SADTU opposed to closure of schools in the Western Cape

SADTU is against the proposed plan by the Western Cape Education Department to close 27 schools and is calling on Premier Helen Zille to fire MEC Grant for the short-sighted plan which will cause harm to working class black learners.

SADTU says the Department cannot close the schools in the absence of a cohesive education plan in the province which should define which schools must close. The department has also not consulted with the unions and communities on the matter. We therefore see this as another plan to take back the right to education of a black child as the schools targeted have black learners.

The department announced earlier this month it would close the schools due to underperformance and low enrolment numbers.

SADTU says the reasons for closing the schools are not educationally sound. The issue of low registration numbers is incorrect as statistics show that numbers have increased. The issue of under- performance is experienced in schools where English is the first language, whose population are changing to mainly African Xhosa speaking learners. We say the results will improve once the language in these schools is changed to Xhosa.

"Poor learner performance should not be the reason to close down a school. If the learner performance has not improved, the district officials should be called to account, Secretary Jonavon Rustin said.

SADTU is also questioning the timing of the announcement which took place in the middle of examinations causing instability in the schools affected as both the learners and teachers do not know what is going to happen to them.

SADTU would oppose the plan until there is a clear policy in place. We call upon that policy to be made together with the communities and teachers.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Western Cape Secretary.
Jonavon Rustin 0836335714