File photo: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA).

Port Elizabeth - The newly-elected nineteenth NEC of the the Congress of South African Students has held its first meeting on 29 and 30 November, about two months after its elective conference in Hammanskraal, Gauteng, in September. 

The NEC discussed and resolved burning issues affecting schools in South Africa, Africa and the world at large.

"The NEC convenes at a time when our glorious student movement is confronted with challenges and obstacles amongst them factionalism and parallelism ... perpetuated by non-scholars, whom are equally non members of Cosas," the youth movement said in a statement on Tuesday. 

"We are deeply concerned that there are individuals who attempt to claim legitimacy of “political teenage pregnancy” in the name of Cosas, the organisation's leadership said. 

"We can’t continue behaving like the situation is normal in the country, when the desperately, dying, old is utilising its proximity and financial status to divide and deliberately cause confusion in the student movement. Cosas is not going to be sold to the highest bidder!

High on its list of resolutions, the NEC said that it opposed the publication of matric results, which brought trauma and depression among learners, sometimes leading to suicide, the organisation said.

"Restore the dignity of our constituency; stop violating constitutional rights of scholars and scrap publication of matric results." 

It also condemned the "animalistic and colonial" behaviour of rights organisation, AfriForum, towards the Gauteng department of education and its MEC, Panyaza Lesufi. 

It called on the Basic Education Department to scrap the Independent Examination Board, which it said undermined the "revolutionary efforts of the 1976 generation".

"The running dogs of imperialism and capitalism want to protect minority legacy. A legacy of apartheid engineered by the very same schools of IEB must be merged. There is no logic when you have one curriculum but different examination boards and different exam papers," the statement said.

It also discussed the calls for free, compulsory, dynamic and quality education; safe learning and conducive environment for all learners; barring withholding of reports due to nonpayment; the quintile system that it said classified the education system and revitalising sports at schools

It called for the establishment of a commission on the education charter to decolonise education and called for African history to be compulsory.

Other issues included the nationalisation of private schools, socio-economic issues, including advancing the radical economic transformation, nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and land expropriation without compensation, as well as full support for the national health insurance (NHI)

On rebuilding the organisation, Cosas said it had resolved to go back to basics - political education from sub-branch level (schools) and launching branches for disabled people in education institutions.

It also said it would disband and appoint provincial task teams (PTTs) in Mpumalanga and Northern Cape, where the organisations were dysfunctional, with "stringent terms of reference" for the PTTs. 

"We also took a sober and resolute decision to place all the comrades that masquerade as the 19th NEC of COSAS on suspension, which is supposedly being led by Thabang Mokoena as the President and Mzwakhe Gwegwe as the Secretary General." They will face disciplinary action.

The NEC elected the following comrades to constitute the National Working Committee (NWC);

1.     Kelebogile Motlhabi (North West)

2.     Seipati Maloka (Gauteng)

3.     Cebolenkosi Khumalo (KwaZulu Natal)

4.     Beauty Blennies (Northern Cape)

5.     Nkosazana Mazibuko (Free State)

This also includes the Organisational Developer Scalo Mahladisa and the top six officials.

Cosas thanked the 12.6 million learners, the 440 000 teachers and millions of parents for their dedication and determination throughout the 2019 academic calendar. 

"To the class of 2019, you have run your race to the best of your ability, 2020 is a year of new beginnings. So let’s fill those TVET colleges and universities and open doors to endless opportunities. We are the future and no one can stop us."

African News Agency (ANA)