Open letter to the honourable minister of education, Angie Motshekga, on the safety of South Africa's children
South Africa is dubbed as one of the most dangerous places for a child to grow up in. As South Africans we should hang our collective heads in shame for the unsafe conditions confronting our children on a daily basis. It is of grave concern to NAPTOSA members that the plight of children in our country is so neglected. Schools are a safe haven for many children in our country. It is the only place they can escape from abuse, neglect and hunger. And it is here that educators not only provide our children with quality education, often under the most dire of circumstances, but have to comfort the emotional and psychological abuses thrust on these young minds and bodies every day.
Simply put Honourable Minister, our children are not safe, even in our schools. And it is with dismay that we note the Western Cape Provincial Education Department’s attempt to shift the responsibility of protecting the safety of our children in schools to the institutions themselves. How must schools add this burden to their already strained budgets? No. NAPTOSA does not accept the buck being passed to our schools.
It is unthinkable that although South Africa has the best possible legislation dedicated to ensuring the protection of children, the reign of criminality on the most vulnerable is rampant in our country. Gangsterism and threats, in communities and schools, continue to go unchecked. Minister, the time has come to intervene!
It is tragic for a cabinet colleague of yours to spend millions of rands on the safety of her own children, while millions of our country’s children remain unsafe every day. The lack of safe, organised school transport condemns thousands of children to walk to school. The hazards these children are confronted with are plentiful. Not only do they have to fear for their lives from possible abduction for a range of nefarious motives such as human trafficking, “muti-killings”, and just human depravity; but drivers of trucks, taxis and cars often kill these children without ever being brought to book for their robbing the country of a life. The weather conditions notwithstanding, the distances our children have to trudge every day means that they arrive at school exhausted and late. When, Minister? When will there be safe national scholar transport for the safety and protection of our children? This is a necessity and not an option. We need action now!
NAPTOSA RESPONSE TO THE BASIC EDUCATION BUDGET VOTE 14 SPEECH FOR 2017/18 BY MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION MRS ANGIE MOTSHEKGA ON 24 MAY 2017
The President of NAPTOSA, Mr Ntantala, welcomed the Department of Basic Education (DBE) vote speech for the 2017/18. He applauded government’s effort in prioritising education by increasing its budget allocation by 5.1%. The identified key programmes that the department aimed to prioritise for the 2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), in particular, the allocation aimed for Mathematics, Science and Technology, Funza Lusaka and for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) programmes was appreciated, said Mr Ntantala. NAPTOSA commend the minister for raising issues of safety and security in and around schools. Whilst NAPTOSA acknowledges the importance of speaking against gender-based violence on media platforms by the minister, without appropriate funding and implementation of programmes specifically earmarked at addressing the current scourge of criminality, and School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV), the safety of learners, especially young women and girls and teachers will continue to torment our communities ,said Mr Ntantala. The failure of the police to protect the learners and teachers travelling to and from schools was alarming, he added. The DBE should seriously view fifty days of absenteeism from schools by girls due to lack of sanitary pads as a matter of serious concern. South Africa will once again fail to achieve its target as stipulated in the global education agenda, Education 2030, said Mr Ntantala. NAPTOSA urges the DBE and the department of transport to expedite its plans to implement the learner transport system. The lives of many children that have been lost on our roads on the way school, which is perpetuated by the usage of inappropriate transport facilities borders on criminality and social injustice on the part of the government, said Mr Ntantala. NAPTOSA acknowledges the DBE endeavour to and the minimal achievement of the department in ensuring valid and credible marking processes of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS). The recruitment of markers needs to be closely monitored. NAPTOSA does not support the inclusion subject advisors as markers, said Mr Ntantala.
NAPTOSA will celebrate with all South Africans in commemoration of Workers’ Day on the 1st of May 2017. As an officially recognised public holiday here and in many countries around the world, May Day or Workers’ Day, is honoured locally because of the role played by Trade Unions and other labour movements in the struggle for fair labour practices and the creation of better employment standards in the labour sector. NAPTOSA has, through its legacy organisations, served education since 1904 and fought for the rights of educators by participating in many memorable nationwide strikes for better conditions of service for teachers. To this day, NAPTOSA plays an important leading role in both the Education Labour Relation Council (ELRC) and the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) through the Combined Trade Union of Autonomous Trade Unions (CTU-ATU) and the Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) respectively.
NAPTOSA members are also social activists. NAPTOSA is not silent when there are critical social issues affecting education in our country. When “Vuwani was burning”, and the Department of Basic Education failed to act on the non-delivery of learning and teaching support materials (LTSM) to Limpopo and the Eastern Cape Provinces, NAPTOSA was instrumental in ensuring that the authorities took steps to remedy these crises. Furthermore, NAPTOSA has raised its concern about, and implemented initiatives to eradicate bullying and school related gender-based violence in schools. NAPTOSA has raised other critical issues that adversely affect the quality of teaching and learning such as the scrapping of the Annual National Assessment (ANA) and its camouflaged replacements.
NAPTOSA DISILLUSIONED BY THE APPOINTMENT OF FAITH MUTHAMBI
MEDIA STATEMENT - 3 April 2017
NAPTOSA DISILLUSIONED BY THE APPOINTMENT OF FAITH MUTHAMBI AS THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (DPSA)
The President of NAPTOSA, Mr Nkosiphendule Ntantala, stated that the union noted with distress President Zuma’s irrational and inappropriate ‘Cabinet Reshuffle’ that has resulted in competent Ministers being removed, whilst some, who have clearly demonstrated incompetence, have been rewarded. This makes NAPTOSA very concerned that Faith Muthambi has been appointed as the Minister of the DPSA.
Faith Muthambi has a poor track record in her last position as Minister of Communications. Under her leadership the SABC stumbled from governance to governance crisis that ultimately led to the dissolution of the board. NAPTOSA is therefore astounded that she has been tasked with heading the lead department on human resource and collective bargaining matters in the public service. “How can the President believe that Faith Muthambi, after having failed in a small department like Communications, has the requisite skills to lead the public service, or is his deployment of her more sinister in that he wishes the public sector the same fate as Communications?”, asked Mr Ntantala.
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