The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the South African Democratic Teachers Union(SADTU) met for the last time in 2019 at the Indaba Hotel, Fourways in Gauteng from 9 until 11 December, 2019.
The NEC meeting was the first after the Union’s successful 9th National Congress that was held from 24 to 28 September at Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.
Being the last NEC of the year, the meeting adopted programmes and budgets for 2020. It also looked at educational, organizational, economic, political and social matters.
The NEC observed a minute of silence in honour of the late Northern Cape Provincial Secretary, Comrade Fikile Ntathu who passed away two weeks ago after a short illness. The NEC also paid tribute to ANC stalwart, Professor Ben Turok who passed away on Monday. Prof Turok will remain one of the members of the mass democratic movement who spoke truth to power. He was a true servant of the people. He left a great legacy that we must never be praise singers to leaders but serve the people.
The NEC also paid tribute to Aunt Rose Nkondo, the wife of the late comrade Curtis Nkondo the founder of SADTU. Aunt Rose passed on in the afternoon of the 11th December 2019. She remained close the SADTU family and ever ready to offer advices to the leadership of SADTU on the importance of caring for the children.
Meeting at the end of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign and on Human of Rights Day, the NEC said the period should remind SADTU, as a union in education, that activism against gender based violence should be a year round campaign. Union members should utilize the classroom and every workplace of education workers to transform society for the better.
The NEC further affirmed the 9th National Congress resolution that the union should, in the next few months, be even more aggressive on its call for Gender Based Violence awareness to be integrated within the curriculum.
On increasing levels of violence in schools, the NEC adopted a programme to roll-out the Union’s campaign, I am a School Fan. The campaign is meant to ensure that communities play an active role in ensuring safety in their schools. Within the first academic quarter of 2020, all SADTU branches shall convene community based multi-stakeholder engagement forums to look into issues related to school safety within the communities and to form local community engagement forums.
On the writing and marking of final year examinations, the NEC said the process was relatively smooth with few incidences of irregularities. It noted however, the disruptions caused by load shedding.
Celebrating SADTU’S 30th anniversary:
Born on the 6th of October 1990, SADTU will in 2020, celebrate its 30th anniversary through various activities. However, the most crucial would be to increase the membership by 20 000. The union membership currently stands at 264 000. Provinces are going to host various activities which include among others, memorial lectures beginning in the Northern Cape in February. The final celebration will be a National Choral Festival and World Teachers’ Day commemoration to be held in Durban in October. All members of the union are organisers and as part of them celebrating the gains and victories the Union has achieved, should as individuals recruit seven new members each and mentor such members.
On Political matters
The NEC coincided with the Special Congress of the South African Communist Party from 9 to 12 December 2019. The NEC expressed its hope that the SACP will use its Special National Congress to assist the poor and the working class to navigate through a world that is characterized by class contradictions, where the ruling capitalist class is showing no willingness to forego its privileges. Efforts are well underway to privatize some of the state owned entities through the back door in a form of “unbundling” process at Eskom and the “business rescue” at SAA. The NEC noted that the poor and the working class of South Africa, under the circumstances, require a forceful SACP. The unabated and brutal income inequality in our country and globally is nourishing the intensification of disaster capitalism and fascism.
The NEC reiterated the Union’s stance on a radically reconfigured alliance between COSATU, SACP and ANC. It however warned that workers were not mere voting fodder for the ANC but would, as an affiliate of COSATU, continue to seek practical expression of aspirations within the Alliance and the policy making space.
On Education matters:
· Quality Management System (QMS):
The NEC noted that the QMS training for all educators will take place in 2020. It further noted that Unions and the Department of Basic Education were equal partners in the training process. The NEC took a decision that the Union should engage in the training of structures (Provincial, Regional and Branch Executive Committees) to enable leaders to effectively advise and monitor the implementation of the QMS.
· Automatic Progression, General Education Certificate, Professional Learning Communities and Decolonisation of Education
The NEC noted that the Department of Basic Education introduces changes into the system without proper investigation and structural changes needed to support policy changes for automatic progress. It noted that Department was making little or no investment in Assessment for Learning, the role of decolonization in liberating learners in the classroom and on the lack of physical activities for learners in schools.
The NEC therefore resolved to mandate the Union’s Research Unit and Education Committee to establish empirical evidence in General Education Certificate, Automatic Progression in Foundation Phase and the Three Stream Model.
The Union supports the need for formal physical training/activities in schools as part of the curriculum. SADTU also calls for one document that serves a guideline for the establishment of Professional Learning Communities in the system. Currently, there are two documents in the system.
· SADTU Curtis Nkondo Professional Development Institute (SCNPDI)
The SCNPDI will in 2020 embark on a reading campaign and support the Reading Coalition activities. However, all reading programmes and related intervention activities from all providers should be integrated and be CAPS compliant.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157