File photo: Itumeleng English

Durban - The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has resolved to do door-to-door campaigning to encourage parents to be involved in their children’s education and to rekindle confidence in the public school system in the new year.

In its final statement of the year, the union’s national leadership professed a commitment to ensuring its members were punctual and prepared and behaved “properly”.

The union, however, also took the opportunity to engage in fighting talk, accusing advocacy groups of using the Limpopo textbook debacle to discredit both it and the government, telling off prominent academic Mamphela Ramphele, and again baying for Basic Education Department director-general Bobby Soobrayan’s head.

This coincided with that of the union’s KwaZulu-Natal leadership, which vowed to “intensify” its “struggle” to get Grade R teachers a pay rise from R4 000 to R6 000 a month.

“We will make it our preoccupation to ensure that our demands are met in January,” the union’s KwaZulu-Natal secretary, Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, said.

Meanwhile, its national leadership said although it was aware of the “graveness” of the textbook crisis, some NGOs were acting as “proxies to pursue certain political agendas”.

The NGO Section27 took Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to court over the matter.

The union also had strong words for Ramphele, accusing her of exploiting public platforms to attack it, and that “pointing fingers” would not solve the education crisis.

Last month, the Struggle stalwart was quoted as saying that many teachers who were Sadtu members were alcoholics and drug users.

The union took aim at Soobrayan, challenging him on issues, including a dispute involving a tariff increase for Grade 12 exam script markers. - The Mercury