Media Statement: NAPTOSA Comment on the SONA on Thursday, 9 February 2017
Mr Star Ntantala, President of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA), commenting on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Jacob Zuma to Parliament on 9 February 2017, lamented the irresponsible behaviour of some national leaders in the House, as it does not instil confidence in the public at large. He added that the Union welcomed several aspects of the Address, but expressed disappointment that critical issues were not highlighted.
NAPTOSA welcomes the State President’s reflection on the importance of education especially that it remains an apex priority for Government. “Whilst NAPTOSA acknowledges the eradication of unsuitable school buildings and the construction of 895 schools through the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI), this is still insufficient as vast inequities still exist across the Country”, said Mr Ntantala. He added that too many learners are still trapped in unsuitable schools throughout the Country. Freedom and democracy have had little impact on their life chances and quality of education. NAPTOSA is perturbed that to date, more than 4000 learners have not been placed in schools in Gauteng. In addition, the shortage of Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) in Limpopo and Eastern Cape schools have negatively impacted teaching and learning in these provinces. “NAPTOSA noted that whilst some communities have modern classrooms, they are devoid of furniture and equipment which has resulted in learners sitting on the floor”, said Mr Ntantala.
Mr Ntantala commended Government’s initiative to train 15 000 artisans, however, the concerns of students and lecturers at TVET Colleges have fallen on deaf ears, which has forced many Colleges to suspend lectures at the beginning of this academic year. NAPTOSA calls on Business to commit to providing ‘on the job training’ for the unemployed youth, he added.