With the exception of a minimal amount of issues coming from the State of the National Address delivered by President Jacob Zuma, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) has recently accepted government’s commitment to educational services.
“Despite the fact that the President decided not to dwell a great deal on the subject of education and learning as he did last year, we have been heartened mainly because of the undeniable fact that education remains to be one of the primary five priorities.
“All of us accepted this year’s basic education’s emphasis relating to the Triple T: Teachers, Textbooks and Time. Having said that, the quality and standard of education would be determined by your time and money the government is ready to provide in the inputs, process and projected outcomes of education and learning,” said SADTU General Secretary Mugwena Maluleke.
As part of his third State of the Nation Address last Thursday evening, Zuma announced government is going to this coming year concentrate on the three “Ts” – teachers, textbooks and time.
He explained government will continue to keep investing in teacher training, particularly in mathematics and science. “We are going to pay specific focus on the training of principals, specifically those in under performing schools,” Zuma said.
Maluleke said SADTU considers Triple T to be the additional strengthening of the Quality Learning and Teaching campaign, which the union has already been committed to.
In spite of this, he explained the union has the opinion the Triple T is deficient in one crucial component, the growth and development of management located at district level.
“Typically the district managers are the people in charge of the distribution of workbooks and student materials to educational facilities on time, when they are in no way trained and developed, the system suffers.”
SADTU at the same time expressed its dissatisfaction by the President’s silence regarding the re-opening of Teacher Training Colleges, following SADTU’s frequent demands when it comes to the opening of the colleges that can assist towards the reduction of teacher shortages.
“The ANC’s National General Council likewise resolved to have these types of training colleges reopened. Training courses at universities by way of the Funda Lushaka programme will certainly under no circumstances narrow the gap.
“Having said that, SADTU intends to open its own Teacher Development Institute in order to train and develop teachers that happen to be at an advanced stage,” Maluleke said.
Despite the fact that SADTU is anxious with regards to the process of the Annual National Assessments, the union at the same time welcomed the implementation of the assessments.
In order to progress, this coming year, government launched the annual national assessments when it comes to literacy and numeracy which have been internationally benchmarked for Grades 3, 6 and 9.
Zuma stated that government is going to broaden access, in particular to children of the poor. “This incorporates the conversion of financial loans directly into bursaries intended for qualifying final year students. Students in Further Education and Training Colleges, who are eligble for financial aid, are going to be exempt from paying fees,” said the President.