SADTU NEC supports the fight in eSwatini – POLICY

The king and the monarchy must be above politics as an institution that unites the nation, according to the Union


JULY 01, 2021

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Democratic Union of South African Teachers (SADTU) – the highest decision-making body between congresses, met virtually from June 29 to 30 to deliberate on issues of organization, education , labor, socio-economic, political and international affairs.

The state of the country amid COVID 19

The meeting took place days after the country was placed below adjusted level 4 by the National Coronavirus Command Council and on the eve of the early closure of schools for winter break due to the growing number of COVID cases. 19. The NEC commended the successful completion of the Educator and Support Staff Immunization Program which began last week and has seen more than 200,000 educators and support staff be immunized.

Although the NEC appreciated the progress, he said the union could not however fully rejoice in the immunization program when thousands of educators in the early childhood development, CET and TVET sectors failed to do so. not part of the program. The NEC has decided to further engage the government, including the Minister of Science, Higher Education and Training, to fight against vaccination in the post-school sector.

The NEC has called for vaccination to be extended to as many people as possible in order to mitigate the devastating effects of this pandemic in order to save lives and livelihoods. The union will continue to fight vaccine nationalism and pressure the government to consider procuring the vaccine from Russia and Cuba following regular science-led procedures. The NEC criticized the bureaucracy surrounding the distribution and vaccination sites and blamed them for the slow vaccination process. “No one is safe until everyone is vaccinated. Said the NEC.

Schools that are normally closer to communities should be used as vaccination sites as has happened in the education sector and the program has not had any problems. The NEC also called on South Africa to invest in its own vaccine production capacity so that it can help other African states as well.

The NEC commended the South African government which, despite all the shortcomings of the immunization strategy, has jointly led the charge with India on the global stage to push the world forward towards a TRIPS waiver for intellectual property related to vaccines. SADTU has always been one of those strong voices in favor of the copyright amendment bill, the importance of which has been highlighted by the discourse on intellectual property related to vaccine production.

The NEC deplored the untold damage caused by the pandemic not only to education but also to the economy. The first 12 months of the various lockdown levels saw the loss of around 2.2 million jobs.

The pandemic has further exposed the disparities in our education system. The NEC then decided to convene an education summit to chart the course for education during and after the pandemic. The summit will examine the disparities in the system, the new curriculum which includes among others robotics and the use of mixed technologies in education and their impact on the economy, type and training of teachers in this constantly changing environment. .

In education

The NEC noted the implementation of the vocational studies program in specialized schools and the piloting of the vocational-oriented study program in ordinary public schools as part of the strengthening of the three-pronged model in the sector of basic education. The audit of the Ministry of Basic Education found that a number of provinces were at different stages of preparation for the implementation of the program and that there appears to be a lack of teachers for subject specialization. , lack of learning and teaching materials could prevent full scale implementation of the curriculum. The NEC decided that the union would keep a close eye on the pilot project to ensure that schools with limited resources are not disadvantaged by being excluded. The union will also monitor how teachers are prepared and developed to deliver these subjects.

The NEC further decided to do the same with the introduction of coding and robotics in schools. The DBE presented scheduling options to accommodate coding and robotics, which means reducing the notional time that exists in other subjects. The coding and robotics pilot program is being implemented in a context of Covid-19 where teachers are struggling to complete the rework program. Teachers had to make adjustments to accommodate the reduced teaching plans. They are going to be exposed to new teaching content while many of them will learn robotics and code content for the first time.

In terms of work:

Salary negotiations in the public sector:

The facilitation process that was scheduled for June 26-27, 2021 has been postponed to July 1, 2021. CEN urged leaders, together with the COSATU Joint Mandate Committee and FEDUSA unions, to speed up the facilitation process and to close this round of negotiations.

Change of ECD function

SADTU will continue to call on the government to accelerate and conclude the policy which would ensure the transfer of the early childhood development (ECD) function from the department of social development to the department of basic education. The union will play a key role in the process of amending the bill amending the Basic Education Act (BELA) to give effect to the change in function of ECD which consists of transferring early childhood development (ECD) from the Department of Social Development at DBE. We will exert pressure on the DBE to take care of the conditions of service of all practitioners at the ELRC level. We call for the bill to be submitted to Cabinet for approval so that it can be presented to Parliament for consideration.

“The constant delays in implementing the ECD function change cause stress and insecurity for ECD practitioners and caregivers. It cannot be allowed to go on forever. says the NEC.

On international issues

The NEC took note of the pro-democracy protests at eSwatini and expressed solidarity with PUDEMO, the National Teachers Association of Swaziland (SNAT), the Communist Party of Swaziland and the people of eSwatini. “We commend the people of eSwatini for advancing their own struggles. We hope it is in the interest of liberating the people of eSwatini, ”the NEC noted.

He however noted the underreporting of events to eSwatini and decided to call on the South African government and SADC to intervene. The people of eSwatini deserve to live in peace where their will is expressed through a democratic process. The King and the monarchy must be above politics as an institution that unites the nation. The NEC also feared that the king’s involvement in the day-to-day management of the country would allow the imperialist / capitalist forces that target the monarchies in Africa to undermine the stature of this traditional institution.

The NEC expressed support for the Cuban struggle and celebrated the overwhelming majority vote at the United Nations of 184 votes opposed by just two countries as the victory of our global campaign calling for an end to the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba. He called on the United Nations to be firm in the implementation of resolution 184 which will end the blockade. The NEC has expressed deep disappointment at the current US leadership led by Joe Biden for following in Donald Trump’s footsteps in supporting the Cuban blockade.

On gender-based violence

Following the growing number of cases of violence and sexual harassment by teachers against learners, SADTU will organize July 18 – International Mandela Day, a virtual national men’s forum to allow the union to reflect on the impact of violence sexist in our school communities. . The union will define its code of conduct by ensuring that its members are disciplined and professional in their conduct.

The union will continue to condemn all barbaric tendencies of bullying and racism in our schools which continue to show their ugly head. The union will campaign against the schools being Volkstats and will oppose any attempt to exclude blacks from accessing these public institutions. Schools must remain centers of learning. They are a key part of our nation-building project and cannot be reduced to sites that denigrate and humiliate our children.

The union will take responsibility through the “I am a fan of the school” campaign to change the scene and advance the legacy of Nelson Mandela, the 1976 generation and fulfill one of the clauses of the Freedom Charter ” The doors to learning and culture must be opened ”.

On political questions

The NEC has decided to fight corruption and urge law enforcement to investigate the allegations laid bare by the Zondo Commission and to act urgently in prosecuting those who brought down the economy of our country. The NEC will participate through COSATU in campaigns to defend the Constitution and the judiciary. Our liberation struggle was based on the rule of law and no one is above the law.

In conclusion

Members are urged to ignore the touring WhatsApp message accusing the secretaries general of SADTU and NEHAWU of heading to parliament. The message is malicious and must be ignored as the union remains focused in the fight for decent working conditions for all public service workers.

The NEC called on all South Africans to strictly adhere to the lockdown restrictions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Posted by the SADTU Secretariat on July 1, 2021

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