5 January 2017
The South African Democratic Teachers Union notes the outcomes of the 2016 National Senior Certifcate examinations with a heavy heart. First we congratulate those learners and their teachers who have been successful. We wish these learners well in their future endeavours. We hope that they serve as an example that even in adverse material conditions, success is possible. We wish to thank our members and teachers generally for their efforts even in the most trying circumstances.
Our hearts go out to those learners who have not succeeded despite best effort. We encourage them to stand tall and avail themselves of a further opportunity to make another attempt. We urge them not to lose hope and derive courage from the fact that it is still possible on another attempt to pass.
We have said repeatedly that unless the environment and conditions under which our children learn and teachers teach, an expectation of a significant improvement remains a pipe dream. We have also said repeatedly that we do not wish to be trapped in a statistical debate and competition between provinces. Our interest is the realisation of a quality public education system that addresses the realisation of human rights and the objectives of our developmental state.
Our primary concern therefore remains whether our children can participate meaningfully in the economy of our country.
In the past year, the Department of Education in the Eastern Cape has focussed its time and resources in fighting SADTU in the courts instead of addressing the fundamentals of the concerns we raised. In the midst of all these the critical elements of what would contribute to an improvement in education outcomes took a back seat.
In the past three years the Department has become obsessed with closing schools without providing proper alternatives. We have raised our concerns repeatedly with the powers that be and pleaded with them to focus on addressing the real issues confronting education to no avail.
We have had to take the department to court to force them to do the most basic thing, the payment of the salaries of their own employees. This is how difficult it has become.
It is important that the Department tell the people of the province whether children had teachers, LTSM and other resources throughout the year from when schools opened in January 2016.
We are disturbed by what appears to be an attempt to blame progressed learners. The policy to progress learners is that of the Department. To seek to blame a fraction of these learners for the poor showing is a low blow. As a trade union, we wish these children of the poor and the working class that we see them like any other learner. We reject with the contempt it deserves attempts to shift responsibility.
The following are some of the factors that we believe have contributed to the poor performance of the Eastern Cape learners:
1. Slow and late delivery of LTSM to all schools with all the excuses given by the powers that be.
2. Shortages of teachers especially Qualified Moths , Science and Accounting which is also linked in the manner in which the Post Provisioning is done in the Eastern Cape.
3. Shortages of Subject Advisors and where they were appointed no resources were provided for them to execute their responsibilities.
4. Shortages of EDOs: the above two officials are responsible for the monitoring of schools and regrettable so they are once again not prioritized in this province hence the high vacancy rate.
5. Resourcing of schools: most of our schools do not have libraries, laboratories and teachers let alone the late delivery of the already mentioned LTSM.
6. Scholar transport: this matter was supposed to assist all our learners to be at school on time but regrettably it is still rigged with lot challenges.
7. Service Delivery Protests: in some areas before the 2016 local government elections were affected by those service delivery protests so we also add them as well especially in the areas of Libode District and Elliotdale area
8. No clear LAIS Programme was followed by all schools in the Eastern Cape.
9. Overcrowding was also a contributing factor in some schools.in the Eastern Cape.
The Premier undertook that heads will roll. We wait with bated breath to see if this becomes a reality.
Despite all other challenges we are confronted with, we have taken a conscious decision not to disrupt education as predicted by some in the department of education in the Eastern Cape and we will continue to call upon our members to support our children and defend our members even if it means us going to court as we have recently done for the non payment of educators and termination of their services.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Eastern Cape Provincial Task Team
For Enquiries: Provincial Administrators:
Chris Mdingi: 0605834462