalize indigenous languages.

The NEC holds a strong view that many Black learners are held back by the fact that the medium of instruction remains a foreign language. This is a key barrier for many learners as they are denied a far opportunity to perform and realise their real potential. Learners whose home language is Afrikaans and English remain advantaged and this will be apparent when matric results are released early next year.

On political matters:

  • The ANC succession debate

The NEC reiterated the SADTU`s and COSATU`s stance that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should be the president of the ANC in 2017 and the state in 2019 as per the ANC`s succession tradition and established principles. This is the same principle we advanced to support the then Deputy President of the ANC , Cde Zuma to become President in 2007.

The NEC noted that no reasons have been advanced to cause the ANC to move away from its traditions and practices in terms of successions. Why was this principle used for President Zuma when he was Deputy President and not for the current Deputy President?

A call to support Ramaphosa was not a call to support an individual`s ambitions but to unite the people`s camp and close ranks. The NEC believed that those advocating for a different position from the ANC tradition, were doing so in an attempt to protect their privileges that come with their proximity to power.

  • The State Capture report

The NEC noted the recommendations made by the former Public Protector for a Commission of Inquiry to be established. The NEC called for the expansion of the terms of reference for the enquiry to include the all industrialists who have milked the State. The Guptas and all those who are heartless like them must be fully investigated so that the transformation of our society is not based on cosmetic reforms. Those who stole land from the majority must be caused to return the land and its wealth.

  • Racism

The NEC remains concerned about some who still see blacks as baboons. We condemn the racist Facebook post by a DA councillor in Cape Town. We are eagerly awaiting action by the DA as they profess to be non racial while hosting such a racist councilor. The two farmers in Middleburg who attacked and assaulted a farm dweller Victor Mlotshwa and placed him into a coffin alive should face the full might of the law.

The NEC holds a view that racist derive their power from the fact that they own the economy and land in this country. We therefore resolve to redouble our efforts to transform the economy of the country.

We wish our learners and teachers a peaceful festive season and a prosperous New Year.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157