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 5th National Congress 2016  
Theme: Teach, Lead, Inspire – for Social Cohesion
NAPTOSA this year celebrates its 10th year as a Union.  The union has been serving South African Education since 1904 through its legacy organisations, which merged to form the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA). On 26-27 October 2016, NAPTOSA held its elective National Congress and celebrated ten years as an amalgamated union.
This august occasion saw Dr Anthea Cereseto, the President of NAPTOSA, Reverend Bishop Paul Verryn of the Methodist Church (keynote speaker) and Mr HM Mweli, Director General of the Department of Basic Education address the theme of the Congress, “Teach, Lead, Inspire- for Social Cohesion. In addressing the two hundred and fifty delegates, Dr Cereseto pointed out various areas that teachers were not being assisted by current and proposed policies and practices of the national and provincial departments.
Dr Cereseto urged delegates to examine their classroom practices if they wished to contribute to developing social cohesion and embracing diversity.  Bishop Paul Verryn added that teaching was challenging because obtaining an understanding of social cohesion was difficult in itself, let alone teaching to attain it.
Dr Cereseto explained how, in recent times, social cohesion and nation building are used as a single concept by the Department of Arts and Culture and some interpretations of it have now become nationalistic and even xenophobic. She urged NAPTOSA Congress delegates to focus on inclusiveness, reducing the inequality gap and building trust. She also encouraged delegates to be excellent teachers and strive to teach for social cohesion as enshrined in the NAPTOSA Charter of Professionalism.   

Dr Cereseto encouraged delegates to be professional activist and fight the “deprofessionalising” moves by the Department of Basic Education, namely, prescribed universal workbooks, scripted lesson plans and common assessments, which by their centralised nature, are unable to cater for diversity in the classrooms. NAPTOSA must be free to use the most, effective teaching strategies for learners and not be imprisoned by subject advisors’ obsession with work plans.
Both speakers urged NAPTOSA members to take note of the diversity in their classrooms and ensure inclusiveness and equal opportunity for each learner, whether it is the child of the powerful elite or the most disempowered.
Both speakers reminded NAPTOSA that Leadership should always be driven by moral purpose and that every teacher was a leader and should inspire hope.
Dr Cereseto said that in order to help teachers inspire for social cohesion we need evidence of the inequality gap in school resources being closed, challenging as that may be. We also need to be able to present education alternatives for academic strugglers.
The closure of the 2016 NAPTOSA Congress saw new leaders both at national and provincial level take office.
THE NEWLY ELECTED NATIONAL LEADERSHIP OF NAPTOSA: OCTOBER 2016 – OCTOBER 2019

Mr Nkosiphendule Ntantala – NAPTOSA President
Mr David Miller – NAPTOSA Deputy President
Ms Gaylin Bowles – NAPTOSA Vice President

PROVINCIAL CHAIRPERSONS: OCTOBER 2016 – OCTOBER 2019

Mr J Digopo (Northern Cape)        Mr E Ditlopo (North West)    Mr B Mathiba (Limpopo)
Mr S Lunika (Eastern Cape)        Mr M Leine (Free State)     Ms M Bruce (KwaZulu-Natal)
Ms P Mvanana (Mpumalanga)     Mr T Manne (Gauteng)    Mr M Standaar (Western Cape)

NEWLY APPOINTED PROVINCIAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Ms T Moodley (NAPTOSA KwaZulu-Natal)
Mr L Mbinda (NAPTOSA Eastern Cape)

Mr Anthony Pierce , affectionately known as “Mickey”, from KZN  and Mr Peter Duminy from the EC will retire as Provincial Chief Executive Officers (PCEOs) at the end of the year. Ms Moodley and Mr Mbinda will assume their new roles as PCEOs from 1 January 2017 in their respective provinces.

Congress 2016 pictures can be found on the NAPTOSA website (www.naptosa.org.za/ photo gallery), NAPTOSA Communicator, NAPTOSA Facebook page and @NAPTOSA_TEACH (NAPTOSA Twitter handle).