Sweech

Hassle-FREE Online Campaigns On Sweech

Teacher unions have key role in fixing of education

Comment on this story


IOL Business Education March25 2011

Independent Newspapers

Thousands of learners marched from the Grand Parade in Cape Town to Parliament earlier this week to hand over of a memorandum calling for quality, equal education. They were supported by teachers, their unions and parents. Photo: Ross Jansen.

Education in South Africa, with few exceptions, is in a shambles and in dire need of major repair. That much was made clear in the mass demonstration outside Parliament this week by thousands of school students supported by parents, teachers and the teacher unions. They were calling for equal, quality education for all.

A few days earlier, the fact that near anarchy prevails in some sections of the education system was highlighted by the actions of the Soweto branch of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), the largest teacher union in the country, and by the reaction of the Congress of SA Students (Cosas).

Teachers walked off the job to support one of their number who was in court charged with the physical abuse of a student. This precipitated the usual howls on talk radio about the need for corporal punishment, while Cosas responded that students should “fight fire with fire” and strike back when they were hit.

The shenanigans in Soweto and the 20 000-strong demonstration before Parliament underlined the two directions to the future that now confront the schooling system: on the one hand, an example of a promising route to quality – and relatively equal – education; on the other, a glimpse of the horror and hazards if things do not come right.

United action involving students, parents, teachers and their unions, along with clarity of vision about what constitutes quality education, is the expressed aim of all those who marched on Parliament. Unfortunately, such principles – and policies in line with them – have all too often been observed in the breach, something the unions acknowledge.

If these policies continue to be ignored and if the schools, the state and the unions do not act, in concert with communities, to correct the myriad faults that exist, even worse decay could set in. In this the unions have a critical role to play and they cannot afford to shirk their responsibilities.

As several senior unionists readily admit, this means being prepared to take a hard line with those elements who use union power corruptly, turning worker collectives into something resembling a gang running a protection racket.

It also means the state taking responsibility for the squandering of funds and for much of the administrative disaster that has crippled large areas of the system.

Noting that South Africa spent 6 percent of gross domestic profit on education, Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke asked this week: “Are we investing in political administration or in education?”

It is a pertinent question at a time of ongoing economic crisis, with continuing massive unemployment; a time when children and their education are even more vulnerable, along with teacher training and further education for both teachers and other adults, let alone that vital Cinderella area of pre-school learning.

However, this is a situation that is not unique to South Africa, a fact highlighted on Tuesday by Susan Hopgood, the president of global educators’ union Education International (EI). Founded in 1993, EI now represents, in round figures, 30 million “education personnel” in 171 countries who are members of 396 affiliated unions.

She pointed out that there were now 76 million children who did not go to school at all or had no schools to go to.

And she noted that, on current estimates, the much touted Millennium Development Goal of education for all by 2015 will fall short by 56 million children who will still not go to school.

Hopgood and the EI executive board, drawn from unions in 23 countries, met in Cape Town this week to finalise details for the EI world congress that is scheduled to be held in the city from July 22 to July 26. This promises to be much more than a talk shop, with EI general secretary Fred van Leeuwen stating that the organisation plans to discuss and develop a “comprehensive education policy”.

And while the rod-wielding disciplinarians of domestic pedagogy may continue to claim local headlines, they are unlikely to feature prominently in the EI debates. Their behaviour is a problem that could be – and should be – speedily dealt with, even before July.

The law – supported by the teacher unions and outlined in the Education Act of 1996 – is clear, although, like health and safety rules and a multitude of other sound legislation, it has not been adequately enforced. Educators also tend to agree that quality education – by whatever definition – does not require corporal punishment, a system the Roman scholar Quintillian noted more than 2 000 years ago was “fit only for slaves”.

Yet, 16 years after level playing fields were declared, the distortions of apartheid remain, epitomised in our grossly unequal schooling system and in the beating of students. The National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) general secretary, Henry Hendricks, underlined this when he noted at the EI press conference this week: “We still have tens of thousands of unqualified teachers.”

Once again, this is something that is not unique to South Africa, with several countries lowering entry standards for teachers, although none apparently as low as those encouraged under the Bantu Education system of apartheid. Under that system, men and women with barely two years of generally poor secondary schooling could qualify as teachers – and many remain in the system.

In some countries teachers are recruited only from the highest level academic performers, their training is subsidised and their pay set at the level of other graduates. However, the result may be elitist and therefore fail in terms of egalitarian principles.

As Van Leeuwen says: “No country has a monopoly on educational excellence. We have much to learn from one another.”

South Africa has a lot to learn and a long way to go to rank with the best, but perhaps an even longer way to fall to conditions that apply in several other countries. We still have children taught under trees, but not on open rooftops to avoid the gunfire of warring gangs and police in the streets below. That applies, for example, in Karachi in Pakistan.


