The President of National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), Dr Anthea Cereseto, commenting on media reports on all platforms into the allegation of racism at Pretoria High School for Girls and other schools, stated that schools are microcosms of society and as such reflect the challenges and discourse of the day.
Dr Cereseto stated that NAPTOSA acknowledges the existence of subtle, structural and institutionalised racism within our society, which necessitates the urgent need for greater dialogue on racism at all levels.
NAPTOSA denounces all forms of discrimination, including racism and calls on all teachers to exercise professional judgement and reminds teachers that common sense should inform their decisions and actions at all times. “NAPTOSA believes that the needs and welfare of all learners to be of paramount importance. Teachers should bear in mind that we do not teach lesson plans or intellectual challenges, rather we teach human beings”, said Dr Cereseto.
Today I want to remind you how powerful you are and encourage you to be the best Naptosa teacher in the country. I want you to create a statement in which you affirm this vision of yourself as a powerful agent despite a system that may be ailing.
You are the hands, feet, ears, eyes and voice of Naptosa in the KwaZuluNatal. Naptosa is not an office in Pretoria or Durban, YOU are Naptosa.
Have you seen the Pam Golding television advertisement I am Pam, I am Pam etc.? Let’s pretend we are making an advertisement. On the count of three, let’s altogether say: “I am Naptosa”.
And I am Anthea Cereseto. I have the honour and privilege of being the Naptosa President.
Your conference theme: “Naptosa ponders: Is the system ailing?” is provocative and does indeed require thinking.
It prompts me to ask two questions:
1.Who or what is the system that we are talking about?
2.What is meant by ailing?
NAPTOSA celebrates its 10th year as a Union in 2016. The union has been serving South African Education since 1904 through its legacy organisations, which merged to form the professional union National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA).
On 18-19 August 2016, NAPTOSA: KwaZulu-Natal held its elective conference and celebrated ten years as an amalgamated union.
This august occasion saw Dr Anthea Cereseto, the President of NAPTOSA and Bishop Mike Vorster of the Methodist Church (keynote speaker) addressed the theme of the conference, “NAPTOSA ponders: Is the system ailing?” . In addressing the four hundred and fifty delegates, Dr Cereseto asked of the house to ponder the following as educators, that “who was the system and why was it failing?, and noted that educators were also part of the ailing system and hence the “pressure on educators to do something if the system is ailing”. Dr Ceresto reminded the NAPTOSA educators that they as a collective were a powerful force in the education sector and are agents of transformation. The Rev. Vorster discussed the “ailing system” in the context of South African society.
CELEBRATE WOMEN’S DAY - 9 AUGUST 2016- CREATE SAFER SCHOOLS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING
On Tuesday, 9 August, South Africa celebrates National Women’s Day, in remembrance of women’s contribution to the fight for democracy in South Africa. The Department of Basic Education has more female employees who are drivers of access to quality education. Despite this, many women and girls experience School-Related Gender Based-Violence (SRGBV). NAPTOSA wishes to raise awareness about SRGBV and call on all teachers to create safer schools for teaching and learning.
South Africa will fall short of reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for Gender Equality if schools are not safe for women and girls. It is through a whole-school approach that SRGBV, particularly, against girls and women can be prevented.
NAPTOSA urges School Governing Bodies, school management and LRCs together with teachers to create safer schools by creating or strengthening school safety committees.
Mandela Day originated after Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008 where he said “it is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now”.
Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for social justice and human rights, which he did with great personal sacrifice. The United Nations declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009.
The Mandela Day campaign calls on individuals, groups and corporates to pledge 67 minutes of their time on 18 July and as often as possible to give back to society. This can be done by supporting a charity or serving the community no matter how small the action. The aim is to change the world for the better, just as Mandela did.