SADTU statement on World Education Support Personnel Day

16 May 2020

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU), the country’s biggest union in the education and public service sectors, today joins her global federation Education International (EI) in celebrating May 16, World Education Support Personnel (ESP) Day.

On this day SADTU salutes the women who cook meals for the learners as part of school nutrition programmes, care takers, security personnel, cleaners, groundsmen, technicians, carers who assist learners with disabilities, psycho-social providers in schools, boarding school matrons and many others who form part of Education Support Personnel (ESP). They are an essential part of the education community and yet receive little or no recognition. They are under-paid and undervalued.

As the country is facing lockdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic, ESP’s are among the first to bear the brunt of the lockdown as they do not enjoy full employment benefits. Many are employed by School Government Bodies and do not enjoy benefits as workers.

We call on the Departments of Education and Public Administration not to treat ESPs as mere appendages in the education system but as a critical component. They are part of the education community and should be recognised as such. They must be given full benefits as workers and access to quality recognised professional training. SADTU echoes the call by Education International (EI) on governments to invest in the education workforce and ensure the rights and decent working conditions of all ESP in line with the EI Declaration on the Rights and status of ESP.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat


General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157