By Kamogelo Moichela
Johannesburg - The SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) in the Eastern Cape has warned that the state of education is in a state of collapse and needs to be fixed.
The union said the education system in the province was virtually collapsing and immediate steps were required to intervene.
This comes after the union’s special provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting this week to deal with the state of education in their province.
“The PEC thoroughly scanned the environment and unanimously agreed that there are glaring signs of a collapsing Eastern Cape Department of Education which a responsible, revolutionary and caring trade union must decisively intervene to avoid a looming crisis in the sector,” said Sadtu in the province on Wednesday. .
It claimed that the provincial department had neglected the education system and done nothing to address the complaints they received from the community and Sadtu members.
Some of the challenges that the educators union mentioned were that retired members were not paid their pension and provident funds.
“The reduction of posts as indicated in the consultation meetings with the MEC is tantamount to retrenchment through the back door by the employer. This is a clear declaration of war or a direct attack on Sadtu and the entire society.
“The non-payment of pensions, leave gratuities, acting allowances, temporary educators, substitutes, etc. with unpaid leave gratuities dating from 2016 causes serious trauma to our members, with departmental officials showing less willingness or non-commitment to perform their employer responsibilities.
“The non-employment of qualifying Grade R practitioners is a cause for concern. Some retire or exit the system bare-handed and are not even registered with the UIF and provident fund; they are treated as casual workers by (the provincial department),” the union maintained.
Sadtu said the shortage of foundation phase educators was glaring in their province and children of the working class were denied the basic right to quality education at an early age.
According to the union, many schools had experienced a huge reduction in the funding of norms and standards because the provincial department unilaterally tampered with national funding as stipulated in the policy according to quintile subsidies.
“Some deserving learners are not provided scholar transport due to poor monitoring and failure of collaboration between the Department of Education and Department of Transport,” it added.
It indicated that in the first three months of this year, quintile 1 to 3 schools were without stationery and textbooks and the situation hindered effective teaching and learning in the majority of schools.
The union said that when the stationery and textbooks were delivered, their quality and quantity were highly compromised as suppliers clearly did not observe the specifications.
“Our members are being frustrated daily and communities are treated with disrespect,” it said.