SADTU HOSTS A SUCCESSFUL POLICY CONFERENCE
The biggest teacher union in South Africa held a successful policy conference from 23 until 25 March, 2012 at the Emperors' Palace, Kempton Park in Gauteng.
In his closing remarks, SADTU General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke refuted media reports that Union President Thobile Ntola had said South Africa was better under apartheid.
"At no stage have we compared the state we lived in with yesterday. We have made a lot of progress as a country. We have no fee-schools, we have collective bargaining processes and many more progressive gains. Our president never said apartheid was better. What we can say is that apartheid was heinous crime," Mugwena said.
The conference adopted resolutions on matters pertaining to education, labour and gender. These will be incorporated into policy once they have been adopted by the Nation Executive Committee of the Union.
Some of the resolutions on education include the following:
- The inclusion of colleges of education and the future of the N courses in the Green Paper on Post Schooling;
- The Performance contracts and competency tests for educators and the school principals be rejected because the existing regulations are progressive and just need implementation;
- The development in management and leadership should a priority for the School Management Teams;
- The promotion of indigenous languages as the medium of instruction should be incorporated into the curriculum and that the minimum requirement for Higher Education Institution entry should be free from language bias;
- When it comes to LSEN and Inclusive Education, there should be a proper weighting of learners to assist in learner-teacher ratios;
- Salaries and benefits of therapists and psychologists who deal with LSEN and Inclusive Education should be attractive.
- Every school should have at least one staff qualified to do remedial teaching
- SADTU should carry out a one school - one library/laboratory campaign to ensure schools are properly resourced.
- All schools should have a library and a fulltime librarian, laboratory, computer centre, enough toilets, sports facilities, school hall, staff room, a kitchen, an administrative centre, water and electricity.
- A centralized state publishing company should be introduced for learners and teacher support material development.
- The Department of Education should carry the cost and accelerate the roll out of the Teacher Laptop Initiative and have it fully implemented by end of 2012. Teachers should be trained on e-curriculum on a continuous basis.
- Every school should write ANA and examinations should be conducted towards the end of the year. Its marking should be centralized and administered like the Grade 12 examination and teachers should be remunerated in line with PAM. Learners should be allowed to write the paper in the language they were taught in.
On labour, the conference called for the reintroduction of the senior and master teacher system with clear job descriptions.
On performance management, the Conference resolved that the IQMS should be retained and challenges indentified with the view of improving and strengthening the monitoring and evaluation aspects.
- SADTU should embark on an advocacy campaign to raise awareness to all teachers and learners around sexual relationships between learners and teachers.
- SADTU should engage stakeholders such as POPCRU and SAPS to assist victims of gender based violence;
- SADTU should develop a policy that will advocate for the protection of LGBTI's;
- The International Day of People With Disabilities should be observed and included in the Union's calendar.
- The Union should establish gender sensitization programmes that also involve the boy child.
Statement issued by SADTU General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke, March 27 2012
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