The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) notes and welcome the 2020 National Senior Certificate (Matric) results that were released by the Department of Basic Education. We congratulate all learners who have passed and encourage those who were unsuccessful not to give up. The government needs to provide the necessary support to all students who will be rewriting their matric exams.
We salute our affiliated union, the South African Democratic Teachers Unions (SADTU), for navigating the COVID-19 crisis and managing to keep the doors of learning open under difficult conditions.
We note the 5,1% decline of the national pass rate from 81.3% in 2019 to 76.2%. The impact of COVID-19 on our education system cannot be understated and the government needs to invest in the necessary infrastructure to ensure that schools are able to cope with the challenges posed by COVID-19.
COVID-19 has also reminded us of the need to build skills critically needed to resuscitate our ailing economy and build a sustainable and dignified future for the poor majority. Defunding education accelerates the creation of for-profit private schools and perpetuates apartheid separate development and inequality.
The austerity-driven economic framework that has led to the NSFAS not getting adequate funding is scandalous. This will lead to many deserving students struggling to pursue their higher education. We call on the government to rectify this mistake immediately.
The government needs to declare education as a priority investment area. It is regrettable that teachers are expected to teach and perform miracles without adequate tools and also at the same time they are being pick-pocketed by the government.
We reiterate our call for the government to act in good faith and honour the contract it signed with workers by paying their outstanding salary increases from the third leg of resolution 1 of 2018. The government also needs to respect the democratic institutions and abandon its unilateral imposition of a wage freeze for the next three years and engage unions at the PSCBC about the way forward. The entire government continues to fail the poor South Africans by failing to provide the necessary leadership to resolve the public service stalemate.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Cell: 060 975 6794