The Congress of South African Trade Unions welcomes the 3.7 percentage improvement in the National Senior Certificate pass rate to 80.1%. We congratulate Grade 12 Class of 2022 who have passed and encourage those who have not passed to not lose hope and persist in finalising their studies. There are ample opportunities to rewrite Matric and change the trajectory of their academic life. We encourage all learners to continue their education journey through the relevant tertiary education opportunities, including TVET colleges.
We congratulate teachers, our affiliated union SADTU and all the parents for their contribution and the support they gave to these students. We wish all learners and students a productive year for the upcoming academic year.
While we welcome the Matric 2022 results, the disparities in the education system remains of concerns. The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) is a private assessment board which offers examination services to private schools, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) is provided by the Department of Basic Education to public schools. IEB students enjoy the opportunity to receive their results days before the NSC students, providing better options in relation to university acceptance and access to courses while NSC students must wait much longer.
Most NSC matriculants are from working class families and have a much lesser average percentage pass rate and bachelor’s degree Pass. This discrepancy needs to be investigated as learners are subdued due to unequal footing in the education system.
Education remains the backbone in the development of our country and a major practical weapon in addressing the social inequalities, unemployment, and the elimination of poverty. It is critical that we continue to encourage our learners and students to reach great highest, but also for the Department of Basic Education and Department of Higher Learning to prioritise strengthening their capacity to ensure learners are given the best learning experience and education.
We expect the upcoming Budget Speech to allocate adequate funding for education at all levels and abandon the austerity cuts that have crippled the education system over the last seven years. The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) needs to be adequately funded to ensure that there is no student who will be left behind because of lack of funding. These additional resources must be allocated to address the school infrastructure backlog and the educator to teacher ratio including absorption of educators, all these must be accompanied by the necessary management and administrative capacity by the Department.
Going forward the Federation wants to see policy-makers and decision-makers ensuring that education remains accessible and affordable to all South Africans, regardless of their background. Problems that have engulfed the basic education sector need to be resolved as a matter of urgency.
These include the eradication of learners sitting under trees because of classroom shortages; classrooms size as the learner educator ratio in South Africa is congested at an average of 33.5 students to one teacher in primary schools and 32.2 students to one teacher in secondary schools; as well as the sadistic use of pit toilets in schools.
The logistics and planning around the efficient delivery of textbooks in basic education remains concerning as there has been a continuous cycle in the administration to deliver academic material timeously. All learners should get their textbooks on time and that all schools should be well resourced, safe and well-staffed, and made conducive for learning and teaching.
The Federation will be working with its affiliates and SASCO AND COSAS to take some of these struggles forward. We intend to push for strengthened collective bargaining in basic education as well as centralised bargaining for the higher education sector as failure to collective bargaining in the education sector, carries detrimental consequences for learners and students who suffer and receive a compromised quality of education.
The admission policies of the mainly Universities including on the Language Policy pertaining to Historically Afrikaans Institutions needs to be reformed. Working with SASCO and progressive student structures we intend to pursue our Right To Learn Campaign and the campaign against Corporatisation of Institutions. This is to ensure that all students have access to higher education.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794