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks
LadyJimpster
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
kgotlas
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Blaq_chic
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Mistry_lady
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
nwaolisa
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 41.
View Profile
maria8022
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
Zama101
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 100.
View Profile
BOTSHELOMAN
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
fungi1971
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
joocypie
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
lexy278
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
smilyz
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
vengodess
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 25 and 100.
View Profile
kiara_111
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 35.
View Profile
lulubaby
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 70.
View Profile
LolliCandy
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
mello_185
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 60.
View Profile
Mag137
I'm a 60 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 57 and 67.
View Profile
Dudutuli246
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Curvz
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Sweetlipsss627
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
tkay011
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
vicky74
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Noks76
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
Yahoo
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 41 and 60.
View Profile
Leematt
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 29.
View Profile
honeybee_036
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
Bonwel
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 36.
View Profile
MASESHIA
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 40.
View Profile
danda100
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 52.
View Profile
TABIEE
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 100.
View Profile
Emjae
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
RealBlackPearl
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
SexLips
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
mako_001
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 70.
View Profile
CYAGal
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
ProVoq
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
ntando_784
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Voicelady
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
hlehle888
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 50.
View Profile
Royalness
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Rivee
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 32.
View Profile
spesy59
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
FanceFace
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 45.
View Profile
TT200
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
DDeeZA
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 50.
View Profile
Bathandwa83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 47.
View Profile
Funfoodie3012
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
zama1zn
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
simphy337
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Melone
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
curvalicious
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
marryme2014
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
ranga322
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 40.
View Profile
Resa1995
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 70.
View Profile
MissD123
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 47.
View Profile
PrincessEdelweiss
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
ChocLatte
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
Nola_505
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 47.
View Profile
Cyndilouper
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Foxy88
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
kncyLuv
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
MeltChocolate
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
xoxohayleyxoxo
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
mitch09
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 40.
View Profile
Leratomntande
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Mbaliholysexyness
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 19 and 27.
View Profile
ally_charmy80
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Garnet3107
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
sbobo736
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Sthandwasakhesit
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 35.
View Profile
FiftyshadesB
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 45.
View Profile
gloml66
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 58.
View Profile
sassyfoxylady101
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
ME_JE
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
samke_722
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 25.
View Profile
pumpania
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
kauwel
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 55.
View Profile
hellena_596
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
Shazzyyyy
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
Rosey903
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
fiksBee
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 40.
View Profile
Calmine
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Smashizo
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 37.
View Profile
Casiopiea40
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
LavishT
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 25 and 27.
View Profile
RareT0paz
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 60.
View Profile
Baabbygirl
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
Ticom_199
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 45.
View Profile
briluu
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 37.
View Profile
mcgoyer
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 35.
View Profile
Dlodlolas75
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 49.
View Profile
Thel_89_zzz
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
kafze
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 45.
View Profile
armor2014
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 70.
View Profile
sweetnessmgm
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 63.
View Profile
Roroe
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
Noxy727
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 36.
View Profile
leez83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 42.
View Profile
lala408
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
dlalo
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Qtip
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 32.
View Profile
Rendzo
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Moxion
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Satisfactor99
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
shooter_949
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 50.
View Profile
Smooth_Kriminal
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
GD1
I'm a 70 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
Thamza_77
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Jono693
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
tonym
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 35.
View Profile
mattgeah
I'm a 31 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Deathrow5662
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Jabz_0
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 36.
View Profile
chumisto
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
michaelangelo
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 25.
View Profile
Dayo78
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 50.
View Profile
CoolnCalm
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Diva1308
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
charged
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Sabloma
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 35.
View Profile
bangstar
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 23.
View Profile
lookingforfunza
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 40.
View Profile
Lawrence218
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
Jb24golf
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 38.
View Profile
lmn4life
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
myth909
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
shiva709
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
SSBK547P
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Fanzonator
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
IceTy
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 42.
View Profile
Siwithpie
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 45.
View Profile
Mxo87
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
sweetman465
I'm a 67 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 62.
View Profile
Ma1010n
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
bobbylava
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 31.
View Profile
GWL321
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 46 and 56.
View Profile
Oupa0414
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
STONE_228
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Chacal
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
TuEsDAy
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Kelvin7777
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
loner729
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
mcD
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
mfhalim
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Bento1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
Thulani1234
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
GastFR
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
Seriousaboutlife325
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
THOKZANHLA
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 44.
View Profile
tripplekkkk
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Washe
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
LIONKING915
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
bloodmoney370
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
dev_xoxox52
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 65.
View Profile
Ernie_Manyesa
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 45.
View Profile
Siyabulela90
I'm a 24 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
TSKgosiemang
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Lucky123nxt
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 40.
View Profile
sbo123sss
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
princepoqo
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
Terror000
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Shadra143
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
Clownstotheleftofme
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 41.
View Profile
Eriqnes
I'm a 33 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
kpl23
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 34.
View Profile
Mpeks
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
mesut909
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 55.
View Profile
catcher182
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 20 and 24.
View Profile
PoundzMm
I'm a 23 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
gothicD
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 37.
View Profile
hawk619
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
bigbhele
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 55.
View Profile
jakobus
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Henry071
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Deejay_homy
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 42.
View Profile
Mokoka01
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
gario
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 50.
View Profile
JonnyBee
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 28.
View Profile
mixido2
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Vbe2014
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
tsvoritsvoto
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 25.
View Profile
Minkh
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 29.
View Profile
Gemini24
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile

Business Directory