Johannesburg - With schools reopening across the country, the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) says its wish is to see effective teaching and learning take place on the first day of school.
However, this remains unattainable as many learners sit at home for weeks without access to schooling due, among others, to complicated late registration and admissions processes.
It is also explained that the introduction of the online application system in some provinces such as Gauteng, the Western Cape and the Northern Cape had not alleviated the problem.
Gauteng, which is supposed to open its school doors today, still has more than 1 000 learners who have not been placed.
“The online application systems are at the centre of the debacle. We call for simpler, parent-friendly application processes and increased co-ordination between district officials, school governing bodies, and parents to ensure learners are enrolled timely,” Sadtu said
Sadtu has also called for an increase in funding to build more infrastructure.
“We are fully aware of the fact that there are still significant challenges in terms of the delivery of education infrastructure to cater for the increasing number of learners as more people migrate to urban provinces such as Gauteng. We therefore call on the government to increase funding to build more school infrastructure.
“In a country where the right to education is guaranteed in the Constitution, we call on schools to follow, to the letter, the admission policy for ordinary public schools. According to the policy, an ordinary public school must not unfairly discriminate against an applicant for admission based on race, gender, ethnicity, culture, ethnicity or social origin, sexual orientation, etc. Language policies have been used, particularly in Afrikaans-medium schools, to discriminate against learners applying for admission.”
Sadtu said no learner may be refused admission to a public school based solely on the language policy of that public school and such behaviour cannot be tolerated.
“We are fully aware of the fact that as learners and teachers return to school, some will find their classrooms vandalised and equipment missing. We appeal to communities, in line with the union’s ‘I am A School Fan’ campaign, to stand behind their schools and report those who loot and vandalise schools.”
Sadtu said as a union of educators and education support personnel, it commits its members and educators, in general, to execute their revolutionary duties by being in class on time, being prepared, and adhering to high professional and ethical standards.
The union expects the Department of Basic Education to also play its part by providing basic infrastructure, learning and teaching materials, and supporting teachers so that effective teaching and learning can take place. Each class must have a teacher.
“There should be no excuse for the non-appointment of teachers. All temporary teachers must get paid at the end of the month,” said the union.