NAPTOSA embraces and supports the intention of the IIAL policy and acknowledges that multilingualism is an important tool for social cohesion, and for individual and social development. The implementation of IIAL will commence in 2015 in Grade 1 and will be introduced incrementally until 2026 when it will be introduced in Grade 12. The implementation will be preceded by a pilot in 2014 in Grade 1.

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INCREMENTAL INTRODUCTION OF AFRICAN LANGUAGES (IIAL)

 

NAPTOSA embraces and supports the intention of the IIAL policy and acknowledges that multilingualism is an important tool for social cohesion, and for individual and social development. The implementation of IIAL will commence in 2015 in Grade 1 and will be introduced incrementally until 2026 when it will be introduced in Grade 12.  The implementation will be preceded by a pilot in 2014 in Grade 1.

Recent media reports create the impression that the only comment being made about the IIAL is that teachers will have to work longer hours and learners will have a longer school day.  There are a number of additional issues which concern NAPTOSA. Some of these are set out below.

 

Curriculum Overload. The subjects (learning areas) in the intermediate phase were recently reduced on account of the curriculum being overloaded. NAPTOSA is concerned that the introduction of a third language will reverse the situation and also lead to overload in the other phases.

 

The demands of learning a third language. NAPTOSA questions the wisdom in offering a third language at First Additional Language (FAL) level. Will young learners be able to cope with three languages at such an intense level? Would it not be prudent to introduce a third language at a “social” communicative level instead?

 

Selection of an African language. In some urban schools a number of African languages are spoken by the learners and no particular language enjoys a clear majority. Such situations will require careful management on the part of the SGB to ensure that the language choice does not become a source of discontent and division in the school.

 

Provision of teachers. Teaching a language requires specific skills and training. Will the DBE be able to train sufficient teachers? Is there adequate funding to train these teachers? An additional challenge will arise if teachers are taken out of schools for extended periods for training. 

 

Time implications. The IIAL will increase the instructional time as follows: two hours per week for grades 1 & 2, three hours per week for grade 3 and five hours per week for grades 4 to 12. Some of NAPTOSA’s concerns are: the extra time demanded from educators,   the fatigue experienced by younger learners, the availability  of taxis to transport learners when the taxis are transporting workers at the end of the day, the challenge for schools that close early on a Friday to accommodate Muslim learners (who are already working longer hours earlier in the week) to make up time lost on Fridays and the negative impact the extended school day will have on the extensive extra-mural programme offered by many schools

 

NAPTOSA has committed itself to submit a detailed comment in response to the DBE’s “call for comment” by 12 February 2014. Members are urged to submit any comments on the draft policy to the provincial offices, and such comments may be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  The draft policy may be downloaded from www.naptosa.org.za

 

 

GREGG MASONDO

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS–  QUESTIONS

 

What does one say to learners who see adults destroying government property and looting shops during a service delivery protest in Bekkersdal? What does one say to learners whose schools are closed by adults in the community during a service delivery protest in Kuruman?  What does one say to teachers who are humiliated by learners in the class?  How does one respond to a principal of a primary school in Cape Town when he writes:

 

. . . our work environment resembles a war-zone where learners cannot learn and play in safety and the wider community are hostages in their own homes. . .  We cannot have fundraisers, meetings or workshops in the evenings or over week-ends due to the instability and insecurity.  The above challenges become bizarre in the light of the on-going gang related violence and deaths.

Last week learners witnessed a man being shot through the ankle  . . .Parents running to the school wide eyed and anxiously praying that their children are not harmed.  Bambanani having to fall to the ground and seek cover underneath the cars in the car park . . . “

 

NAPTOSA recognises that the situation described above is an extreme example of violence and that the levels of violence varies from school to school owing to a number of factors.

 

Who is to blame?  At one stage it was popular for the media and others to blame schools for not preventing the violence, however, it would appear that a more realistic approach prevails presently - society has realised that the scourge of violence takes many forms and teachers are not equipped to handle all these situations. It is also important to note that teachers are also victims of violence.

 

NAPTOSA believes that the critical question that should be asked is: “What can we do to stop or at least curb the violence? The “we” is all of us – the DBE, Provincial Education Departments, other government departments, SAPS, SGBs, NGO, faith-based organisations, parents, schools and  unions. NAPTOSA has stated on a number of occasions that all stakeholders need to be involved in addressing the scourge of violence in our schools – dealing with violence in schools, in whatever form it manifests itself, is not the sole responsibility of teachers.

 

NAPTOSA is of the view that there are many  issues which the DBE should address as a matter of urgency, inter alia: provincial education departments should appoint more counsellors and psychologists, the code of conduct for learners as well as suspension procedures in SASA should be revisited, the suspension and expulsion of learners should be expedited,  teachers in identified schools should receive danger pay, teachers should be provided with training on managing various forms of violence, the DBE should provide more support for educators who are the victims of violence including free legal assistance.

 

NAPTOSA has for many years run workshops on discipline for beginner and experienced teachers. The Union will continue to offer this service to its members and adapt the workshops according to the changing situation on the ground.

 

NAPTOSA welcomes the fact that the MEC for Education in Gauteng is taking strong action against unruly learners. It is hoped that other MECs will follow suit.

 

For more information on violence in schools go the NAPTOSA website:  www.naptosa.org.za

 

 

 

PENSION REDRESS – AN UPDATE

 

What progress has been made?

Approximately 137 000 applications were received for the pension redress. It will take some time for the project to be finalised. There are four important processes in the finalisation of the pension redress project:  1)capturing of all the applications on a database , 2) verifying the applications 3) calculation of the increased pension 4) notification of applicants after all applications have been fully processed.

 

 All of the applications have been captured by the PSCBC and forwarded to the GEPF for the next three processes.  According to the most recent statistics (from November 2012 – July 2013) approximately 68144 applications have been verified. Of these approximately 37 053 qualified for pension redress. Approximately 23 426 applicants did not qualify for the pension redress. Some of the reasons  for applications not being approved were:  applicants have already been paid for the period applied for and applicants not being in service on the qualification date of 2 September 1998. There is also a group of applications (approximately 7665) which contain errors such as incomplete information – GPAA will be returning all forms with errors to the Task Team who will then have decide on how the manage the process going forward.

 

 The calculation of the pension increase is a time consuming process.  The adjustments to pensions will only be effected after the costing has been finalised for all the qualifying applications.

 

Why  can’t applications be processed  / finalised immediately upon submission to the GEPF?

For the GEPF to take a “first come first served” approach, runs the risk of depleting the fund before all applicants have been compensated.  The GEPF must allow time for:

·         all applications to be verified and processed

·         for the total cost to be calculated

·         for negotiations with government for additional funding in the event there is any shortfall to ensure that all eligible applicants are compensated.

 

Only after all these processes have been completed, will adjustments to the pensions of all  those still in service be effected and payments  made to all those who have left the service, including to the dependants of those who have passed on.

 

Will I receive a cash payment?

Applicants who are still in service will not receive any cash payment – their pensionable period of service will be increased. NAPTOSA is not in possession of all the information regarding the adjustment of pensions and payments to pensioners and the Union does not wish to speculate on the matter. The GEPF will also adjust the pension of dependents / beneficiaries of applicants who have already passed on.

 

The National Pension Redress Task Team will be meeting on 19 November 2013 and it is hoped that some (all?) of the questions which NAPTOSA has will be answered at that meeting.

 

 

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