Statement released by the NAPTOSA Executive Director, Mr Henry Hendricks, on 3 September 2015
The ANA was conceptualised following poor learner performance in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMMS), as well as the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) studies. NAPTOSA, at the time, embraced the intention of a “home-grown” diagnostic testing system for selected grades. However, the ANA is no longer a diagnostic systemic evaluation tool, but has evolved into a content-based test with results being used to “label and punish” schools and districts in relation to performance. This labelling has changed the way in which schools and teachers perceive the ANA.
In 2014 we saw schools “teaching to the ANA” to the detriment of the curriculum. Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) instructed that days/weeks be dedicated to the preparation for the ANA, as well as schools having “pre- ANA tests” in some provinces. This abhorrent practice continues as a result of the pressure to perform at any cost. NAPTOSA denounces such practices and also rejects the proliferation and extension of the ANA to all grades as opposed to the initial focus grades, namely, grades 3, 6 and 9.
NAPTOSA is concerned that sufficient time is not allocated for schools to consolidate and implement the learning needs as identified.
NAPTOSA has consistently drawn its concerns about the ANA to the attention of both the Minister and the Department of Basic Education, but to no avail. These concerns include issues of changed focus from diagnostic to summative evaluation; lack of consolidation; the undesirability of a high stakes testing regime; and the absence of meaningful engagement. Other pertinent issues taken up with the Minister include the disruption of the academic year, additional educator workload, unfair demands on special schools, and change in focus and purpose. The timing of the ANA is also cause for concern.
NAPTOSA regrets the fact that all our proposals regarding the above have, to date, been ignored.
Accordingly, NAPTOSA sees no purpose in the ANA as it is currently implemented and strongly believes that there is a need for it to be overhauled rather than continuing blindly with a flawed policy that costs millions annually and amounts to nought.
Consequently, NAPTOSA is of the firm opinion that the values and purpose of the ANA have been compromised. NAPTOSA is engaging in consultations with other educator unions, as well as the Minister and the Director General of the Department of Basic Education. Once these have been concluded, NAPTOSA will evaluate its continued participation in the ANAs.
NAPTOSA Executive Director, Mr. Henry Hendricks, addressed the DBE Teacher’s Indaba and recent launch of the Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme.
Below are extracts of the address:
"Programme Director, Madame Minister, Deputy Minister, DG, officials of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT), and the South African Council for Teachers (SACE), Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC), Unions,and the esteemed guests, 'Our Teachers' that are present . It is an honour and a great pleasure for me to present this message on behalf of NAPTOSA at this Teacher’s Indaba and Launch of the Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme by DBE.
Let me briefly reflect on the well-being and in particular the mental health of teachers. NAPTOSA is concerned that the burdens our teachers are bearing is having a negative impact on their mental health. According to recent research, nine out of ten teachers over 35 are on hypertension medication. Why? We as teachers deal with all the problems in the world but have very little support structures ourselves. The EAP programmes have not made the difference they were intended to have . Some of our teachers are teaching in harrowing conditions subjected to poor infrastructure, lack of parental and even management support. Then we are targeted by miscreants in the profession. We are sitting on a time bomb. History tells us that many of our teachers will quit before retirement. The lack of curricular support aids and abets this numbing situation.
NAPTOSA is therefore pleased that the Minister has proposed a departure from celebrating the World Teachers’ Day (WTD) as an event on the day, 05 October, instead regarding it as a programme for teachers which will concern itself with the welfare of teachers throughout the year. 'The 2014 WTD seminar by DBE and stakeholders raised an awareness of the value of teachers and teaching in our society under the banner of the South African version of the UNESCO theme, “Our Teachers, Our Future'. (Extract from the WTD strategy- 2015)
On Sunday, 9 August, South Africa celebrates National Women’s Day, the purpose of which is to raise awareness of women’s equality. The first National Women's Day was celebrated in 1995. August has since been declared National Women’s Month. As we reflect on the last 20 years. Has anything changed? Reports suggest that eliminating violence against women is a prerequisite for gender equality and empowerment of women. Elimination of the gender disparity in education management is key to reducing the many dimensions of gender inequality.
Here are creative ways to get involved and make a difference during Women’s month:
- Get in touch with your local domestic violence shelter group and offer life skills services.
- Sew simple cloth sanitary pads for girls who miss school due to lack of sanity pads.
- Encourage girls to join or start women empowerment clubs.
- Start a feminist book club! Read books by female authors, mentors young school girls.
- Wear something purple in honour of the suffragettes on Women's Day (9 August) and get together with your female friends to celebrate Women’s Day.
- Get involved with of Women’s networking groups such as Life line, ZAZI, Soul City Institute, SANAC Women’s Sector, RISE, Positive Women’s Network (PWN) and Caring4Girls.
Educate our girls today, empower women of tomorrow
UNION SUCCESS ON 0.6% RECOVERY
Common sense and sterling leadership prevailed at a meeting of Unions, the Acting Minister Nathi Mthetwa of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and Ministers of the mandating committee. The meeting held on 25 June 2015, initiated by the President of the ILC, Mr Basil Manuel, agreed that the outstanding 0.6% owed to public servants will be implemented with immediate effect.
A special PSCBC meeting was called last night at which a new draft resolution was tabled that confirmed the 7% increase for the current year and the projected CPI+1% for the periods 2016/17 and 2017/2018. However, in a disappointing turn of events, the “Safety net” Clauses (Clauses 3.5 and 3.6 of PSCBC Resolution 2 of 2015) had been removed. This means that if the projected CPI was lower than the actual CPI for the periods indicated there would be no claw-back of the shortfall.
The ILC is of the opinion that instead of removing the safety-net clauses an additional clause ought to have been included to clarify the position of the “claw- back” clause in the final year of the agreement.
The majority party in the PSCBC signed-off Resolution 8 of 2015. This Resolution was not signed by the ILC. Whilst the agreement on the 7% is a victory, the ILC has serious reservations about the remaining period of the agreement.
With regard to the Medical Aid subsidy, the individual nature of the medical aid payments is delaying the payback, members are urged to be patient on this issue as it is receiving attention and is likely to be implemented in July 2015.
NAPTOSA thanks the leadership and members for their role in ensuring members rights are recognised and wishes all members a restful, well deserved winter vacation.
The wage agreement for the period 2015/16 to 2017/18 was signed in the PSCBC on 19 May 2015. NAPTOSA is a signatory to the agreement. This means that members will receive the following:
COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT
2015/16 = 7% increase with effect from 1 April 2015 (based on projected CPI of 4,8% + 2,2%)
2016/17 = Projected CPI + 1%
2017/18 = Projected CPI + 1%
(A safety net clause has been built into the agreement that will allow for the difference between the projected CPI and the actual CPI for the corresponding period either to be added to, or subtracted from, the adjustment for the following year depending on whether the actual CPI was higher or lower than the projected CPI)
28, 5% adjustment in the medical subsidy for in-service members belonging to GEMS limited to –
A maximum cap of R 925 p.m. per principal member and first dependent and R 565 p.m. per each additional dependent.
An overall maximum cap of R 3545 p.m.