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Free State Department of Education denies learners the right to basic education

The NAPTOSA President, Mr Nkosipendule “Star” Ntantala, on behalf of members and learners objects to the circular issued by the Free State department of education (FSDoE) on “Non- appointment of personnel until March 2017 other than educators for Mathematics, Science and Accounting”. This implies that all other schools will go without the much needed qualified personnel in the province for the better part of the 2017 schooling year. Is the FSDoE really concerned about the holistic education of ALL learners or is just focused on a ranking of first position at the expense of the majority of learners?
The FSDoE issued a circular dated (15 December 2016) that refers to the “Non- appointment of personnel until March 2017 other than educators for mathematics, Science and Accounting”. NAPTOSA views this decision as the bad management on the part of the department.
NAPTOSA reminds the FSDoE of its own strategic objective which states:
“…promotion of sound corporate governance through sustainable use of resources to provide overall management to the Department, support and related services to educational institutions…provision of effective and accessible quality basic education to provide effective teaching and learning to all children/learners from Grade 1 to Grade 12, access to quality education for learners with special needs, and expansion and universalisation of Grade R; …” (extract from FSDoE website), said Mr Ntantala.

This decision not only goes against the FSDoE’s strategic objective but also the vision of Chapter Nine of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, wherein it states that, “the South African education system needs urgent action”. Mr Ntantala questioned how this department envisions its decision in meeting the NDP priorities for basic education which clearly emphasises the need for human capacity for the improvement of education in South Africa.
The department’s alternative to curtailing expenditure and meeting the Constitutional needs of the learners, instructs that only teachers in excess or substitute personnel can be utilized for vacant posts in all other phases, shows that the FSDoE has given precedence to Mathematics, Science and Accounting in the FET phase. This interim plan to use teachers without requisite skills and knowledge, is not a plan but a nail on the coffin of an ailing education system, said Mr Ntantala. He added that NAPTOSA is aware of schools in the province that need foundation phase teachers as the previous incumbents have retired. Can any substitute teacher or teacher in excess fill the requirement of these schools, asked Mr Ntantala?
NAPTOSA urges the FSDoE to rethink its position as stated in the circular and consider its commitment to various Collective Agreements and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) process, said Mr Ntantala.

End of Statement
Enquiries: Mr Nkosipendule Ntantala (President) – 072 198 0599
Mr Basil Manuel (Executive Director) - 079 508 6228

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