21 July 2019
SADTU in Free State notes with appreciation the Province's Education Budget as tabled by the MEC, Dr Tate Makgoe on the 16th of July 2019. The budget responds to many issues that the union has been raising if we are to get our education right in the province.
We welcome the shift in focus by the department of education from supporting only Grade 12 learners. The union has been calling for equal support to learners across all grades. The MEC has dedicated more focus in terms of resources to support primary education, which is the bedrock of a solid foundation for senior phase education. To achieve his objective of building a strong foundation, the MEC has touched on a hard to crack nut of reducing learner-teacher ratio in the next three years in primary schools. This is the call the union has been making for years and will immensely contribute positively towards promotion of a reading culture, starting in primary schools. The implementation of this progressive and bold move will be seriously monitored by the union in the coming Post Provisioning Norms (PPN) consultation in Chamber.
The union further welcomes the commitment by the MEC to ensure mass participation in sports, arts and culture in all schools. This has been our call to build the child in totality as opposed to the developed culture of focusing mainly on curriculum delivery over other aspects of building a complete human being.
On violence in schools, the MEC made a sound analysis of contributory factors on violence in schools and presented strategies to combat these barbaric acts in our schools. The linking of schools with local police stations ,whilst appreciated, will need more collaboration with SAPS to ensure prompt response to situations as they arise in schools. The union as part of the stakeholders in the Provincial School Safety Steering Committee will ensure that advices given to the department by the committee (PSSSC) and all resolutions of the school safety summit are implemented. The union's "I am a school fan" campaign that was recently launched in Bloemfontein at Ikaelelo Secondary school will be canvassed to the department as it talks to mobilisation of stakeholders to protect institutions of learning and create safe and clean environments at workplaces and in communities.
The MEC was however economical on issues of Early Childhood Development (ECD), especially on improving the stipends of practitioners which have never improved since 2013. The additional 100 bursaries are not enough looking at the number of unqualified practitioners in the province.
SADTU in Free State pledges its support to the department of education in the implementation of all resolutions taken in "Makgotla" organised by the department, but will not hesitate to be critical on any deviation.
ISSUED BY: PROVINCIAL SECRETARIAT
Mokholoane Moloi : Provincial Secretary: 076 811 2777
Kedibone Frank : Provincial Deputy Secretary: 079 886 3317