North West

NAPTOSA NORTH WEST NF 31/2013 - SENIOR AND MASTER TEACHERS, VIOLENCE TOWARDS TEACHERS IN SCHOOLS,

The question of Senior and Master Teachers is surfacing again. The Provincial Office has been inundated with questions from members who want to know the criteria for becoming a Senior or Master Teacher. Coincidentally, this question was addressed in News Flash 48 dated 29 October 2012.

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SENIOR AND MASTER TEACHERS

 

The question of Senior and Master Teachers is surfacing again. The Provincial Office has been inundated with questions from members who want to know the criteria for becoming a Senior or Master Teacher. Coincidentally, this question was addressed in News Flash 48 dated 29 October 2012.

 

Senior and Master Teachers are post level 1 teachers that have been in education for many years. A post level 1 teacher starts on salary notch 85. By means of normal salary progression (satisfactory performance) he/she will reach notch 103 (after approximately 18 years). His/her status should change to that of a Senior Teacher. Please not that this change in status does not include any financial benefit. A post level 1 teacher should become a Master Teacher once he/she reaches notch 120.

 

Challenge facing us: In spite of ELRC Collective Agreement 1 of 2008 providing for the continuation of Senior and Master Teachers, Persal has not been programmed to change a teacher’s title to Senior or Master Teacher. The only teachers currently in education with the titles of Senior and Master Teacher are those that had the titles prior to 1 April 2008.

 

 

VIOLENCE TOWARDS TEACHERS IN SCHOOLS

 

At the end of last term we were shocked by reports of physical attacks by learners on teachers.  These are not isolated incidents unfortunately.  There are an increasing number of reports of teachers being physically attacked.  This must be seen against a background of verbal abuse and bullying from learners, parents and even departmental officials that seems to have become endemic.

 

Teachers feel frustrated as they experience the lack of any viable options to stem the tide of ill-discipline and lawlessness that is being experienced.  While it is true that the vast majority of our learners react responsibly most of the time, the exceptions who exhibit irresponsible behaviour and violent nature are becoming more evident and are often supported by equally ill-disciplined children.  Discipline starts in the home and the actions of children reflect on the early education and training, or the lack thereof, given by parents and family.

 

At the NAPTOSA Gauteng Conference this year, delegates established a draft Charter for Teachers’ Rights and Responsibilities.  This should also be viewed in conjunction with the NAPTOSA Charter of Teachers’ Professionalism adopted by the NAPTOSA North West conference, and due to be launched by NAPTOSA National.  We do not shirk what we should be doing which is to teach children!  But teachers have the right to be safe and feel secure and to be able to teach without interference.

 

We are aware of so many incidents of violence perpetrated against teachers by learners and parents.  Few of them attract any attention by the education department even after having been reported.  Why was this attack against a teacher at Glenvista High dealt with by the department with such speed and commented on by the Minister so quickly while others are not?  I think many suspect that the unwelcome publicity experienced by a video gone viral is not entirely unconnected!

 

NAPTOSA will use all possible means to determine the extent of the scourge of violence against teachers in our education system. One unhappy and unsafe teacher is one too many. We (teachers, parents, community leaders and everyone that embraces human rights) need to unite in our endeavour to restore the dignity of teachers. 

 

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